Youth City Council urges land swap

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rapid City Common Council has yet to resolve the boarding school land swap issue, and now a group of high schoolers are getting involved.

Although the land swap has garnered support throughout the Native community, the Rapid City council voted to delay a resolution.

The Rapid City Youth City Council recently wrote a strong letter expressing their disappointment in the council’s failure to act decisively, foster trust in the community, and urged them to approve the resolution. They say they are concerned because the decisions made now will have the greatest affect on them.

“It’s important that our voice is heard because we’re going to live into it,” said Hannah Churchill, the Chair of the Youth City Council.

“Also, another big part of why we wrote this, is we want to acknowledge history, and not the wrongdoings, but we want to acknowledge the mistakes that were made by the past government, and we want to mend that relationship,” said member of the Youth Council, Rylan Barnett.

The Youth Council is hopeful a resolution will create an opportunity for the community and council to work together to restore trust among both parties.

One of the Native members of the Youth Council believes allowing the land swap would foster representation and unity in the community.

“It’s really important and I think that it’s going to be really beneficial for a lot of Native Americans in our community because we express ourselves through different traditions, and not only just for us, but for other people outside of the Native American community to be more educated and become more aware, like culturally aware of other cultures, practices and traditions,” said Peyton Swallow.

City Council will reconvene Monday evening to further discuss the resolution.


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