Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 31, 2017

Ponca Nation of Oklahoma to Recognize the Rights of Nature to Stop Fracking

Casey Camp-Horinek with her granddaughter 

Ponca Nation of Oklahoma to Recognize the Rights of Nature to Stop Fracking

By Casey Camp-Horinek  
Pennie Opal Plant
Movement Rights

SAN FRANCISCO -- After suffering for years with poisoned water and serious health issues due to fracking and injection wells on and near their reservation the governing body of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma voted to pass a statute recognizing the rights of nature on Friday, October 20, 2017.  When enacted, the Ponca will be the first tribal nation to recognize the rights of nature into statutory law.

"On Friday, October 20th the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma took the historic step of agreeing to add a statute to enact the Rights of Nature.  We are proud to be moving into the future by honoring our original instructions to respect all life on our Mother Earth,” said Casey Camp-Horinek, a member of the Ponca Tribal Business Council.  “We would like to thank everyone who has brought information about the Rights of Nature and those who continue to share ways to bring back respect for the natural laws that have sustained all life for millenniums.  A special thanks to Movement Rights founders, Shannon Biggs and Pennie Opal Plant for all the support provided over the last few years.”

Movement Rights, has been working with members of the Ponca Nation to assist the tribe with fracking issues utilizing the recognition of the rights of nature as a model to protect the land and health of tribal members. “Dozens of communities in the United States and several countries, including New Zealand, India, Ecuador and Bolivia, have passed laws that stop treating nature as property to be destroyed.  The rights of nature legal framework recognizes the legal rights of ecosystems to exist and regenerate their vital life cycles,” said Shannon Biggs, the Executive Director of Movement Rights.  “These communities and countries are using this new legal framework to protect people and natural communities from harmful activities including fracking. They are shifting human law to align with natural law.”

Ponca, Oklahoma is the epicenter of earthquakes caused by fracking and injection wells.  Tribal members have experienced diseases that have decimated their population since the fracking industry began in their area.  Every single water well on the reservation is too toxic to drink, bathe in or allow pets and livestock to drink.  There have been 448 earthquakes in and around the Ponca reservation this year, in a state that was essentially earthquake free before the fracking industry moved in to the area.  The Ponca Nation is expected to enact the Rights of Nature Statute into law by the end of 2017.

“We all know that water is life. The years of fish kills related to the fracking and injection wells amount to environmental genocide,” said Casey Camp-Horinek. “It is going to take all of us humans because we’re speaking for those without voices, for the deer, the cattle, those that fly.  In our tribe we have a funeral a week now. We’re being fracked to death and It’s time to take a stand for our people and defend the earth.”
The Ponca Nation and Movement Rights also conducted two events which took place on Saturday, October 22nd called “Ponca Environmental Community Action Day”.  The day included a prayer walk to the Phillips 66 refinery in the City of Ponca as well as a community meeting.   "I feel like we are gaining strength, we had more tribal nations represented this time as well as non-natives,” said Ponca Tribal member, Suzaatah Williams. “We had elders and even a newborn on this walk and every age group in between. Even if only one of these people share the information they learned we have made a difference.  Knowledge is power and we are only getting stronger!”

Speakers for the community events included Casey Camp-Horinek, Mekasi Horinek, Shannon Biggs, Bryan Parras of the Sierra Club and TEJAS in Houston, Texas, and Robby Diesu, coordinator for the National Stop the Frack Attack Network based in Washington, DC.  

“Most importantly, thanks to our Creator, Wakonda,” said Casey Camp-Horinek.  “We believe that the prayers and guidance provided are leading us to further protect our Mother Earth, who sustains us; and make a way for the generations to come."

