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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
Willard Clifford
(605) 455-1367
Patience Hurley
(701) 221-1204

Released On: August 18, 2008

Mni Wiconi Water Project to Celebrate First Water Delivery to Pine Ridge Reservation
The Oglala Sioux Tribe along with the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a celebration on Aug. 20 to celebrate the delivery of water to the community of Wanblee, S.D., from the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply Project.

The public is invited to attend the celebration that will be held at Crazy Horse School in Wanblee, S.D. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with Mr. Frank Means serving as Master of Ceremonies; Oglala Sioux Tribe President John Steele will provide opening remarks followed by keynote speaker, Bureau of Reclamation's Commissioner Robert Johnson. In addition to numerous honorary speakers, guest speakers include South Dakota's Congressional Delegation, Rosebud Sioux Tribe President Rodney Bordeaux, Lower-Brule Sioux Tribe President Mike Jandreau and former West River / Lyman-Jones manager Mr. Mike Kurle.

Prior to the construction of the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply Project most people in southwestern South Dakota had serious water quantity and water quality problems. Fortunately some people had the foresight of a regional rural water system to address those problems. Many more people worked together to get this Project authorized, to get it funded, to design and build it, and to maintain it.

The Bureau of Reclamation credits Tribal, state and local officials and agencies for having the vision to bring water to the Pine Ridge Reservation; that vision is now a reality. The Mni Wiconi project is a true testament that people can work together to develop a solution and overcome a common problem. The Mni Wiconi project would not have happened if it were not for the cooperative efforts of all of its sponsors. When completed, the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Supply Project will supply water to the Lower Brule, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud Reservations as well as the West River/Lyman-Jones Rural Water System. West River/Lyman-Jones serves the people located in nine counties outside of the reservations.

For more information regarding the celebration, contact Willard Clifford at 605-455-1367 or Paul Little at 605-455-2767.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.