With the cooperation of US Attorney Brendan Johnson, Oglala Sioux tribal officials hope to have the deaths and prosecutions of at least 50
people re–examined. Many of the cases date back to the 1970's.
Tribal members say, unfortunately, not much has changed when it comes to seeking justice on the reservation.
Justice on the Pine Ridge reservation is sought by all ... and found by few.
"They tell me, 'Guess what, I don't think my son killed himself or my daughter killed herself...I think something happened'," said Rhonda Two Eagle, Secretary with the Oglala Sioux Tribal council.
"Folks on the reservation felt there was a different standard of justice," said South Dakota US Attorney Brendan Johnson.
Now with the cooperation of Johnson, progress is being made on providing answers to a
"We've requested info on all the cases that have been
submitted, we'll have several attorneys in our office who will go through the
files with fresh eyes," said Johnson.
But many tribal leaders say more needs to be done to make sure crimes are investigated properly, the first time around.
"I think if we had the dollars to offer specialized training to our law enforcement,
they would be more prepared to follow a case though and investigate it," said Two Eagle.
In the meantime, the search for answers will continue with no end in sight.
"Fall river county, Nebraska...all the countries surrounding the reservation need to be looked at too," said James Toby Big Boy, Oglala Sioux Tribe law and order committee Chairman.
"Its going to be a long timeline. We've got a lot of active cases that we can't
afford to put off. At the same time, we're doing everything we can to move this
long," said Johnson.
Big Boy says a meeting between the tribe and the FBI will take place in the next few weeks.
Johnson says the number of prosecutions on the Pine Ridge reservation has increased 40% since he's been in office.
In the last month, he says, there have been two large scale drug conspiracy indictments.