Commentary

Thu
17
Oct
Edgar's picture

Stray Thoughts: On Loss

A loss is never so simple as it seems. In the stream of consciousness, we are remembered by acquaintances only from the small pieces of us that drifted by on the surface of a few moments. Through happenstance, they get a glimmer, a hint of who we actually are, or who we allow them to see. Those close to us have seen us swirl in the pools and dip under the surfaces that compose our reality… they have seen the ebb and flow of our presence throughout our gentle meanderings, chaotic rapids and the falls we all experience. They know us now, but know also that we are not who we once were before they knew us. Part of any loss is the realization that we may not have known all we wanted to know, and there is pain in the recognition of our abject ignorance. We may have mistaken small moments for the whole, and there is regret in presupposition without fact. 

 

Thu
17
Oct
Edgar's picture

Celebrating Native American Day

For 29 years, South Dakotans have celebrated Native American Day instead of Columbus Day. The late Governor George Mickelson, along with the editor of the Native Sun News, Tim Giago, and tribal leaders, worked together to proclaim 1990 the Year of Reconciliation. The decision to change Columbus Day to Native American Day was made by the state legislature as a way to honor the deep history of the tribal people who have long called this land their home.

Every year since, we have worked to preserve the culture and history of Native American people, acknowledge our challenges and work together on the issues we face. Native Americans make up around 10 percent of our state’s population, and South Dakota is home to nine tribal reservations. It is important for all South Dakotans to understand the history and hardships that Native Americans have gone through so we can have a better understanding of one another.

 

 

Thu
17
Oct
Edgar's picture

Another successful Native American Day

At Timber Lake, Native American Day is not just another Monday holiday. The last several years, Timber Lake School has organized a day of programs and activities centered on Native American culture and history. Again this year, the teachers and guest presenters prepared a smorgasbord of meaningful activities. It’s part history lesson, part celebration, and part honoring.

In the elementary classes, Tammy LeBeau showed how she uses quills from porcupines to create beautiful designs, Jayme Murray talked about buffalo, and Shanna Gebhardt gave a lesson in Lakota language. Jennifer Schoelerman told about winter counts and helped the students get started on creating one of their own. There were also classes on the Lakota creation story, horses, tipis, and food. Younger students made rainbows, learning the Lakota names of colors as they drew.

 

 

Thu
03
Oct
Edgar's picture

Stray Thoughts: Familiar

Some are good at remembering names, others at remembering faces Most are in the middle, but for me the big riddle Is that I tend to remember people in specific places I’ve had neighbors who lived right beside me, people that I’ve known for a while I may recognize their face, but when they aren’t in their place My mind can’t seem to dig up their file If there’s a person I’ve spoken with often, who over time has helped me a lot When in another town, and without other memories around I’m unlikely to connect all the dots It’s not that I cannot remember, it might impress you… the things that I know But try as I might, I often can’t get this right It’s a limit that just seems to be so My wife is the most curious creature, almost always remembering a name And what was happening on a day, and all events that were in play Compared to me, she’s at the top of her game Women remember things better; at least people, and bir

Thu
03
Oct
Edgar's picture

Prairie Doc Tall Drink of Water

What if there was something you could drink that could help you live longer and was free? Would you drink it? What if I offered something else to drink that could shorten your life and would cost you one dollar? Would you want to buy it?

As you might have guessed, the initial question refers to water, which is healthy and free, for the most part. Meanwhile, the latter question refers to a less desirable alternative, soda pop.

A recent study involving half a million people in Europe found that drinking soda pop was associated with a greater risk of death from any cause. What’s even more interesting is how this study found that both regular and diet soft drinks were bad for your health. Drinking sugar sweetened beverages, such as regular sodas, increases your risk of digestive disease deaths. Meanwhile, drinking artificially sweetened beverages, like diet sodas, increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.

Thu
19
Sep
Edgar's picture

It’s okay to talk about suicide

September is Suicide Awareness Month

Thu
12
Sep
Edgar's picture

A good death

Prairie Doc

In 40 years of practice, I have seen how the final moments of one’s life can be inspiring or agonizing, no matter the manner of death. As I see it, the fear of death is a greater enemy than death itself. This has brought me to make the following recommendations for approaching our final moments.

Be prepared

Thu
12
Sep
Edgar's picture

Meditations on Love

COLUMN

When we first give ourselves to love, many of us have an idealized notion of the purpose it's meant to fulfill in our lives. We look to love to fix us, for love to save us, for it to make us happy and for it to fill that empty part in our souls which sometimes seems to exist.

The truth is, love IS meant to do all of these things - and more. The problem arises when we look to our partners and loved ones to fill this need for us, instead of taking the responsibility for our feelings of love and happiness upon ourselves. Expecting our partners to give us the loving contentment we seek places a terrible burden on them, as we are inevitably let down when they fall short of our idealized expectations.

Thu
05
Sep
Edgar's picture

Heads or Tails

Stray Thoughts

The storm was approaching, the clouds grey and dense the cows huddled in a great furry mass they gather for protection in the corner of the fence as they huddle until the storms pass.

And while they stand close, the merciless flies are efficiently swatted by tails that reach only halfway between their butts and their eyes but on their head, it is a system that fails. 

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Thu
05
Sep
Edgar's picture

Army Corps of Engineers management of Missouri River

In the Senate, I have the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight, which has the important responsibility of providing oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Our subcommittee recently held a field hearing in North Sioux City with Brigadier General Peter Helmlinger and John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Water Management Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division, to discuss the Corps’ management following spring 2019 flooding along the river due to heavy precipitation and an extreme weather event known as a “bomb cyclone,” followed by rapid snowmelt. As a result, hundreds of miles of land along the river system flooded, threatening and damaging homes, communities, farmland and critical infrastructure such as dams and bridges.

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