Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
Current Pine Ridge Weather
GRASS ROOTS OGLALA LAKOTA OYATE
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
MARCH 30, 2000
RED CLOUD BUILDING, PINE RIDGE AGENCY, SOUTH DAKOTA:
OST AUDIT RELEASED GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF TRIBES FUNDS!
A "draft" version of the 1999 General Fund audit for the Oglala Sioux Tribe was released yesterday afternoon to the Grass Roots Oyate. The 50+ pages of findings/recommendations show gross mismanagement of federal funds allocated to the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The Grass Roots Oyate believe that because the Tribal Treasurer is considered the "custodian of tribal funds", he should be directly responsible for the mismanagement. Additionally, they say, the Tribes contracted C.P.A., John Donham is also closely involved in the failure to provide accurate accounting services for a Tribe that receives nearly $100 million dollars a year in federal funding.
The audit shows that, " the 1999 budget was not monitored and amended on a monthly basis and presented to the Tribal Council for approval. Some of the budgeted line items were not spent at all or were under spent. Some of the line items were over spent by a material amount." For example:
According to the auditing firm, Arobba & Associates, the report has been handed over to the FBI and U.S. Attorneys office in Rapid City, S.D. It will be their responsibility to determine if any of Arobbas findings are considered criminal fraud or embezzlement.
In a blatant effort to save face prior to the release of the financial audit, Oglala Sioux Tribal Council members requested a negotiation meeting with the Grass Roots Oyate, a group of tribal members that have maintained peaceful control of the Tribes administrative offices since January 16th. Chief Oliver Red Cloud of the Grass Roots Oyate issued a statement yesterday to inform the Tribal Council that there can be no negotiations until Tribal Treasurer, Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs is permanently removed from all Tribal government positions. An audit of the Tribes 1999 Indirect Cost Fund is underway and is expected to show additional findings of mismanagement and possibly criminal activities.
Meanwhile, the Grass Roots Oyate, well into their 10th week of occupying the Red Cloud Building, are diligently working on reformulating their government to better serve all members of their Tribe. Renowned constitutional attorney, Dean Cycon is providing free technical services to assist in this process. He will be traveling to Pine Ridge in approximately two weeks to conduct district meetings to encompass reform ideas from all tribal members.
The Grass Roots Oyate contend that they will remain in the Tribal building until their demands are met. These demands include an audit of the BIA Land Office, a land audit of the Tribes primary bank, First National Bank of Gordon, Ne., and a five-year, full forensic audit of the Tribes financials. Gaining momentum and international attention, the Grass Roots Oyate are at a crucial juncture. They have, in essence, acted as a role model for many indigenous nations to hold their leaders accountable to the people at the grass roots level. Tribes from all over the Northern Hemisphere are encouraging the Grass Roots Oyate to stand their ground and not be misled by threats of economic sanctions by the U.S. government.
For further information, please contact Floyd Hand, or Media Coordinator Dale Looks Twice at (605) 867-5303.
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