By LAKOTA FREEDOM DELEGATION
Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government.
The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.
“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!” “Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.”
The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.
“In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources ñ people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock. Property ownership in thefive state area of Lakota now takes center stage. Parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as predecessor sovereign [historic owner]. Lakota representatives say if the United States does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property. Young added, “The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people”.
Following Monday’s withdrawal at the State Department, the four Lakota Itacan representatives have been meeting with foreign embassy officials in order to hasten their official return to the Family of Nations. Lakota’s efforts are gaining traction as Bolivia, home to Indigenous President Evo Morales, shared they are “very, very interested in the Lakota case” while Venezuela received the Lakota delegation with “respect and solidarity.” “Our meetings have been fruitful and we hope to work with these countries for better relations,” explained Garry Rowland. “As a nation, we have equal status within the national community.”
Education, energy and justice now take top priority in emerging Lakota. “Cultural immersion education is crucial as a next step to protect our language, culture and sovereignty,” said Means. “Energy independence using solar, wind, geothermal, and sugar beets enables Lakota to protect our freedom and provide electricity and heating to our people.”
The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average. 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%.
“After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative,” emphasized Duane Martin Sr. “The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway.”
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have traveled to Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law.
For more information, please visit our new website at
444 Crazy Horse Drive, P.O. Box 99;
Porcupine, SD 57772
FROM THE LAKOTA FREEDOM WEBSITE:
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under.
We are continuing the work that we were asked to do by the traditional chiefs and treaty councils, and 98 Indian Nations at the first Indian Treaty Council meeting at Standing Rock Sioux Indian Country in 1974.
During the week of December 17-19, 2007, we traveled to Washington DC and withdrew from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law.
In the face of the colonial apartheid conditions imposed on Lakota people, the withdrawal from the U.S. Treaties is necessary. These conditions have been devastating:
–Lakota men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, lowest of any country in the World (excluding AIDS) including Haiti.
–Lakota death rate is the highest in the United States.
–The Lakota infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. Average.
–Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
–More than half the Reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease.
–Alcoholism affects 8 in 10 families.
–Indian children incarceration rate 40% higher than whites.
–In South Dakota, 21 percent of state prisoners were Native.
–Indians have the second largest state prison incarceration rate in the nation.
–The Tuberculosis rate on Lakota reservations is approx 800% higher than the U.S national average.
–Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S national average.
–The rate of diabetes is 800% higher than the U.S national average.
–Federal Commodity Food Program provides high sugar foods that kill Native people through diabetes and heart disease.
–Median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year.
–97% of our Lakota people live below the poverty line.
–Many families cannot afford heating oil, wood or propane and many residents use ovens to heat their homes.
–Elderly die each winter from hypothermia (freezing).
–1/3 of the homes lack basic clean water and sewage while 40% lack electricty.
–60% of Reservation families have no telephone.
–60% of housing is infected with potentially fatal black molds.
–There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (may only have two to three rooms). Some homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them.
–Unemployment rates on our reservations is 85% or higher.
–Only 14% of the Lakota population can speak Lakota language.
–The language is not being shared inter-generationally, today, the average Lakota speaker is 65 years old.
–Our Lakota language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction.
We do not represent those BIA or IRA governments beholden to the colonial apartheid system, or those “stay by the fort” Indians who are unwilling claim their freedom.
FOR MORE, PLEASE READ THE LAKOTA DECLARATION OF CONTINUING INDEPENDENCE AT:
Click to access declarationofcontinuingindependence.pdf