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Ex-U.S. Attorney to Fight for Indian Rights

March 20
13:29 2015

By John Christian Hopkins

U.S. attorney Brendan Johnson small pic

U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson

Though Brendan Johnson has resigned as U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, he plans to continue fighting for Indian rights.

Johnson, son of former Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), has served as the state’s 40th U.S. Attorney since 2009. He is joining the private firm of Robins Kaplan in Sioux Falls.

He looks forward to tackling environmental and equal rights issues between Native Americans, the State of South Dakota and big corporations, Johnson said.

“We will be available to represent tribes, stand up for tribes, be their voice and, hopefully, equal the playing field,” Johnson told Native Sun News.

Johnson won his first Native American case – saving the Yankton Sioux Reservation. The case had been in litigation for nearly 20 years, with the state and Charles Mix County trying to disestablish the reservation.

“I am really proud that we were successful in that lawsuit,” Johnson said. “And we were able to prevent the Yankton Sioux Reservation from being disestablished.”

He has also fought on behalf of Indian families whose children were taken away in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act; and on voting rights issues in South Dakota.

“I did the best job I could and I am proud of the relationships that we’ve built and the justice that we provided,” Johnson said.

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