Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
Current Pine Ridge Weather
* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *
March 2, 2000,
In the never-ending struggle for justice and accountability, suspended officials of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) continue to operate as though they are still in power. The suspended tribal treasurer and two suspended tribal council members illegally obtained tribal funds to travel to Washington, D.C. Gary Ruse, President of First National Bank of Gordon, NE, did authorize the wire transfer of $12,700.00 from the Tribe's account to a travel agency in Lead, S.D. Dakota Travel did confirm the receipt of the wire transfer and stated that it was used to cover an outstanding balance and new airline tickets for Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs, Michael Her Many Horses, and Paul Little.
Mike Her Many Horses, representative for the Wounded Knee District on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, was arrested last week for public intoxication, liquor violation, resisting arrest, and assaulting a federal officer. Upon arrest, he complained that he needed medical attention and was transferred to the Pine Ridge Hospital where he escaped from police custody. Tribal officials are exploring what legal options they have against these so-called "renegade council members".
Meanwhile, the Grass Roots Oyate continue to focus on the permanent removal of Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs from all tribal government positions. The Grass Roots Oyate are accusing Jacobs of being a key player in the widespread corruption scandal that has plagued the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for years. Jacobs has been in an appointed position with direct access to fiscal operations for three consecutive (2-year) terms. The Tribal Council has sole authority to appoint the treasurer and remove him. All seventeen council members are being implicated in the skimming of federal funds allocated to the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Members of the Pass Creek District are celebrating their court victory against their district's executive council. They filed a motion in Tribal Court to remove their executive council due to physical evidence of mismanagement of tribal funds. The tribal judge ruled in favor of the grass roots people and removed the executive council. The Grass Roots Oyate are working in each of the Tribe's nine districts to make their elected officials accountable.
The Grass Roots Oyate, representing the "silent majority" of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, took peaceful control of the Tribe's administrative offices on January 16, 2000 in an effort to protect the financial records from further tampering/destruction. The people have declared their sovereign immunity under the guidelines of the 1868 Treaty at Fort Laramie. They contend that they will remain in the building until their demands are met. Some of their nine demands include: the immediate suspension of all tribal council members pending a referendum election for their permanent removal; a audit of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Land Office; a five-year, forensic audit of the Tribe's governmental funds.
For further information, please contact Floyd Hand or Media Coordinator, Dale Looks Twice at (605) 867-5303.
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