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Pine Ridge

Occupation Peoples

Grass Roots Oyate

January 16, 2000

Until we Win

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 Camp Justice supports Traditional Oglala Lakota Grass Roots

January 15th marked the 31st weekend of "March for Justice" to White Clay, Nebraska. and the establishment of Camp Justice. We are still waiting for answers, responses and action from officials in regards to all the unsolved murders and injustices.

January 16th, at 2:00 PM a grass roots group of over 100 Traditional Oglala Lakota representing a group of concerned Oglala Tribal members took control of the Red Cloud tribal building to protect files that is said to incriminate the Oglala Sioux Tribal Treasurer, Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs and several Oglala Sioux Tribal Council members.

The grass roots group consisting of; Lakota Traditionalists, which includes Chief Oliver Red Cloud, Lakota Spiritual Leaders, members of the Council of Elders, Headsmen, and many advocacy groups and individuals have asked Camp Justice to support this effort by taking a stand to address and help correct the many, many injustices, violations and corruption occurring on our homelands and against our people.

As stated before, we feel that the planed genocide and vast conspiracy against our people is just as strong today as it was in the 1970's. Camp Justice has agreed to support the grass roots effort by our traditionalists and we will help in any way we can to see our and their visions and dreams of success for our people come true. Camp Justice serves the Traditional Lakota Oyate and will provide security and support to protect our people as they assert their right to protest and address their issues.

Camp Justice supporters do not want the FBI or the BIA to investigate any violations and feel that an independent investigating committee needs to be appointed. With the latest broken trust by the Justice Department, under the direction of President Clinton, and our own tribal council, whom we have repeatedly asked for help, our people are standing up for themselves to take a stand as we were forced to do during the Wounded Knee Occupation times. Tribal President Harold Salway has said that he supports the occupation. Camp Justice has been working on Civil Rights issues and will continue to support Civil Rights issues being addressed by the Grass Roots Lakota Oyate.

Our celebration and sense of hope was short lived after the Presidential visit to Pine Ridge and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearings in South Dakota. Now, the BIA, under the direction of the same Justice Department as the commission, have appealed the law suit filed by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) on our behalf for mismanaging trust funds.

Billions of dollars have been lost in government controlled trust fund accounts. Billions of dollars have been lost due to tribal corruption and mismanagement. NARF has raised and spent millions of dollars to protect our trust funds and lands, and now the BIA is forcing them to raise millions more to fight the appeal.

We have been forced to stand by and watch while we have lost billions of dollars in resources and cash belonging to our people while we are being forced to buyback tribal lands that should not have been allocated to individuals in the first place. We watch as other tribes seize control of their own assets and leases and reclaim stolen lands while Lakota areas continue to remain the poorest in the United States. Our people are suffering in despair and poverty.

Oglala tribal officials have promised, even recently voted to help us, only to drag their election commitments following years of denial and fear in taking a stand on our behalf. The latest arrogance of our Tribal Treasurer, Wesley Chuck Jacobs going against the wishes of our people to step down from office, continues his efforts to control and intimidate our people in regards to their jobs and well being, forces us to call for a full land and financial audit.

Our people have had enough of broken promises by our elected leaders and government officials. Until our Nation takes control of what is rightfully ours, our assets and resources, we will continue to be forced into poverty and off our lands. We can no longer rely on those being paid to defend and protect us. We feel that the genocide of our people is being created by those against us will continue unless our people act now.

We pray that these problems can be solved in a non-violent, Spiritual way.

Camp Justice attention is still drawn to the unsolved murders of Wally Black Elk and Ronnie Hard Heart our two Lakota brothers who were found dead, brutally beaten and mutilated a few feet from the Nebraska/South Dakota border on June 8th, 1999. It was in their honor, and because of all the other unsolved murders and injustices against our people, that Camp Justice and the March for Justice to White Clay, Nebraska was established.

Many of the hundreds of testimonies on file with the United States Commission on Civil Rights, during the South Dakota Hearings, have offered insight and horror stories of what our people have been going through. The commission publicly reprimanded the FBI for the fear and distrust they have created in our communities and for their role in dragging their feet in the unsolved murder investigations and other injustices. The commission has reported to us that they have received hundreds of suggestions and we wait for their reports and recommendations, scheduled to be released in March. We are unsure that the commission will have any power to see justice prevail. We will trust the commission for now because they quickly responded to our pleas for help and have shown respect for our people and the organizers.

Meanwhile, generous supporters of Camp Justice have helped us with food, supplies and cash for expenses. Even as little as $5 donations have trickled in. We have completed the Cook Shack, obtained a trailer and have had a little expense money to make advocacy trips. Organizers and volunteers continue to carry the financial, labor and lobbying burdens. More funding is desperately needed.

We hope to build a memorial for Wally and Ron near Camp Justice soon. We would like to move forward in obtaining funding for private substance abuse centers and help for our people with alcohol sickness. We are also seeking funding for Human and Civil Rights offices. Camp Justice has radio time available to us KILI on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 6-7 PM.

Also, to dispel rumors by those claiming to be supporters of Camp Justice we make the following statements. Organizers state that no liquor is allowed on Camp Justice premises, however, those in need coming from White Clay and surrounding areas who have been drinking, are always been welcome to the camp where they receive support, coffee and a meal. We will never turn away our people in need. All funding received has been allocated for expenses after a vote and consensus of all those maintaining and living at the camp.

Camp Justice will continue our commitments to the elders on behalf of our people, and we thank all those who are promoting unity, understanding and those who are supporting us. We will continue to stand strong for justice and demand accountability and respect for our Lakota Nation.

Mitakuye Oyasin,
Tom Poor Bear, Camp Justice Spokesperson


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