Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 23, 2018

Sacred Stone Village -- Video Report from Red Fawn in Court

Watch video below, listen as LaDonna describes Red Fawn enter courtroom shackled and shaking.

Video link:

By Sacred Stone Village
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat at:

Red Fawn Fallis Plea Agreement
January 22nd, 2018

Walking up to the Federal Court house in Bismarck, ND a knot began to form in my stomach. Since the stand at Standing Rock, over 800 water protectors have been charged and 6 face felony charges in Federal Court. Red Fawn Fallis is one of those who have been unrightfully imprisoned and charged of 3 felonies over the last year. Because of the corruption and the looming possibility of facing life in prison for standing up for our water, Red Fawn Fallis decided to sign a plea agreement and plead guilty on 2 of her 3 counts. She was preparing to plead guilty to felony counts of civil disorder and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Her plea agreement will dismiss her most serious charge, discharge of a firearm in relation to a felony crime of violence, and recommend no more than seven years at sentencing, as well as no fine or restitution.

Red Fawn entered the court in shackles and orange striped prison attire to a somber crowd of 20-30 familiar faces in the court room. Many supporters were turned away though there was more than enough seating. Red Fawn's attorney made a request to Judge Hovland that she be unshackled for the trial, the US Marshal agreed and she was unchained. She was shaking but stood strong as the judge asked the questions he was required to ask by law. He explained everything to her to make sure she understood the plea completely, his disposition was much more civil than the judge we had seen sentence Mary Redway. Tears began to well as the judge prepared to ask Red Fawn how she plead to the first count of civil disobedience. Red Fawn paused for a few moments- I thought for a second she was going to stand up and shout Mni Wiconi! However, with a shaky broken voice she sputtered out, "guilty." I looked around and saw tears running down the cheeks of some of the strongest women and men of the movement as they sat in support. The second felony count was read and again, "guilty" echoed through the chamber.

Judge Hovland explained what would happen next, an in depth interview would be done with Fallis in the next month or so and a report would be finalized. He said that he would take the letters of support into high regard. It is the best way, he said, to truly understand a defendants character and find out how they contribute to society as a whole. Red Fawn's lawyers then asked if they could submit a petition to release her from detention. She is being held at the Burleigh-Morton County Detention Center, and admitted to the pretrial release violation. Hovland said she was unaccounted for an entire day from the halfway house where she has resided since October. When asked if she wanted to explain herself, through tears she said,

“I don’t want to offer any excuses, but I hold the court in the highest regard. With the trial coming up I needed some time to sit and think. It’s hard being up here with no family or anyone to talk to. I apologize.”

Judge Hovland agreed that if this was even going to be considered she would have to have GPS tracking until the sentence date which will take place in 3-4 months. Defense attorney Bruce Ellison said Red Fawn's legal team will call a number of witnesses at sentencing and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme said he may call on a few as well. Red Fawn's attorneys have advised a sentence of 21 to 27 months, while the federal prosecutors may recommend 46 to 57 months.

It was hard to sit and watch someone who stands for Mother Earth and our water have to face such extreme penalties from our "justice" system. It makes you wonder about the word justice and what that means for Natives versus the Bundy family. We will continue to stand with all the water protectors who put their life on the line for our Mother. Thank you Red Fawn for what you stand for and continue to stand for.

For more information on Red Fawn and where you can write go to

For more updates on Federal cases go to

1 comment:

Censored News, publisher Brenda Norrell said...

Comment by Steve Melendez,Paiute, President, American Indian Genocide Museum
America deals with Indians in the same way it dealt with blacks during the 1950s and 60s with “Jim Crow” laws which were racist and discriminatory. Such perversions of the law make perfect sense to the American white supremacist. The following is an excerpt from the jacket cover of a book--- the study of just such a law:
“In 1823, Chief Justice John Marshall, a Revolutionary War veteran, former Virginia legislator, and a well-known land speculator, handed down a Supreme Court decision of monumental importance in defining the rights of indigenous peoples throughout the English –speaking world. The case was Johnson v. M’Intosh , and from the beginning, it was all about land: 43,000 square miles of lush, rolling farmland commanding the junctures of four major river systems in Indiana and Illinois. At the heart of the decision was a “discovery doctrine” that gave rights of ownership to the European sovereigns who “discovered” the land and converted the indigenous owners into tenants. Though its meaning and intention have been fiercely disputed, more than 173 years later this doctrine remains the law of the land and indigenous peoples all over the world have been dispossessed of their property as a result.”
From the book, Conquest by Law by Lindsay G. Robertson