Professor Mark Trahant resigns after Standing Rock journalists seminar repeatedly rejected

Update: University will allow lecture series

By Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock
Censored News
I have decided to not renew my term as an endowed chair at the University of North Dakota. It really comes down to this: I am disappointed and disgusted that the university is not an institutional leader in this state. It should be a beam of light, shining on the protected realm of rational discourse. Last year, for example, I was asked to coordinate a journalism lecture series. I proposed hearing from the journalists who covered Standing Rock. Nope. Instead the series was “put on hold.” This year I suggested a conference on technology and society, again leading with a conversation about Standing Rock and social media. Again, no, and I learned about senior administration fears that the legislature might retaliate.

I understand that it's important to keep fighting, but when your institution is absent, well, for me, this chapter ends.
I do appreciate my many colleagues who do great work and will carry on. Thank you for that. And, despite everything, I'm grateful for my experiences here.
Right now my inclination is to leave the academic world and focus on journalism (but I have some time to figure that out). My TV project with FNX is launching soon and I will work harder to raise funds for my other worthwhile projects.
Read more:
Professor resigns after university repeatedly rejects seminar on Dakota Access Pipeline
By Elanor Sheehan at Splinter -- "Mark Trahant, a journalism professor at the University of North Dakota, has tried to teach a seminar on the Dakota Access pipeline protests for two years. After his second proposal was rejected this year, Trahant has decided to quit."

October 30, 2017

French Guiana Indigenous -- Before Reconciliation is Thinkable, You Must Admit Your Crimes


By Christine Prat

PARIS -- This year, for several months already, Natives of French Guiana have organized protests and strikes that ultimately forced the authorities and the media to notice them and report about them. The Indigenous Movement in French Guiana started long before, but it is only when the protests and strikes began to disturb the quiet life of settlers and authorities that they were forced to talk about it outside Guiana. Of course, the response of the French Government is totally inadequate. However, the existence of Indigenous Peoples "in France" has become visible. On October 14th, 2017, Christophe Pierre aka Yanuwana Tapoka, was among the speakers invited by the CSIA-nitassinan for their 37th Annual Day of Solidarity. You will find below my translation of Yanuwana's speech. The title was chosen by me, from his words, the responsibility for the choice is entirely mine.
Christine Prat

"Greetings to you all. My name is Christophe Pierre in the language of the colonialists, Yanuwana Tapoka in my mother tong.
To begin with, I think it is necessary to give a description, a short vision, of the situation and history of French Guiana, which is currently, in legal terms, a French 'département' [county], a French region like any other. What is French Guiana? French Guiana is in South America, it is a French Amazonian territory. It is 50% of the biological diversity of Europe, 80% of the biological diversity of France. It is about 300,000 inhabitants, including a handful of Native Americans who survived colonization; a handful: if we really have to give numbers, it's between ten to fifteen thousand, according to the last information. As compared to those ten to fifteen thousand, it is nowadays estimated that at the time when the colonialists arrived, there were 25 to 30 Peoples, now there are only six over. Among those six Peoples, there are the Kali'na, the Palikuyene and the Lokono, who live along the coast, and inside, there are the Teko, the Wayãpi and the Wayana. Problems are different, power relationships are different according to the geographical situation of the peoples, but the struggle is practically the same, since the 1980's.

Kanahus Manuel in Paris 'Secwepemc Unsurrendered'

