Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
Current Pine Ridge Weather
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 19, 2000
RED CLOUD TRIBAL BUILDING, PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, SOUTH DAKOTA:
On January 19, 2000, at 2:00 p.m. MST, U.S. Department of Justice Mediator Silke Hansen, Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) President Harold Salway, and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Superintendent Robert Ecoffey met with the Grass Roots Oyate, a group of concerned Oglala Sioux Tribal members who took control of the tribal office on Sunday January 16, 2000. Their sole purpose for this takeover is to protect files that incriminate the Oglala Sioux Tribal Treasurer, Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs and several Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Members.
The Grass Roots Oyate demanded explanations from OST President Harold Salway as to why he rescinded his suspension of OST Treasurer Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs for gross misconduct and mismanagement of tribal funds. President Salway exercised his scope of authority under OST Ordinance 62-10 which allows the President to suspend an officer pending a termination hearing before the OST Council. In a OST Executive Board meeting on January 18, 2000, OST Tribal Attorney, Marvin Amiotte rendered a legal opinion stating that the OST Constitution supercedes ordinances. Therefore, President Salway stated that he had no choice but to rescind his order of suspension. BIA Superintendent Robert Ecoffey stated that the Grass Roots Oyate should "work with the Council for the rest of the term and find solutions to the issues at hand". Grass Roots Oyate member, Harvey Whitewoman recalled a comment made by OST Treasurer Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs at a October, 1999 "March for Accountability" held in Pine Ridge Village. On a live K.I.L.I. 90.1 fm radio address Jacobs stated, "If the people don't want me, I'll resign!" The Grass Roots Oyate are demanding he keep his commitment and resign.
On January 20, 2000 at approximately 9:00 a.m., The Grass Roots Oyate will be marching from the Red Cloud Tribal Building to the "Moses Two Bulls" Tribal Courthouse for a 10:00 a.m. hearing to suspend OST Treasurer Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs and have him removed as signatory at the OST's primary bank The First National Bank of Gordon, Nebraska. In a radio address, The Grass Roots Oyate encouraged tribal members reservation-wide to join in the march.
For further information, please contact Dale Looks Twice or Floyd Hand at (605) 867-5303.
As with all my emails concerning the Occupation Peoples please forward to any and all interested parties in its entirety