August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Oglala Lakota Nation: 'History of Abuses' Results in Registration Required for Churches


Lakota elder confronts the Dream Center about their white vans coming into Oglala Lakota communities on Pine Ridge and picking up children.

Oglala Lakota Nation: 'History of Abuses'  Results in Registration Required for Churches

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

PINE RIDGE, South Dakota -- 
The Oglala Lakota Nation's new ordinance requiring churches and missionaries to register is due to their history of global abuses to Indigenous Peoples, and lasting damage to Lakotas, the ordinance states.

"The history of abuses by the churches upon Indigenous peoples has caused generational trauma for Indigenous peoples across the world," states the Oglala Lakota Nation's ordinance.


"The traditional Lakota lifeways and practicing of ceremonies were prohibited by the United States policies of assimilation and conversion causing significant and lasting damage to our tribal members including to their identity as Lakota people."

"The 1868 Treaty and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 protect our way of life."

The new ordinance requires registration and authorization for churches and missionaries on the Oglala Lakota Nation. It requires background investigations on church participants and financial reports. It authorizes law enforcement to remove non-members who fail to comply.

The use of photos and videos of Lakotas for church fundraising was also restricted and now requires prior approval.

Eleanor Ferguson, youth mentor for the International Indigenous Youth Council, spoke to the Council in July. Lakota youths said they would no longer allow their photos to be used as "poverty porn for church profits."

"The youth do this work for all of the babies who died at the hands of priests and nuns. We do this for the elders who are still suffering from boarding school trauma. Shout out to tribal council for holding it down for our way of life, for the people, and the youth," Ferguson said after the Council session.

The Oglala Lakota Nation banned Mathew Monfore and the Jesus is King Mission on July 22.

The Oglala Lakota Nation demanded that Monfore and the Jesus is King Mission leave Oglala land for hate speech and demonizing Lakota culture.

On the Jesus is King Mission website, this hate speech targets Russell Means, Spiritual Leader Leonard Crow Dog, Black Elk, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and Ghost Dance of Wovoka.

“This week the Jesus is King Missionary was found distributing material that literally demonizes the Lakota Culture and Faith,” said the Oglala Lakota Nation in a statement on July 22.

“This is unacceptable and completely disrespectful. It is the view of the President and Council that these ‘pamphlets’ seek to promote Hate instead of Peace. Hate has no place on Oglala land.”

The new ordinance is effective immediately. The Council vote was 15 votes supporting, two opposing and two "not voting."

The ordinance is "to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the people."

On August 2, the Oglala Lakota Nation posted the ordinance and registration form on social media, with this update: "Ordinance 22-54 regarding the registration process for all churches and missionaries as well as the Registration and Request for Authorization to Conduct Missionary Activities Form. To submit, please bring the form to the OST Tribal Building or email to Stacytl@oglala.org





Censored News links

Oglala Lakota Nation demands missionary leave for hate speech

Oglala Lakota youths say 'No' to using photos as poverty porn for church profits





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