Photo copyright Christine Prat

Kanahus Manuel in Paris Secwepemc Unsurrendered

Recorded and transcribed by Christine Prat in Paris
Censored News

Photo copyright Christine Prat
I am from so-called 'British Colombia, Canada'. But I want to make it clear that we don't call it Canada. It's an illegal, dirty, evil, invading country. We have been fighting Canada for the past 150 years: this year Canada is actually celebrating its 150th birthday. When that invasion first happened, they started making 'land agreements', really illegal treaties, from the east coast to the west. But once they reached the Rocky Mountains, west of that, no treaties were made. So, our lands still remain unsurrendered and unceded territories.
Our territory is located in what is now called the south-central interior of B.C. It is approximately 180,000 square kilometers, the size of the UK. What Canada has done in this process of colonization has not been good. The impacts: like my brother said, we had the schools, the Indian residential schools, that did the same things, taking the children away from their homes and forcing them into these Church run schools, to strip the language from our people. In some of these schools, the priests and nuns raped 90% of the children. The sexual trauma on those children – my grandparents and so on – has had intergenerational impact that even affects the generation that have not gone. I am myself, as the first generation in my family, out of the residential schools' system. I am a mother of 4, and I gave birth to all of my children outside of the system, I refused to go to the doctors or hospitals to give birth, and I refused to register my children with the Canadian government. My oldest son is now 15 years old. And I cross international borders with them, I cross into the U.S., into Mexico, I brought them to Zapatista gatherings. So, anyone who thinks that you need a white man's I.D. as an Indigenous person to travel… I am just trying to prove to everybody that we do not need the white man's system to exist.
In the beginning of time, our people say that the Old Ones sent the Coyote, the chief Coyote, down to create our world. He created the world to what we have today, the salmon, the glaciers, the mountains, our lakes, night and day, the seasons, the way we conduct ourselves and our Nation. These are our laws that we follow. They come from the stories of the Coyote. From the ways of decision making to consensus among our Nations. We have markers throughout our traditional territories that show those agreements that we originally had, with our responsibilities. For example, the way that we are continuing to look after our salmon, one of our most important food sources. Our responsibility is to continue to look after the salmon, and in turn, the salmon will give us his life so that we can continue to eat, and we give back to the salmon and the salmon gives to us. Those agreements go for every living thing in our territories. From the very first drop of water as it melts of the glaciers, as it flows and touches everything, the roots, the mushrooms… Everything down into our mountains, all the way down to our rivers, is sacred.
Five of the major rivers, in so-called 'British Columbia', are forming our territory. When we go to the glaciers, it's so loud that you have to scream, because there is so much water. I don't know if you can see that little picture, but you could see it's blue, ant it's all the water, not even all the water, which is marked out on this map of our territory, it's how much water we have.
Another very harsh reality and impact of colonization, is the Reservation system and the Indian Act system. When the government came to force our people off our national territories, to a little 0.2 % on Indian Reserves. What Canada did was to force all of us Indigenous people to 0.2% of our traditional land base, while Canada became wealthy out of the other 99.8%. It became a super power and a wealthy country, out of blood and bones, sweat and tears of our people. At the same time they were forming the Indian Reserves, they invented this. They call it the Indian and Northern Affairs of Canada, we call it INAC, which is invented by government to really control the Native people. They receive federal funding, and in the past, it was an Indian agent that came around to every Reserve to make sure that they weren't starving to death. They had housing that was very inadequate, people were still starving, people did not have housing.
We see that colonization, through the displacement off our lands, created dependency on a colonial government, and when our people stand up against this oppression and fight back, we are criminalized and repressed. From 1927 to 1951, it was illegal for Native people to even talk about the land issue, (if I had been here, they would have arrested me and put me in jail, if I had been even here, like right now, and talking about our land issue), it was illegal to hire lawyers to deal with that unsettled land issue. But our people continue to resist and fight back.
