Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
April 5, 2000
Mr. Richard Zephier
Dear Mr. Zephier:
In response to your letter dated April 4, 2000 to Mr. Wilbur Between Lodges regarding the above mentioned matter, we are writing to you to express great concern over your lackadaisical approach to our current state of emergency on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Understand we, the Grass Roots Oyate are in agreement with your proposed actions, with the exception of #6. We are opposed to the way in which it was presented at the illegal Tribal Council session on the 4th day of April 2000. We say "illegal" because OST President Harold Salway was suspended in a special session council meeting, convened by Between Lodges without authorization, and without proper quorum.
Concerning # 7 in your letter, you propose to " contract with a CPA to perform a review of tribal management systems We have the highest regard for Mr. Jaime Arobba and believe that he holds the Oyates best interest at heart. He maintains high ethical standards and we are demanding that you desist from advising the Tribal Council that they may choose another auditor for the remainder of this investigation. Mr. Arobba is enmeshed in our Tribes financial records and we want him to remain on board to audit 1995 1998, which Assistant Secretary Gover stated that the BIA will pay for. We believe that this is the only hope we have for a fair and impartial audit.
At any rate, you have admitted that the BIA does recognize that there is a gross mismanagement of Public Law 93-638 contract dollars. Therefore, why do you feel the need to ask permission from this tribal council to carry out these actions? We are way beyond bureaucratic cautionary practices. With every day that passes, Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs is spending the Oyates precious federal funds on his personal interests and those of the OST Council. Importantly, how will the taxpayers of the United States of America react to how the U.S. Department of Interior handles their tax dollars?
We are requesting that the BIA uphold its trust responsibility, under Article I of the 1868 Treaty at Fort Laramie. You have a fiduciary responsibility to the members of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, not the Tribal Council.
We would like a written explanation and plan of action from your office within 72 hours.
Red Cloud Building