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Pine Ridge

Occupation Peoples

Grass Roots Oyate

January 16, 2000

Until we Win

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February 3, 2000

Red Cloud Building, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota:

"AS THE TRIBAL COUNCIL TURNS"… In what has become a daily soap opera, the Grass Roots Oglala Lakota Oyate are never surprised by the day-to-day illegal actions of the Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) Treasurer and Tribal Council.

In an illegal OST Finance Committee meeting held today, the committee members voted 8 for, 1 against to reinstate Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs as Tribal Treasurer. On January 31st, the council suspended Jacobs without pay due to extreme pressure from the Grass Roots Oyate. Today's reinstatement confirms what the Grass Roots Oyate already knew; the Council will go to great lengths to protect one of their own.

Marvin Amiotte, OST Attorney, resigned from his position at the February 1st meeting of the OST Council session after the Grass Roots Oyate presented a resolution to terminate him for gross misconduct and unethical practices. In a statement today in the Rapid City Journal, Amiotte stated that he did not resign, he merely left the Tribal Council meeting. He claims that he is still the tribal attorney.

Meanwhile, a small staff of tribal employees were allowed to enter the Red Cloud Building today to process payments for critical services. The Grass Roots Oyate's purpose for the takeover is to create a better future for the children and grandchildren. Thus, they agreed that minimal financial services must continue to protect these children. Employees reported to work at approximately 8:00 a.m. and simply picked up necessary files and informed the grass roots group that they have made arrangements to work out of another building nearby.

Later in the day, the tribe's contracted C.P.A., John Donham, attempted to gain access to the computer system mainframe in the basement of the Red Cloud Building. Members of the Tokala Society (security) promptly escorted him out of the building. Donham has been implicated as a co-conspirator in the cover-up of misallocation of federal funds allocated to the Oglala Sioux Nation.

Spokespeople for the Grass Roots Oyate confirmed that they are in contact with special agents with the Department of Interior Inspector General's Office. The group is demanding that the Inspector General's Office step in and confiscate all documentation, computer equipment from the office of the tribal treasurer for in-depth investigation.

At the beginning of the occupation, Cora Jones, Area Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs stated that her office would pay for a full forensic audit of the Oglala Sioux Tribe's financial records. Today, the Grass Roots Oyate gave the BIA notice that they are demanding the BIA contract with the audit firm of Coopers & Lybrand to perform the five-year audit of all OST governmental fund types and the OST District Offices. They are further demanding that an audit in accordance with the National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act be performed on the Tribe's Prairie Winds Casino.

Today marks the 19th day of the peaceful takeover of the Tribe's administrative office. The Grass Roots Oyate represents elders, women, men, and children that believe they have exhausted all remedies to remove the corrupt tribal treasurer and members of the tribal council. Their nonviolent approach is working, as tribal council members are at odds in their attempts to remove the group "with deadly force if necessary". Oglala Sioux Tribe Public Safety has stated repeatedly that they have no intention of removing the group and their sacred cannupa (pipe) and eagle staffs from the building.

Preparations are being made for a historic meeting planned for Saturday, February 5th. Representatives of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Fires Council) will be travelling to Pine Ridge Agency to support the Grass Roots Oyate. The Oceti Sakowin is comprised of appointed treaty headsmen from the seven bands of the Great Sioux Nation. All are descendants of the original signers of the 1868 Treaty at Fort Laramie. Events are scheduled to begin at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Red Cloud Building.

For further information, please contact Floyd Hand or Media Coordinator, Dale Looks Twice at (605) 867-5303.

As with all my posts concerning the Occupation Peoples please forward to any and all interested parties in its entirety


Wild Horse


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