Through poor housing and through our children being taken, apprehended, all the women started to organize. They occupied Indian agents' offices and forced them out of our communities. And it was since then that Canada made up dirty little tricks on how to continue to colonize our people, by reinventing elected systems that would be imposed on the Indian Reserves, where they would elect a Chief and Council. But this is not our traditional governance structure. Just to make it clear, if you ever travel to Canada and you hear that someone is a chief or a counsel for an Indian band, they are still agents of the state. Unless they are the traditional hereditary chiefs, or matriarch chiefs. It has to be really clarified where the lineage is coming from.
We had different uprisings in our territory, that ended up being the last armed standoff in Canada, in 1995, with the Gustafsen Lake standoff. This was over land, about title to a territory. And it was there that 18 of us, Secwepemc, stood there at a sacred Sundance area, and when asked to leave, just said "No, who owns that land?" And they ended up being surrounded by 550 RCMP officers that deployed. They set up landmines, they deployed armored personal carriers, and, at one point, during the end of the standoff, in one day they shot off in excess of 70,000 rounds on my people. One of our most respected elders ended up doing 6 years in jail for his action there. He is one of our war heroes. He just recently passed away, a year-and-half ago. If he was here, he would be at my side right now.
In 2001, our people stood up against a massive ski resort development. We had around 100 arrests, of Native youth and mainly of elders and women. This was an area that was really important to our people, the high open area where we hunt all of our moose.
Both of these had major repercussions. Every time our people stood up, the police would raid their homes, arrest our people, charge them with bogus charges and hold us without bail.
In 2014, we had one of the world's largest mine tailings disaster happen in our territory. The tailings impoundment area broke and dumped billions of gallons of toxic mining waste and heavy metals, and processing chemicals, into our lake, which is the deepest fjord lake in the world. We took many actions, we set up a ceremonial fire, right there, at the entrance of the site, a couple of days after the disaster. We maintained presence there, we monitored everything and took interviews, from all the workers that were whistle blowers there, at the company, from all the local hunters and people who came to join together for a ceremony over water and to figure out whatever to do about that massive disaster that just still was flowing, and they had no way of stopping it. We call this area (by a name) that refers to the breaking of a woman's water when she gives birth. Because it is an area where the salmons return to lay their eggs and the salmon breeding ground.
Currently, we are battling a 518 kilometers pipeline, proposed to go through our territory, called the Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline. And right now, what we are dealing with is Canada's trick. They are still trying to trick us, give us little trinkets for lands, and one of the ways is forming that illegal process called the 'B.C. Treaty Process', which is a modern-day treaty, no, not a treaty, it's a modern-day extinguishment process, because it's not even a treaty with the federal government or the Crown. It's actually a treaty just with the provincial government, so it's not a binding international treaty, it's very illegal, in the sense that they are asking Native people to freely sign this document for extinguishment, to relinquish all our titles to our lands, and they would grant back Natives a piece of land that any Canadian can rent or buy.
What Canada is doing right now… People around the world need to take notice that Trudeau and the Trudeau government, Justin Trudeau, is not a friend to us, Indigenous people. His father has really tarnished their name, and his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who groomed his son to be a slimy bastard like himself, Justin Trudeau's father thus, was one of my grandfather's enemies, and he was really pushing to exterminate us, Indigenous people. Through that 1969 White Paper policy. So, when Justin Trudeau got in as Prime Minister, we already knew we were up for another battle, another fight, facing up with the Trudeau family. Right now, they are trying to buy out this leadership, these INAC chiefs and councils, by giving them millions of dollars, to form our "traditional" government structure, which is enraging our people at this time. We, as Secwepemc People, we still maintain our traditional government and our decision making, and that we are the rightful title holders in our own territory. And when we say 'no' to those destructive projects in our land, we demand respect. You may hear words, as my brother here said, about reconciliation, Canada really loves to use that word, 'reconciliation', but one thing we always say is that there will never be reconciliation without our land - 100% of our land - back, and our control.

