- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The first Native American to represent South Dakota in Congress is being honored with a special day.

A proclamation by Gov. Dennis Daugaard has set aside Tuesday as Ben Reifel Day in South Dakota.

Reifel was a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who was born on this day in 1906. He served in World War II and worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 20 years. He earned masters and doctorate degrees from Harvard University and served in the U.S. House for 10 years. He was also the first person of Lakota descent to serve in Congress.

Reifel was instrumental in locating the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center in South Dakota and in generating support to keep Ellsworth Air Force Base.


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