Alumnus appointed to Tribal Relations
Leroy "J.R." LaPlante, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and 2009 graduate of the University of South Dakota's School of Law has been appointed as Secretary of Tribal Relations by Governor Dennis Daugaard.
Gov. Daugaard created the Department of Tribal Relations as part of his Executive Reorganization Order. Prior to this reorganization, the Office of Tribal Government Relations was a unit of the former Department of Tourism and State Development.
LaPlante is the Chief Judge and Court Administrator for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in Ft. Thompson. LaPlante also is a practicing attorney in Vermillion.
As LaPlante has an extensive background in Native American human services organizations, his work focuses on serving the Native American community. LaPlante was the former Administrative Officer for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
Among his other accomplishments, he was an AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with South Dakota Access to Justice. LaPlante was also selected by the Bush Foundation in 2010 as a member of the first cohort of Native Nation Rebuilders an Equal Justice Works.
LaPlante was born in Eagle Butte. His Lakota name is Tasunke Waste, meaning His Horse is Beautiful.