Copyright Kanahus Manuel, Censored News
Photos copyright Christine Prat
No portion may be reprinted without permission of Kanahus Manuel

Dennis Banks Passes to Spirit World

From his children

"Our father Dennis J. Banks started his journey to the spirit world at 10:10 pm on October 29, 2017.

As he took his last breaths, Minoh sang him four songs for his journey. All the family who were present prayed over him and said our individual goodbyes. Then we proudly sang him the AIM song as his final send off.

Our father will be laid to rest in his home community of Leech Lake, MN. Presiding over traditional services will be Terry Nelson. We welcome all who would like to pay respects. As soon as arrangements are finalized, we will post details.

Still Humbly Yours,

The children and grandchildren of Nowacumig

Tashina Minoh Banks Arrow Banks DeeDee Banks Tokala Win Banks Glenda Roberts Darla Banks Tatanka Banks"

Dennis Banks on Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio

Dennis Banks

Dennis Banks, cofounder of the American Indian Movement, live on Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio.
Broadcast by Govinda of Earthcycles, producer of Standing Rock Spirit Resistance Radio.
Watch video interview from the radio van at Standing Rock below.

American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks, center, talks to press conference of his and fellow AIM leader Russell Means, left, attempts to help in food distribution on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 1974 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as efforts to effect the release of kidnaped Patricia Hearst continue. At right is AIM attorney William Kunstler. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Dennis Banks, cofounder of the American Indian Movement,
at Wounded Knee '73.

October 27, 2017

Red Fawn Released to Half Way House, Oct. 27, 2017

Message from the legal team of Red Fawn
On October 27, 2017 --  the anniversary date of her arrest -- Red Fawn Fallis was released from the Stutsman County Jail to a half-way house in North Dakota.
Red Fawn, a Lakota water protector originally from the Pine Ridge Reservation, is scheduled to stand trial in federal district court on January 29, 2018 on multiple charges stemming from her participation in the protests surrounding construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The path of the pipeline lay in close proximity to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and its water source and traversed lands of historic and cultural significance to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Red Fawn has plead Not Guilty to all charges. Her trial was recently moved from Bismarck to Fargo, North Dakota due to the publicity that has surrounded both the opposition to the construction of the pipeline and to Red Fawn’s arrest.
Red Fawn is well-known and respected for her role as a medic and community leader at the Oceti Sakowin camp during fall 2016.

Indigenous Man Assaulted in Courtroom by Saline County Kansas Officers

Indigenous Man Assaulted in Courtroom by Saline County Officers

Support statement

Salina, KS – Saline County Jail inmate Ni’i Ne’e, an indigenous man of Diné heritage, was assaulted in the courtroom by Saline County officers during a hearing on Tuesday, October 10th.

A letter received from Ni’i Ne’e dated October 10, 2017 detailed the assault during the hearing:

“[Saline County Attorney staff Mike] Rogers grabbed the handcuffs and my wrist, bent it back [while] the other officer (unnamed) grabbed the shackles and lifted both my legs up off the ground. [Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark] Trostle had his bare hands around my throat, trying to choke me unconscious; I kept yelling at them to stop, they bent my wrist back more and Trostle was choking me harder, I could breathe only thru my nose. I was gasping for air trying to breathe…I wanted to be escorted out before I was FORCED to participate...Trostle and Rogers said they had to hold me in the courtroom until [judge Patrick Thompson] said to get me out of there...Luckily there were witnesses & camera in the court & other officers…”

Ni’i Ne’e was seen by Saline County Jail Nurse Ott and later placed in solitary confinement, where he has remained for over 2 weeks, for “(1.44) disorderly conduct, (1.38) disobeying orders, and (1.36) fail[ing] to comply with court,” according to a Saline County Notification of Rules Violation written up by Deputy Trostle.

What makes Ni’i Ne’e’s case unique lies in his resistance of the US judicial system through “asserting his sovereign rights as a native national.”

In his letter sent from solitary confinement, Ni’i Ne’e remarked, “I went into the courtroom, again [Judge] Patrick Thompson was already talking on the record, the court reporter was typing…I clearly spoke to her that the social security number that is attached to the title of the case may not be used for identification purposes.

“[Judge Thompson] started talking about [how] he has jurisdiction. I said ‘You don’t have the authority over me. I am not participating in this commerce court’...I said to [Thompson] from where I was sitting that we have a conflict of interest here, before he forces his will, that I have to put in the Mandate Order for him to Recuse himself, that I will not receive any fair hearing or trial. He continued to assume his position...I demanded that I be escorted out of the court until these matters were addressed.

“They needed me in the courtroom even if they FORCED me in there and held me and choked me, my physical body, so they can act like I went along with their hearing.”

