Vi Waln
Special to Indian Country Today

ROSEBUD, South Dakota – Rosebud Vice President Scott Herman ousted incumbent tribal President Rodney M. Bordeaux in a general election Aug. 26 that also brought in a new vice president and several new council members.

In unofficial results reported by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Election Board, Herman drew 1,374 votes to Bordeaux’s 937. Bordeaux had served several terms in tribal government, as president and as a council representative for Rosebud.

The election drew 2,341 tribal citizens to 22 polling places.

“I really want to thank the voters out there. I was really speechless to come in here knowing I got the overwhelming support that I did,” Herman told a handful of supporters gathered in the Tribal Council Chambers after the election results were tabulated.

“Rodney Bordeaux and I really worked well together. It was hard to run for this position knowing that he was a really good candidate as well,” Herman said. “I thanked him for running a clean campaign, which we did. There are good feelings between us and I have a lot of respect for him. Thank you to all the people who supported me.”

Herman, a former educator who worked in local schools before stepping into tribal government, served two terms as tribal vice president as well as several terms as the Antelope council representative. Herman wants to engage in strategic planning using tribal programs, work force and community leaders to plan for future needs. He also wants to ensure an affordable retirement program for tribal employees.

Rosebud Sioux tribal voters elected former educator Scott Herman for tribal president in an Aug. 26, 2021, general election, ousing incumbent president Rodney M. Bordeaux. Herman had served as vice president on the tribal council and as a representative. (Photo courtesy of Scott Herman)

Herman said he will also support and advocate for affordable homes for young Sicangu families. He supports youth facilities and wellness centers for tribal citizens. He wants to establish funding for vocational training with job placements on the reservation, and he supports job placement for Sinte Gleska University graduates. He said he will lobby for the expansion of Medicaid and federal health insurance cards for all tribal citizens.

For the open vice president position, William “Willie” Kindle garnered 1,173 votes to defeat challenger Dolores “Totes” Waln, who drew 1,143. Kindle previously had served several terms as Rosebud’s president and vice president; Waln had served one term as the Antelope council representative. 

Kindle also serves on the Sicangu Wicoti Awayankape board of commissioners and the Tribal Land Enterprise board of directors.

Other results from the Aug. 26 election:

  • Nicole R. Marshall (1,261 votes) defeated incumbent Louis Wayne Boyd (1,052) for the tribal secretary position. Marshall is new to tribal government; she was formerly employed at St. Francis Indian School and spent the last three years as the executive administrative assistant in the tribal president’s office. Boyd served terms as Antelope council representative, Grass Mountain council representative, treasurer and vice president for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
  • Stephen DeNoyer was re-elected to serve a second term as treasurer. He garnered 1,281 votes to defeat Luti Stone Davis, who received 1,019 votes. Davis spent the last three years as the chief executive officer in the president’s office.
  • The Antelope community will be represented by Jordan Rahn (1,123 votes) on the tribal council. Rahn defeated Calvin E. "Hawkeye" Waln Jr., a former council representative who drew 1,063 votes. Incumbent Dolores Totes Waln ran instead for the vice president’s seat.
  • For the Corn Creek council representative, Stanley Wooden Knife Jr. received 1,209 votes to defeat Gerald Black Bear Jr. who garnered 948 votes. Wooden Knife is a former council representative. Incumbent Arlene Black Bear reached the limits on her terms and could not run for re-election.
  • Bull Creek chose incumbent Lisa White Pipe (1,631 votes) over challenger Everly Dean Lunderman (626 votes). This will be White Pipe’s second term on the tribal council.
  • For the He Dog area, newcomer Micah R. Lunderman won the council representative race with 1,168 votes. She defeated challenger Royal Yellow Hawk, who received 1,112 votes. Lunderman previously served two terms as He Dog Community president. Incumbent council person Clifford Lafferty did not seek re-election.
  • Horse Creek elected Fremont G. Fallis (1,242 votes) over challenger Aaron Stoddard (1,008 votes). Fallis served previous terms on the tribal council. Incumbent Robert Rattling Leaf had reached his term limit.
  • Ring Thunder re-elected incumbent Martha Blue Thunder (1,269 votes) over challenger Rose Two Strike-Stenstrom (985 votes). Two Strike-Stenstrom previously served on the tribal council.
  • Shere Wright-Plank was elected to the Rosebud Tribal Council representative seat with 1,266 votes over challenger Dave Brushbreaker (1,033 votes). Wright-Plank was appointed last fall to fill the unexpired term of her father, the late Lenard Shadow Wright.
  • Newcomer Raymond Crow Eagle received 1,243 votes to defeat challenger Michael R. Boltz, who drew 1,033 votes. Boltz served several terms as a tribal council representative. Crow Eagle was employed with the RST Information Technology program prior to running for office. Incumbent Sharon Swift ran for re-election but did not advance to the general election.
  • Dera Iyotte received the highest number of votes of all candidates with 1,499 votes. She is a newcomer to tribal government and will represent the Swift Bear community. Delano Clairmont, a former tribal council representative, garnered 751 votes. Incumbent James Leader Charge was term-limited and could not seek re-election.
  • Upper Cut Meat re-elected incumbent Dwight Damien Spotted Tail (1,181 votes) to serve on the tribal council. Challenger Kathleen High Pipe, a former tribal council representative, finished with 1,078 votes.

The Rosebud Sioux tribal president, vice president and council representatives will each serve three-year terms ending in 2024. The treasurer and secretary are elected to serve two-year terms.

The tribal council positions are staggered terms and there will be no election next year. The next election will be held in 2023, when tribal voters will go to the polls to elect tribal council representatives from Black Pipe, Butte Creek, Grass Mountain, Ideal, Milk’s Camp, Okreek, Parmelee, Soldier Creek, Spring Creek and Two Strike.

The general election results are not official until the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Election Board certifies the results. A challenge period will allow any tribal voters to request a formal hearing on the results.

Challenges will be accepted at the election office in Rosebud beginning Monday, Aug. 30, through 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3. A $50 filing fee, money order or cashier’s check made payable to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is required for all challenges.

Indian Country Today - bridge logo

Our stories are worth telling. Our stories are worth sharing. Our stories are worth your support. Contribute $5 or $10 contribution today to help Indian Country Today carry out its critical mission. Sign up for ICT’s free newsletter.