Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
Current Pine Ridge Weather
GRASS ROOTS OGLALA LAKOTA OYATE
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
March 28, 2000,
Red Cloud Building, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota:
ECOFFEY DENIES ACCUSATIONS OF BIA SEIGE ON GRASS ROOTS OYATE!
In a regular address on KILI 90.1FM Radio, Media Coordinator Dale Looks Twice accused the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) Council of plans to revoke the charter funding for the Tribes police force and bring in outside forces to remove the occupants in the Tribes administrative offices. Looks Twice insists that witnesses have seen government vehicles in border towns near the reservation. And some sources within the Tribal police force have verified that this is the BIAs intent.
In an immediate response to these accusations, Robert Ecoffey, BIA Agent at Pine Ridge Reservation, went on air to vehemently denounce Looks Twices comments. Ecoffey urged tribal members to ignore Looks Twices claims against the BIA. Ecoffey stated that internal affairs investigations of OST Public Safety have been initiated concerning narcotic sales, lack of follow-up on criminal reports, etc. and that this has nothing to do with the takeover of the Red Cloud Building.
There is one common thread the binds all divided parties on the Pine Ridge Reservation the anxiety over the release of the Tribes 1999 General Fund audit. BIA-appointed auditor, Arroba & Associates stated today that, " a revised draft version of the audit will be released today to Robert Ecoffey. And copies will be given to all elected officials, including President Salway, tomorrow "
The Grass Roots Oyate remain hopeful that the audit findings will support their allegations against the Tribes contracted C.P.A. John Donham, Tribal Treasurer Wesley Jacobs and members of the Tribal Council for R.I.C.O. elements charges of embezzlement, skimming, etc. of federal funds allocated to the members of the Tribe.
An audit of the 1999 Indirect Cost Fund will be complete within the next two weeks. The Grass Roots Oyate are confident that there will be many criminal findings in this audit, as this fund involves monies designated for specific federal programs.
The viscous cycle of corruption has been spinning on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for decades. The Oglala Lakota people have been oppressed by the Indian Reorganization Act form of governance forced upon this Tribe in 1934. This system was marketed to Indian Nations as the "new Indian deal", a great opportunity that would bring homes and jobs to the reservation. After 67 years, the "new Indian deal" is old news and little has changed since 1934. Except the fact that the IRA taught our people to become consumed with greed and self-advancement. Someone questioned, "How did the Oglala Lakota survive before the policies and structure of IRA government?" An elder responded, "Very well."
The Grass Roots Oyate have maintained peaceful control of the Red Cloud Building for 72 days. They contend that they will remain in the building until their demands are met. Among their nine demands, they are seeking the immediate, permanent removal of Jacobs, an audit of the BIA Land Office and a transition to a more culturally-based form of governance.
The young members of the Grass Roots Oyate draw their strength from the elder Lakota grandmothers and grandfathers that have been at the building since the beginning. These elders have shown tremendous strength and fortitude to improve the socio-economic foundation of a modern nation attempting to maintain ancient ways. They pray that future leaders will have the same goals.
For further information, please contact Floyd Hand or Media Coordinator, Dale Looks Twice at (605) 867-5303. Website: http://members.tripod.com/GrassRootsOyate
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