Ni’i Ne’e carries a passport/driver’s license identification card issued through the Lakota Free and Independent Nation. He was detained on the night of July 25, 2017 for driving without a valid driver’s license and marijuana charges. He has since been held at Saline County Jail while defending himself in court.

A sovereign national of Diné Bikéyah, Ni’i Ne’e has formally renounced his forced US citizenship, including his SSN through the Social Security Administration. He has won seven court cases in four states, representing himself, that “validate [his] sovereignty in a municipal court,” most recently in the state of New Mexico.

Ni’i Ne’e has dedicated years of his life to fighting for not only his own sovereignty, but for that of his people. Much of this work has been through resisting the corruption of the US judicial system and the Social Security Administration. In his words from the 2015 video “I’m Not Your Citizen,” NI’I NE’E SPEAKS (2/2), “these District Attorneys and Attorney Generals are convicting my people, my relatives, as citizen aliens when in fact they are sovereign nationals. [The US courts] have no jurisdiction over Indigenous people of Turtle Island. The judges are committing genocide every day, across not only the Diné Bikéyah and the Lakota Sioux Nations, but from the head of Turtle Island to the tail end. We have been the subjects of genocide in a different way now, systematically, enslaving my people as citizens and aliens on our own land.

“I ask my people to take a look at these (social security) documents and try to better understand why it’s the way it is, for the next generation, for our children, our grandchildren. Give them direction. I’m not a spokesperson for anybody. I just take it upon myself with a good heart to inform the ones who will listen. I can't make you do anything, but I wouldn't tell you to do something that I haven't done myself. And now I have the documents that will show to you that I am making business, sovereign to sovereign nation, with no ‘slave surveillance number.’ I’m not your number. I’m not your citizen.”

::::::: SIMPLE CALLS TO ACTION ::::::::

--Call District Attorney Brock Abbey (785) 309-5815 and demand that the charges against Ni’i Ne’e be dropped due to lack of due process and lack of jurisdiction

Or write a postcard (for visibility):
Brock Abbey
300 W Ash St, Ste 302
Salina, KS 67401

--Call Saline County Court Transcriptionist Pam Wells (785) 309-5840 and the Saline County Clerk's office (785) 309-5831 and demand the release of the courtroom video and the court transcripts from Ni’i Ne'e's Tuesday, October 10th hearing (case # 2017-CR-000761)

--Call Saline County Jail (785) 826-6502 to let them know WE ARE WATCHING

Or write a postcard:
Saline County Jail
255 N 10th St
Salina, KS 67401

For more information on how to support Ni’i Ne’e, contact:
Ashley Eisenmenger
Stephanie Miller

Copyright Censored News

Mohawk Nation News 'Eugenocide-ISM'


Please post & distribute
MNN. Oct. 25, 2017. A 15 year old native women had been seriously injured in a bicycle accident. The handlebar had gone into her vagina and pulled out her cervix. The reserve doctors pushed it all back in and sewed her up, telling her, “You will never have children”.
Read article at Mohawk Nation News

October 26, 2017

Nataanii Means in Paris 'Learning to Be a Human Being at Standing Rock'

Nataanii Means Photo by Christine Prat in Paris

Words of Nataanii Means in Paris
Recorded and transcribed by Christine Prat in Paris
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat

