The District of South Dakota has been an “Indian country district” since territorial days. What is now South Dakota was and is home to several different tribes that are commonly and collectively referred to as the “Sioux.”
In the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, all of the land west of the Missouri River, in what is now South Dakota, was designated as the “Great Sioux Reservation.” In 1889, Dakota Territory was divided into the separate states of North and South Dakota. At the same time, the remaining land of the Great Sioux Reservation was divided into smaller, separate reservations for various Sioux tribes.
These reservations, along with those created east of the Missouri River, exist today as nine distinct Indian reservations within the District of South Dakota.
First Assistant and Tribal Liaison
South Dakota United States Attorney's Office
Recent Initiatives in Indian Country
(click on each initiative for more information)
South Dakota’s enabling legislation and state constitution disclaimed state court criminal jurisdiction for cases arising in Indian country. An effort by the state legislature to assert Indian country jurisdiction in 1961 was unsuccessful, and South Dakota remains a non-Public Law 280 state.
The volume of criminal cases arising in Indian country is relatively high. Between 50-60 percent of the criminal caseload for the United States Attorney’s Office is comprised of Indian country offenses.
The District is rural in nature. It encompasses the entire state of South Dakota which has a total of 77,116 square miles, of which over 12 percent are reservation or trust lands. Census data puts the state population at 812,383, and a conservative estimate places the number of Native American residents at 68,976 (8.57 percent). The vast majority of the Native American population resides on the District’s nine Indian reservations – each with its own history, culture, characteristics, and law enforcement challenges.
Randy Seiler serves as both the First Assistant United States Attorney and the Tribal Liaison for the South Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office. As First Assistant, he is in charge of the day-to-day management of the U.S. Attorney's Office. As Tribal Liaison, he consults and coordinates with tribal justice officials and victim advocates to address any issues in the prosecution of major crimes in Indian country in South Dakota. He also maintains communication with tribal leaders, tribal communities and victim advocates, as well as tribal justice officials to gather information and share appropriate information and coordinates with tribal prosecutors in cases in which a tribal government has concurrent jurisdiction over an alleged crime. Seiler has been with the United States Attorney's Office for 15 years. He spent 14 years prosecuting violent crime offenses in Indian country prior to being named First Assistant and Tribal Liaison on November 8, 2009.
Seiler also served as counsel to the Director in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., in 2000. He is an instructor at the National Advocacy Center, as well as a presenter on various topics including violent crime, sexual assault, domestic violence and legal issues in the prosecution of violent crime in Indian country.
He has received the Attorney General's Award, as well as the Director's Award for Superior Performance in Indian Country.
Prior to joining the United Sates Attorney's Office in 1995, he was in private practice in Mobridge, South Dakota.