GRASS ROOTS OGLALA LAKOTA
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
May 19, 2000
Contacts: Floyd Hand or Dale Looks Twice (Media Coordinator)
@ (615) 867-5303
RED CLOUD BUILDING, PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D.:
History Repeats Itself...
Historically, the United States government has never been particularly fond of the
Oglala Lakota People. Since they successfully overpowered the U.S. 7th Calvary troops at
the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the U.S.A. has held a grudge. Over the years, it seems
as though every other generation of the Oglala Lakota takes a firm stand against the
oppressive U.S. and their dominance over the tribe. The latest attempt is driven by a
large contingency of tribal members who feel that have exhausted all remedies to bring an
end to the widespread corruption within their tribal government. Renowned for their
occupation of the Tribe's administrative offices, the Grass Roots Oyate believes that
their efforts will benefit generations to come.
Big Brother Attempts To Renege On 5-Year Audit Promise...
Members of the Grass Roots Traditional General Council were not surprised by
comments made by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Superintendent Robert Ecoffey at a recent
meeting. Ecoffey attempted to persuade the General Council, which consists of elders
experienced in treaty laws, to settle for only the 1999 audit and allow C.P.A. John Donham
to complete the 1998 audit of the Tribe's finances. The General Council advised Ecoffey
that Donham is under investigation and intense scrutiny by several Federal Agencies for
his alleged embezzlement activities at reservations throughout the U.S. and that the
Oglala Lakota People will no longer allow him to work for the tribe. Further, the General
Council reminded Ecoffey that U.S. Interior Assistant Kevin Gover, promised that the
B.I.A. would fund a five-year, full forensic audit on a national radio interview.
The B.I.A. contracted Arobba and Associates to conduct an independent five-year, full
forensic audit of all fund accounts of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. To date, no contract has
been signed. Protocol requires that the B.I.A. get first peek at the reports. The 1999
Indirect Cost Fund audit is complete and has been on the desk of BIA Area Director Cora
Jones for nearly one week.
Treaties Are Meant To Be Broken...
In a telephone conference with Jones this morning, she informed Grass Roots
spokesman Floyd Hand, that she is unsure when she will release a copy of the latest audit
report to the people. Hand reminded her that this audit would have never been conducted if
it had not been for the Grass Roots Oyate's efforts. Jones informed him that she does not
recognize the Grass Roots Oyate and the General Council. Hand encouraged her to read the
active 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty with the Great Sioux Nation, that the U.S. authored. In
predictable flippant fashion, Jones retorted that the Treaties hold no weight with her
office. She only recognizes the IRA government. She informed Hand that she has the sole
authority over the distribution of the audit report.
OST Judge Flips Again...
Patrick Lee, Head Judge of the Oglala Sioux Tribe has a notorious reputation for
overturning his own decisions. In an unprecedented fourth trial, Judge Lee has overturned
his decision to remove Pass Creek District Executive Committee members for their alleged
mismanagement of district funds. On three separate occasions, he ruled in favor of a group
of grass roots members who demanded that their district chairman and other committee
members, who's terms have expired, be removed for alleged nepotism and mismanagement.
After hearing the case a fourth time, Judge Lee ruled to allow the old committee back to
Contemporary Music For An Ancient Struggle...
Ojibwe recording artist, Annie Humphrey, is slated to perform a benefit concert for
the Grass Roots Oyate on Sunday, May 21st, 2000 in Pine Ridge Agency, Billy Mills Hall.
Ms. Humphrey has collaborated with well-known Indian activist/actor/singer John Trudell on
her latest CD. Her haunting, poetic melodies are reflective of the Grass Roots Oyate's
struggle for justice and freedom. The concert will open with a traditional Lakota drum
group performance and guest speakers are scheduled to appear as well. Proceeds from the
concert will benefit the Grass Roots Oyate movement.
In peace and unity,
Grass Roots Oyate
As with all my emails concerning the Occupation Peoples please forward to any and all
interested parties in its entirety