Oglala Senator Introduces Bills Protecting Native American Two-Spirit in South Dakota
February 17, 2021
PIERRE, S.D. - A South Dakota state senator introduced a series of amendments on Feb. 1, 2021 that would include protections for individuals identifying as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) and Native American Two-Spirit in the State of South Dakota. Senate Bill 166 and 190 were introduced by State Senator Red Dawn Foster, an Oglala Lakota Democrat representing District 27, which includes Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, Pennington, and Oglala Lakota counties on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. They are the first bills sponsored by Foster, who is serving her second term as a South Dakota state senator.
The bills include provisions of existing laws that would protect individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity with specific identification as Native American Two-Spirit. It is the first time the term Native American Two-Spirit is up for discussion in an official capacity in a state government.