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Annual Report on Refugee Resettlement in South Dakota FFY 2021

January 7, 2022

This report provides an overview of information regarding refugee resettlement in South Dakota from 2017-2021. Refugees are defined as individuals who are unable to return to their home country due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality and membership in a particular social group or political opinion. While all refugees are immigrants, not all immigrants are refugees. Immigrants choose to leave their homes and may come to the U.S. with temporary visas, allowing them to remain for a certain period of time or under certain conditions (such as students or tourists), or they may have permission allowing them to remain indefinitely. Refugees arrive with temporary residency and may apply for legal permanent residency after one year. After five years, legal permanent residents may apply for U.S. citizenship. All refugees arrive eligible for employment. At the request of the state, LSS assumed oversight of refugee resettlement in South Dakota in 2000. The primary goals for all services are self-sufficiency and community integration.

Native American and Tribal Communities Recovery Program: Report on Pilot Program 2020 & 2021

January 1, 2022

This report is intended to provide a review of the first two years of the Native American and Tribal Communities Recovery Program. It is intended for use by this program's funder, Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) funders, disaster funders and other organizations working with Native communities. It also provides a snapshot of accomplishments, learnings and areas that need more work. The Native Program just completed its second year of focused disaster recovery work in Native communities. Eight grants were awarded to Nativeled organizations totalling $750,000. Also, technical assistance was provided with the goal of increasing local disaster recovery capacity.

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

bMagazine 2020

July 14, 2020

bMagazine is part annual report and part showcase of people thinking bigger and thinking differently about what's possible in communities across the Bush Foundation's region of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share that geography.

Break the Silence - End Sexual Violence: A Community Response to Ending Sexual Violence Within our Communities!

September 1, 2018

This report contains voices and recommendations from campaign and roundtable meetings with Native American community women and young survivors of sexual assault. The goal of the campaigns is to increase public awereness on the issue, encourage women to break the silence, help them move forward and heal while at the same time helping other do the same. The overall purpose of the report is to advocate for stronger policies and resources from tribes and federal agencies. 

Native Nations Investments- 2018 Report

January 1, 2018

This report aims to share and illustrate the ways we invest in the Native nations and people in our region. One of our guiding values is to seek to do more good every year. This report will help us look internally at how we can do more to make the region better for everyone, including the Indigenous people of this land

Is Federal Crop Insurance Policy Leading to Another Dust Bowl?

March 23, 2017

As the southern Great Plains get hotter and drier, is federal policy that encourages farmers not to adapt to climate change leading to another Dust Bowl?That's the troubling question raised by a new EWG report that shows how a provision in the federal crop insurance program provides a strong financial incentive for growers to plant the same crops in the same way, year in and year out, regardless of changing climate conditions. What's worse, this program is focused on the same southern Great Plains counties hit hardest by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history.The federal crop insurance program guarantees farmers' earnings from their crops won't fall below a percentage of their usual income. The percentage is set based on a multi-year average of a farmer's actual crop yields. Averaging good and bad years grounds the program in reality.But a provision called the Actual Production History Yield Exclusion – snuck into the 2014 Farm Bill during conference negotiations – allows growers to drop bad years from their average crop yield calculations. The government simply pretends these bad years didn't happen. In some cases, more than 15 bad years can be thrown out when calculating the average yield, resulting in artificially inflated insurance payouts.It makes sense for crop insurance to give growers a break if they're occasionally hit by one or two bad years, but keeping growers on a treadmill of failed crops and insurance payouts is foolish. Helping farmers adapt to the new weather conditions would be considerably better, and was exactly what helped growers survive the Dust Bowl and return to productivity.The southern Great Plains are getting hotter and drier. Drought has been common over the last 10 years and forecasts show the number of days above 100 degrees quadrupling by 2050. Implementing conservation practices to adapt to changing climate conditions is vital for growers who want to stay in business.Some, but not enough, growers are already adopting conservation techniques in this region. Savings from ending the misguided yield exclusion policy could be used to help more growers change the way they farm to face the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Indian Country Food Price Index: Exploring Variation in Food Pricing Across Native Communities, A Working Paper

June 30, 2016

First Nations prepared this report that finds Native consumers in or near reservation communities generally have to spend more on food products than the national average, despite the fact that incomes are usually much lower in these communities while food access is, largely, much more difficult due to distance and transportation issues. The report was created as part of First Nations' work to combat food insecurity, eliminate "food deserts" in Native American communities, and support economic and business development.

State Profile South Dakota: Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

January 25, 2016

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.

Lessons Learned From the Native Nations Initiative

June 1, 2015

The Bush Foundation launched the Native Nations Initiative in 2009 to support governance reform efforts of all 23 Native nations that share geography with Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Five years into this 10-year initiative, the Foundation hired Wilder Research as an independent evaluator to assess our progress and challenges. Wilder interviewed program participants, tribal leadership and regional leaders from the field. This learning paper summarizes Wilder's evaluation.

Cheyenne River Workforce Development Survey Results

January 23, 2015

Cheyenne River Reservation (Cheyenne River) has high rates of both unemployment and economic poverty. It also has a large number of individuals who are able to work but do not have job opportunities or access to applicable jobs. The data presented here will help tribal leaders and employers better understand the strengths and needs of the workforce. It will also help develop a reservation-wide strategy to increase the skills of individuals seeking permanent employment, while ensuring employers build their capacity to effectively hire and retain qualified employees.

Native Lives Matter

January 2, 2015

In light of the debate surrounding police violence against minority populations in theUnited States, one group that is consistently affected, yet continuously excluded frombroad public discourse, is Native Americans. Much of the rhetoric has been justifiablydedicated to African Americans in urban areas, who certainly suffer from disproportionatecriminal justice outcomes. However, statistics uncovered and compiled by the LakotaPeople's Law Project demonstrate that American Indians, in fact, suffer the most adverseeffects of a criminal justice system which consistently reifies itself as structurally unjust. The report, composed by the Lakota People's Law Project, will delve deeper intowhat it means to seek justice for Native peoples, including but also moving beyondanecdotal evidence of police violence by presenting empirical data that demonstrates howthe justice system disproportionately and cruelly punishes American Indians.