Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
Anti-Indian Bill Janklow
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA - The longest serving governor in the history of South Dakota, Bill Janklow has died from brain cancer. He was 72.
Janklow was labeled the most anti-Indian governor in the history of South Dakota because of his fight against sovereignty and treaty rights of American Indians.
Janklow, a Republican, served as governor from 1979 to 1986 and again from 1995 to 2002.
After leaving the governorship, Janklow became a US Representative and served less than one-term when he resigned from Congress after he was convicted of manslaughter for killing a motorcyclist. He was speeding more than 70 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone and failed to stop at stop sign. He killed Randolph Scott, 55, who was driving the motorcycle.
Prior to begin elected to governor, Janklow served as the attorney general of South Dakota in the mid-1970s. During his years as attorney general, Janklow prosecuted many American Indian Movement members for the activism during the 1970s. He abolished the South Dakota Department of Environmental Protection, reportedly because its role in supporting the Sioux tribes to block resource development of the Black Hills.
Janklow's hatred for an American Indian Movement co-founder led him to declare:
“The way to deal with Dennis Banks is with a bullet between the eyes.”
In a strange twist in fate, while governor, Janklow pardoned Russell Means, who he prosecuted during the time he served as attorney general.
posted January 13, 2011 6:00 pm est
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