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Pine Ridge

Occupation Peoples

Grass Roots Oyate

January 16, 2000

Until we Win

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For Immediate Release

February 23, 2000



As the Grass Roots Oyate mark the 38th day of their nonviolent takeover of the Oglala Sioux Tribe's administrative offices, their actions have created a snowball effect among indigenous nations across the United States and Canada. Yesterday afternoon, a group of Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Sioux veterans took control of their tribal offices to protest the corruption taking place within their tribal government. At press time today, South Dakota law enforcement have surrounded the Sisseton tribal building, telephone service to the building has been disconnected and they have cut off food and water supplies to the building. The veterans contacted the Grass Roots Oglala Lakota Oyate to seek assistance and advice. The Grass Roots Oyate has contacted the U.S. Department of Justice - Community Relations Service Mediator to intervene in what has turned into a very tense situation.

Spokespeople for the Grass Roots Oyate advised the group to stay strong and use the Lakota traditional law - the sacred pipe - to guide them. They further advised them to declare their sovereign immunity under the guidelines of the 1868 Treaty, as the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Sioux are part of the Great Sioux Nation. Meanwhile, the Grass Roots Oyate continue to pray for the Sisseton veterans' safety.

On Monday, visitors arrived from the Rocky Boy Cree Reservation to observe how the Grass Roots Oyate have successfully maintained peaceful control of their tribal building. The Rocky Boy Cree Reservation is located in northwestern Montana. Although their reservation is small, their problems are huge. Their tribal government system has run amuck with gross mismanagement of tribal funds. Their situation has an eerie similarity to the problems of so many tribes under the control of the I.R.A. (1934 Indian Reorganization Act) government system. It is a given that the corrupt politicians can determine right from wrong. U.S. Department of Interior Assistant Secretary Kevin Gover put it best in a recent radio interview, "…it is the I.R.A. system itself that was set up to fail, to destroy the land base of the reservations..."

Meanwhile, Harold Salway, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, still refuses to suspend the "renegade" tribal council for the continuous illegal actions against the members of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Among the nine demands, The Grass Roots Oyate are demanding that the entire Tribal Council be suspended without pay pending a referendum vote for their removal; the immediate, permanent termination of Tribal Treasurer Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs; a five-year full forensic audit of the Tribe's governmental fund types. The group contends that they will remain in the building until their demands are met.

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

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

Wild Horse


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