Lakota Freedom Delegation not sanctioned by Sioux tribes

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On December 19, 2007, Russell Means and the Lakota Freedom Delegation, also known as Lakotah Oyate, went to Washington, D.C.
and hand-delivered a letter, signed by the Delegation, to the U.S. State
Department claiming that the Lakota Indian Tribe was declaring that all
treaties between the tribe and the U.S. have been withdrawn or canceled.
They also held a press conference declaring their freedom.

Lakota Freedom Delegation says spokesman Russell Means ‘hijacked’
organization

Wikinews has learned that the Lakota Freedom Delegation, also known as
Lakotah Oyate, an organization of activists fighting for the Sioux Indian
Nation to withdraw all treaties with the United States, was “hijacked” by
its spokesman, Russell Means, an activist for Native American Indians.

On December 19, 2007, Means and the “delegation” went to Washington, D.C.
and hand-delivered a letter, signed by the Delegation, to the U.S. State
Department claiming that the Lakota Indian Tribe was declaring that all
treaties between the tribe and the U.S. have been withdrawn or canceled.
They also held a press conference declaring their freedom.

“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those
who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to
join us. This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically
article six of the constitution,” said Means during the press conference.

Since then, Russell Means has gone on to announce the formation of a
“provisional government” of the “Republic of Lakotah” with himself as Chief
Facilitator, as well as to promote the establishment of a bank and a
utility company for the country.

Despite the claims Means has made, Naomi
Archer, liaison of Lakotah Oyate, stated to Wikinews that Means took control
of the organization and hijacked it and its website on December 29. Archer
also said that Lakotah Oyate or the delegation are not a government entity
and do not make decisions for the Nation.

“The legitimate actions of the Lakota people are not determined by one
person (referencing Russell Means) or even one group, but by the people
themselves,” added Archer.

Other signers of the withdrawal letter are all still involved in the
movement, including Canupa Gluha Mani who heads the Strong Heart Warrior
Society which will “probably become the paramilitary force” of Lakotah,
said Archer. Wikinews asked Archer if Means would still be involved in the
movement, but she refused to comment.

The Bank of Lakotah and Provisional Government of Lakota are not supported
by Lakotah Oyate

Means is acting without having consulted the other elders
of Lakotah; Means is himself, at age 69 [sic], an elder, and “people need
their elders to set better examples than that,” said Archer.

While the idea of establishing a power company, bank, and other such
institutions was an idea that had come from Means and the rest of Lakotah
Freedom Delegation, they knew that he was going off to Washington D.C. on his own
to conduct negotiations, but they did not know what the negotiations were going
to be regarding. Lakotah Oyate hopes that this dispute will be resolved in
a few weeks because this “all has to be about the people.”

Sioux tribes reject declaration of sucession

Since the Delegation’s press conference, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the
Cheyenne River Reservation have rejected Means’ and the delegation’s
declaration of sucession.

“They’re individuals acting on their own. They did not come to the Rosebud
Sioux tribal council or our government in any way to get our support and we
do not support what they’ve done. We do not support what Means and his
group are doing and they don’t have any support from any tribal government
I know of. They don’t speak for us,” said Rosebud Sioux Tribe president,
Rodney Bordeaux.

Despite those rejections, Archer said that the Pine Ridge
Reservation’s council will “consider the proposal.” A representative for
the Standing Rock Reservation’s council has said that that reservation is
also considering Lakotah Oyate’s proposal. Lakotah Oyate have also been
holding discussions with “about 150” other indigenous organizations in the
U.S. and mentioned particularly the Native Hawaiians.

SOURCE


This article first appeared on http://en.wikinews.org