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Pine Ridge

Occupation Peoples

Grass Roots Oyate

January 16, 2000

Until we Win

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Current Pine Ridge Weather

For Immediate Release

February 24, 2000


Unseasonably mild weather is not the only topic of conversation at the Red Cloud Building this evening. The Grass Roots Oyate invited the youth to come to the building and express their concerns about the historical developments taking place on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Dozens of students filed into the round meeting room in the Tribe's administrative offices and respectfully addressed a large group of elders. They stated that they were pleased that someone finally gave them an opportunity to speak. They painted a bleak picture of the long-term social problems on the reservation. Some cried as they told of their hardships; going without food and heat in their homes; seeing land being stolen out from under them. Many of the students have reviewed the financial ledger reports being circulated and are very concerned about the unbalanced distribution of monies and blatant greed. Concerning a return to self-governance, they stated that they are anxious to learn traditional ways. Without a spiritual foundation, many young people here are turning towards gangs. One young woman stated that she would attend council meetings with her grandpa and witnessed disrespect to elders, as he was never allowed to speak. They stated that nothing is ever done for the youth in the nine districts of the reservation, yet elected officials continually "use" them for political gain. In spite of it all, they remain optimistic about a better tomorrow.

An elderly woman, who travels nearly two hours across the reservation to support the Grass Roots Oyate, stated that, "…the women are the 'nation-keepers', the 'generation-builders'." She went on to say that, "…the Oglala Lakota people have tried non-traditional methods and pushed our children into it. Now, it has created a gap in generations. That is why we are here today. In the past, the Oglala Lakota lived in a simpler way, people respected elders. These ways are not lost, they are innate. If we have faith in the sacred pipe, we can regain our dignity and strength."

Dale Looks Twice, spokesman for the Grass Roots Oyate, stated, "Our actions here are creating a "snowball" effect; many other reservations are ready to reformulate their governmental system. Traditionalists are demanding accountability from their elected officials. Many tribes are watching us, our actions will serve as a catalyst for all tribes to abolish the 'oppressive monster' - the Indian Reorganization Act government system."

The Grass Roots Oyate have maintained control of the Oglala Sioux Tribe's administrative offices since January 16th. They have declared their sovereign immunity under the guidelines of the 1868 Treaty at Fort Laramie. The seven bands of the Great Sioux Nation are one of the few tribes that have a treaty in active, full force. In their 38th day of the peaceful occupation, they are standing on their original demand to remove the Tribe's Treasurer, Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs for gross misconduct and mismanagement of federal funds allocated to the members of the tribe. Further, they are demanding a referendum vote to abolish the I.R.A. government policy and return to a more culturally based system. There are a total of nine demands, none of which have been met as of this writing.

For further information, please contact Floyd Hand or Media Coordinator, Dale Looks Twice at (605) 867-5303.

As with all my emails concerning the Occupation Peoples please forward to any and all interested parties in its entirety

Wild Horse



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