PARIS -- Nataanii Means was one of the speakers during the 37th Annual Day of Solidarity with Indians of the Americas organized by the CSIA-nitassinan. He talked about his experience in Standing Rock, during the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, DAPL, commented on the documentary “Rise," by Michelle Latimer, produced by Viceland.
After presenting himself, as Lakota, Omaha and Dineh, and thanked the people in the audience for having taken time from their Saturday in order to be there, Nataanii talked about what he had been going through last year.
"For the past two years, the CSIA has brought me out to perform, to speak, and last year I was living at the camps, I was living in a Teepee with my friend Tyler, in the Camp Red Warrior. I took time to fly over here and then I went back. The tension had grown a lot and I ended up being arrested, on November 27th. It was the day we called ‘The Treaty Camp Raid’. I think our initial charges were a felony charge and three misdemeanor.
Just watching that film brought back a lot of memories, a lot of good memories, a lot of bad memories, a lot of regret, a lot of pain, and a lot of anger.
You know, a lot of us, we gave up a lot to go out there and our whole lives changed after that. The film was very beautiful, the pictures are very beautiful, of my people, and I don’t want you to keep that in your head as how we are all the time. Because we come from very hard circumstances. Our biggest fight, our whole fight, was with each other. I have to tell you straight away, because we fought each other hard.
And it was really a struggle to even go on, like to physically stop the pipeline, we were fighting eternally just to do that. Because a lot of people in the camps did not respect the diversity of tactics. 
A lot of people gained a lot of things from this fight, you know, as far as eagle boots, as far as money... For me, I gained a lot of regret. I was just talking to Tara [Houska], right there, we were watching the end of that video... F--k that, man! It ends so badly! And all those veterans coming, it did not help anything. From the beginning of the camps - you have to understand - our people have been oppressed for so long, that we have just not gained the knowledge and the just understanding of what matriarchy is. But ideas of patriarchy are so implemented into older people, they have suffered through the system, it has just been in them, for generations. It was really hard to work in that camp because of those ideas of patriarchy, they kind of reign supreme, even though we were trying to stay true to ourselves.
Myself and a few of my friends, we stayed through the winter, after we were ended, we stayed three months after that. And that’s when we’ve really seen the corruption of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe [council], of IRA [Indian Reorganization Act] governments. We’ve seen how those veterans showed up, ended up infiltrating into certain groups and dividing the people. Later on we found out that those infiltrating groups were bringing drugs in. And the winter was really hard, one of the hardest we’d been through, we got four blizzards. And that’s when I learned how to be, it was one of the hardest times of my life. It was how I learned to be a human being, I think.
Because we had to care for each other, we had to watch out for each other. It was not about any kind of groups in the camp, it was about who is living there. And it was about not freezing to death. And that kind of detoured us from thinking about the pipeline. During that time, the work was presumably halted. But they were drilling underneath the river the whole time they were not supposed to be working. We did not have the numbers, we did not have the support, and we did not have the energy to even carry out any kind of action to stop the drilling.
I tell you the story because I thought it would help, but I don’t want to keep these guys [other speakers] waiting because I tell a long story. I tell you the story on this one:
There is one point in February when with Witko and Tufawon, we got back from a trip [to call banks to disinvestment], and our friends Yazz and Sage, and a few other people said “we have an idea”. They had this paper, it was divided in three sections and one said ‘weeks’, the other said ‘months’ and the other said ‘years’. I said ‘what is this?’ And they told me ‘if you had to do time, how much do you wanna do, to stop this pipeline?’ I just looked at it and I thought ‘no time’. We were suffering of severe paranoia, and we were tired all the time, and it was cold, and there are a lot of things that are not seen on camera: we fought the cops many times on the bridge, the National Guard... and by that time we got arrested most of the time, so I looked at that paper and I said ‘years’.
And that’s not to brag, that’s not to be seen as this much of a warrior, I don’t think of myself as a warrior. I mean, I would have preferred it to be weeks, but I looked at it, ‘if I want to do this, it is when I want to sacrifice’. And it was only me and Sage that picked years. And each category had a role to play in our plan, Anyway, they had a women gathering a couple of days after that, a few of my aunts came to share wisdom with those young women and they got some power in camps, it was really good to see. When I say ‘my aunts’, it’s Madonna Thunderhawk and Marbella Philips.
They were part of that women’s camp. We went to them with the plans to ask their advice, because those women were at Wounded Knee in 1973 and since that tie they’ve done so much work for the movement. So I asked them what they thought. And they told me ‘you’re too young, we don’t need you in prison yet. There are already enough of us in prison’. And it confused me. I did not know how to feel about that.
And they really did not want us to do it. So we listened to them. For we value them, we value their opinions, their wisdom. So we did not go through with the plan, we went through with another one, which did not even work. The cops had finally found out about it. That’s the end of February, that’s when they closed the camps. And they had done drilling in March. But ever since that decision, everyday I think about that.
What remain is torment and regret. I don’t think we won. I think we lost, we lost our fight. And I know about losing fights!
I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t want to pretend to know what the answers are. I know what I have to do as an indigenous young man. I am honored to be up here, with these people, I am honored to be here with you and I am honored to represent my Nation, and I just came to the realization a while ago, that we’re gonna have to fight every single day in our life and that’s something I don’t expect you to understand, I don’t think you will understand it, but that’s what we do, that’s who we are.
And I think that balances my torment, because I am so proud to be this person I am, so proud to have my ancestors running through my veins. So I am going to honor them the best way I can, every single day of my life.
And I’ll continue to fight, whether that be through music, through art, through court systems, through frontline work, for community development or with the youth.
Copyright Nataanii Means, Christine Prat, Censored News
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October 25, 2017

