Donna Semans

Donna Semans

Donna Semans

Donna Semans is Barb and OJ Semans’ daughter and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, or Sicangu Oyate, and a vital part of Four Directions, Inc. As Director of Grassroots Organization, Semans ran Four Directions’ get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation in South Dakota’s Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the 2014 election. Semans hired drivers and set up a command center in an abandoned video store in Pine Ridge Village to help tribal members get to the polls. Since mid-October, her team took on a massive undertaking in transporting voters from around the 2.1-million acre reservation to a single polling place in Pine Ridge Village. At one point, she had as many as 20 drivers giving rides to friends and family. Famously, she took a cell phone picture of Oglala Lakota county sheriff, Jim Daggett, standing in front of the polling place in an obvious attempt to deter tribal members from entering the polling place and casting their votes. Native people saw his presence as intimidating, and turnout began to decline. Despite these efforts, Semans persevered and worked tirelessly to help tribal members vote. In August 2016, she also helped conduct a comprehensive survey of over 800 voting age Native Americans in Nevada, and nearly 600 in South Dakota, that focused on highlighting discrimination and disparities in voting access for Native Americans.

Four Directions, Inc., is a 501(c)4 organization. Contributions to Four Directions, Inc. are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes and are not subject to public disclosure. Contributions to the Coalition of Large Tribes (COLT), a federally chartered corporation organized and jointly owned and controlled by member tribes, for Native voting rights work are tax-deductible to the donor as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes and are not subject to public disclosure of any kind.