FARGO — Months after severe winter storms and springtime floods wrecked havoc on the state, infrastructure on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's reservation in central South Dakota continues to deteriorate, and leadership is pointing the finger at the federal government.
The tribe said in a Monday, July 22, news release that the tribe remains under a state of emergency while all federally managed roads with culverts on the reservation remain in critical condition. And several are still closed, which "isolated hundreds of square miles of reservation from safely accessing passable roads."
Chairman Harold Frazier said in the release that, "“No one grasps the magnitude of the damage to the roads here on the reservation."
According to the release, infrastructure on the reservation was "already aging and failing" before a historically wet spring further damaged the region. In addition to damaged roads, the tribe said bridges on the reservation have been flooded and are potentially unsafe to pass.
Frazier in Monday's release pointed the finger at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, saying the federal bureau is "responsible for these roads and the lack (of) improvements, or even repairs," and that the bureau "show a complete lack of leadership."
The BIA did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.