Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lakota: US Justice Department Promise, Visit Pine Ridge and Listen


Cante Tenza Okolakiciye
Strong Heart Warrior Society
Free and Independent Lakota Nation
Box 512, Hill City, SD 57745

MEDIA RELEASE
Contact: Duane Martin Sr. 605-517-1547 or 605-454-0449

LAKOTA CALL ON U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PROMISE TO VISIT PINE RIDGE, LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE
Public Testimony of Traditional and Marginalized Lakota to Expose Graft, Bias and Corruption in BIA Tribal Government Practices

PINE RIDGE, S. D. – If the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) keeps their word, members of the Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota may be facing a historic meeting with the U.S. Government.

The DOJ promise to meet with the “poor people”, full-blooded Lakota and traditional people was sparked by the unexpected take over of the June 18th Section 611 Consultation in Rapid City, S.D., between United States officials and members of the U.S. created Oglala Lakota Government by the Lakota warrior society known as Cante Tenza (Strong Heart).

Cante Tenza took over the meeting on behalf of many Lakota who have watched for decades while the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) supported Oglala Tribal Government has squandered or stolen millions of dollars in U.S. support while alienating and even attacking full-blooded and traditional Lakota and the traditional Lakota systems of governance.

“The officials in tribal government don’t speak for the people, they don’t know how,” explained Cante Tenza headsman Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) who helped lead the June 18th take over. “This consultation is with a tribal government that people don’t trust, making systems that don’t even speak our language.”

While tribal council officials objected to the interruption and left the building, traditional warrior society members continued meeting with U.S. government agencies and secured a promise in writing that the Justice Department would visit Pine Ridge to meet with Lakota who have faced economic, social and physical attack by corrupt BIA governments for decades.

In a letter sent to Leslie Hagan, Native American Issues Coordinator for the United States Attorneys of the Department of Justice, Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) repeated the cause for the meeting, “It is long overdue for the Department of Justice and FBI to stop supporting the destruction of the Lakota people and our sacred way of life, and instead face-up to its continued support of an illegal and corrupt tribal government whose actions perpetuate injustice, misery and death in our nation. ”

Few people outside of Pine Ridge understand the history of the illegal tribal government that was imposed on the Oglala Lakota and its support of U.S. Government efforts to force assimilation and attack traditional and full-blooded people by keeping them away from their own language and culture. The famous 1973 takeover of Wounded Knee by native activists and Oglala tribal members was a reaction to this forced assimilation that continues today.

“This meeting is one step in healing these injustices and returning freedom and sovereignty to our noble people. Its time we step up to the pedestal and express our credibility,” Martin said.

Cante Tenza is waiting for confirmation from the Justice Department to schedule this public meeting as soon as possible. They ask any full-blooded and traditional Lakota to contact Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) at 605-517-1547 or 605-454-0449.
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