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State Capitol Flags To Fly At Half-Staff In Honor Of Chief Vernon Ashley

            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, November 16, 2015

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard, 605-773-3212



State Capitol Flags To Fly At Half-Staff

In Honor Of Chief Vernon Ashley


PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has ordered flags lowered to half-staff at the State Capitol on Nov. 17 in honor of Chief Vernon Ashley, a former chairman of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. Ashley, 99, passed away on Nov. 10.


Ashley was elected as Crow Creek tribal chairman in 1946. During his tenure, Ashley helped author the tribe’s constitution and negotiated with the federal government during the adoption of the Pick-Sloan Plan, which led to the construction of the Missouri River Dams.


Following that service, Ashley worked for ten years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He was also South Dakota’s first State Indian Commissioner, serving for seven years under governors Boe, Farrar and Kneip.


Born as “Sinkpe,” or “Muskrat,” in 1916, Ashley was a speaker and writer of the Dakotah dialect and a descendent of White Ghost and Elder Hawk. The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe honored Ashley earlier this year by naming him a chief, the tribe’s highest honor.


Ashley was also a veteran, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.


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