Maranda Herman, a third-year law student and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, initiated the process.

“I feel the law school is doing all it can to be inclusive in today’s world, and I wanted to support that mission by building the bridge between my tribe and my school,” Herman said. “I felt a gifting of this nature would be a symbolic expression of solidarity and respect between our legal communities.”

In September, Herman spoke to her district representative, Garfield Steele, and requested to be added to the tribal law & order committee’s meeting agenda to ask for their support in gifting the flag to the law school courtroom.

The committee agreed that it would be a meaningful gesture to gift and honor their flag in the courtroom space, and Stacy Two Lance, Oglala Sioux Tribe secretary, presented the gifted flag with a written explanation of the flag’s meaning to Knudson School of Law Dean Neil Fulton on Oct. 3.

“This generous action was an important step to make our school more representative of all our students and the legal communities that we serve,” said Fulton. “We are making arrangements to properly display the flag in our courtroom, which is where we hold our most important ceremonies. Our goal now is to have the flags of each court system that operates within South Dakota displayed.”

“I am pleased to know that the Oglala Lakota Nation’s tribal flag will be displayed in the law school courtroom,” Herman said. “May it serve as a symbol of solidarity and respect between state and tribal legal communities. It is an honor to have the sovereignty of our tribal nation acknowledged and represented in such a sacred ceremonial space. May it also remind the legal community and future law students that we are the future of Indigenous law and policy and are in this together.”

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