Lakota Treaty Council files cease and desist order over Black Hills settlement negotiation

Independent Lakota Nation
Strong Heart Warrior society
Office of the Provisional Government
P.O. Box 512 Hill City, SD 57745, Unceeded lakota Territory

Press Release
October 25, 2017    |    Original: English
Immediate Release: October 17, 2017
Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani 605-517-1547 and for forwarded interviews to Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand.   
Attachments: Lawsuit in pdf

Lakota Treaty Council Files Cease and Desist Order to Block Negotiation or Access to Black Hills Settlement Interest Money

Lakota Territory –  On Monday, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council with support from the Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation filed a Cease & Desist order in U.S. Federal Court in Rapid City. The Cease & Desist order was filed by Black Hills Sioux Nation representative Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand with support from Strong Heart and the Independent Lakota Nation.

The order seeks to block any attempts to negotiate or otherwise access interest accrued on the Black Hills Settlement by any person or organization without approval of the seven bands of the Lakota Oyate.

Currently, the Lakota refuse to accept the 1981 settlement money or its accrued interest that now tops over one billion dollars that attempts to settle the illegal United States seizure of the Black Hills and surrounding treaty lands without Lakota consent and in violation of the 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties. 

The Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council has asked for penalties of one hundred million dollars for any person attempting to negotiate or access the settlement or its interest.

A meeting on October 7, 2017 at the Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City broached the issue of accessing the hundreds of millions of dollars in accrued interest.  But the traditional and grassroots Lakota fear any withdraw of money from the Black Hills settlement will be considered as Lakota acceptance for the sale of the Black Hills.

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) was the host for the October 7th meeting that included several indian attorneys but did not outreach to traditional and grassroots Lakota people of the seven bands, many who live on reservations.

“It’s really sad these groups proceeded on this without informing the poor people,” said Strong Heart Warrior leader Canupa Gluha Mani. “When will they put the people first?”

Canupa Gluha Mani along with Lakota Oyate Itacan Mel Lone Hill found out about the meeting and interceded when topics steered towards accessing the settlement interest. Anger has grown on the reservations as Lakota people have learned people were discussing settlement moneys without broad Oyate consent.

“You neutralize your people’s rights by not telling or including them in what’s going on,” Canupa Gluha Mani explained.

It is customary for Lakota leaders or people acting in ways that affect treaties or issues affecting the seven bands to represent themselves with Lakota language and do so in togetherness with grassroots Lakota elders and people – many of whom are poor and cannot travel long distances from the reservations. 

“The IITC must be accountable for their illegal behavior in not telling the people about possible actions that affect our land base.”

The Independent Lakota Nation continues the inter-generational movement to assert Lakota independence and grows from past efforts by Lakota chiefs, elders, treaty councils, and more than 165 years of resistance to illegal settlement on unceeded Lakota territory.