South Dakota considers bill that would require businesses to accept tribal IDs

Published: Feb. 11, 2020 at 7:40 PM CST
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A bill that would mandate accepting tribal IDs as sufficient identification at businesses is now heading to the South Dakota Senate floor.

The Senate Commerce and Energy Committee advanced the bill today at a 5-0 vote.

On Tuesday, a Senate committee showed support for Senate Bill 146 that would put tribal IDs and state driver licenses on the same level.

Though tribal IDs are accepted by banks, some businesses deny the IDs when purchasing tobacco or alcohol.

Andrew Iron Shell said he has heard of Native Americans being denied by management companies after showing their tribal ID when trying to rent living spaces.

He said if his son is able to travel around the country with his tribal ID, then why are state business able to pick and choose if their identification is enough.

"If TSA accepts your tribal ID, if homeland security accepts your ID to cross the borders, northern and southern, then why can't we buy a pack of cigarettes in Rapid City, South Dakota with a tribal ID," Iron Shell, a long-standing active member of NDN Collective said.

Iron Shell also said by not treating the tribal IDs the same, it's another method of voter suppression against the tribal community, which he said needs to change.

The full Senate will now review the bill.

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