Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
|May 2, 2000
An Emergency Plan for Transitional, People-Centered
Control of the Current Tribal Government
The Lakota Oyate is involved in an historic process of reviving self-governance amongst our people. This is a long-term process that will and must involved all members of the nation in an effort to restore to the governing system the values that make Lakota who we are. As we are all aware, the restoration of our own values into our government will require a rediscovery of who we are. This means that our language must be revived and our culture understood by all Lakota. Each of our governing systems must be reviewed and analyzed through Lakota eyes. From land to housing to the council to the court, a government must be created that reflects who we are.
It is clear to everyone that our Lakota values are not reflected in the IRA government system-nor were they meant to be by the authors of the IRA. The IRA form of government must and shall be replaced by our own system, unique to our culture and our values. But while we work together to restore our own system, the people continue to be victimized by a tribal government that mismanages our monies, land and resources. It is hard for people to focus their energy and time on the needed changes when their families suffer directly and daily from government abuses.
While the reestablishment of a Lakota government will be a thoughtful, long-term process, it is crucial that steps be taken immediately to stop the financial mismanagement, corruption, self-dealing and unfair operation of the current IRA government. This can be done most immediately by restructuring the current constitution through secretarial election to create a "transitional" or "caretaker" government. The changes must immediately bring to the transitional governing process the Lakota values of openness, fairness, direct accountability and, above all, ultimate control by the people. If these changes are put in place, the people will be relieved of the immediate, daily abuses they are subject to, and the people will be able to focus their energy on the creation of our own system, without far of punishment and retribution from the present government. Further, these immediate changes will restore the smooth flow of services and funds from the federal government through tribal programs that are the treaty obligations of the U.S. to Lakota people. If we work together, these changes can be put in place long before the next general election.
This is not a substitute for the far-reaching changes that we are working on as a people. It is merely a short-term solution to bring accountability and people-centered control to a government run amok, while the historic process of change continues. The following changes are suggested for immediate petition, election and implementation:
The changes suggested above are only a small step down the path of creating a government that truly reflects who we are as Lakota. They are meant to bring immediate democracy and accountability to the current system in order to prevent the worst abuses of the people by the tribal government, and to insure the smooth flow of federal services that are our right under our Treaty. They can be put in place before the next general election to create a "transitional" or "caretaker" government while we restore Lakota self-governance. They are all in alignment with traditional Lakota values.
Please take these changes back to your families, friends and neighbors and discuss them. If we can get people-centered control over the government as soon as possible through this strategy, we can then carry on to make the government reflect who we are, our highest values and dreams for the future of our people.
Prepared by Dean Cycon, Esq. At the direction of the Grass Roots Oglala Lakota Oyate.