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Press Release

“Protecting Our Tribal Communities: Responding to Gun Violence and Its Victims” Conference to be held in Pine Ridge on April 6

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a half-day conference addressing gun violence in Indian country will be held in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, on Thursday April 6, 2017. The event is in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and is hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

The keynote speaker is Michael Poindexter, the Sheriff of Modoc County in California, where a mass shooting took place in February of 2014 during a tribal council meeting. Four tribal members, including the Tribal Chairman, died as a result of the tragic event. Sheriff Poindexter was one of the responding officers who worked closely with the victims, and he will share his story of survival and the effect of the shooting on the community.

Also on the agenda is Cheryl “Renee” Bourque with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Ms. Bourque will share her experience and address the impact of losing two of her close friends and co-workers to gun violence. Both victims were Native American and worked for the Seminole, OK sheriff’s office. In addition, Frank Kelsey with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, will give a presentation on gun violence, the nature of the problem and how to avert the consequences.

Representatives from several local victim service providers will have a display/information booth. Following the conference, a ceremony will take place honoring four individuals who have provided outstanding services to victims of crime in Indian country.

The event will be held at the SuAnn Big Crow Center in Pine Ridge, located at 1 Positive Place. The conference will run from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, followed by the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week presentations. The public is welcome and a free lunch will be served.

Updated April 1, 2017

Community Outreach