Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lakota Nation Secedes from US

The story of the Lakota Nation's withdrawal from all treaties with the United States cannot be found in any large (i.e. mainstream) news organization, I saw a mention at thefreeslave blog and then started doing some Googling until I found more details. There have been a number of treaties between the Lakota Sioux Indians and the United States, dating back to 1868 (Treaty of Fort Laramie), that have been repeated broken and violated by the U.S. government. These people have sought, but have never received relief for their grievances as they've watched their native lands pillaged and pilfered until the Lakota people have been sequestered on reservations that are mere fractions of their promised land.

Back in 1974, the Declaration of Continuing Independence was created by a consortium of 97 Tribes and Nations across North and South America. Fashioned loosely on the US Declaration of Independence, this document asks that the United Nations assist the Native Nations in forcing the United States to honor the treaties as they were written prior to 1871. This document is a precursor to the recent action of the Lakota Nation. The Preamble reads:

The United States of America has continually violated the independent Native Peoples of this continent by Executive action, Legislative fiat and Judicial decision. By its actions, the U.S. has denied all Native people their International Treaty rights, Treaty lands and basic human rights of freedom and sovereignty. This same U.S. Government, which fought to throw off the yoke of oppression and gain its own independence, has now reversed its role and become the oppressor of sovereign Native people.

Might does not make right. Sovereign people of varying cultures have the absolute right to live in harmony with Mother Earth so long as they do not infringe upon this same right of other peoples. The denial of this right to any sovereign people, such as the Native American Indian Nations, must be challenged by truth and action. World concern must focus on all colonial governments to the end that sovereign people everywhere shall live as they choose; in peace with dignity and freedom.

The International Indian Treaty Conference hereby adopts this Declaration of Continuing Independence of the Sovereign Native American Indian Nations. In the course of these human events, we call upon the people of the world to support this struggle for our sovereign rights and our treaty rights. We pledge our assistance to all other sovereign people who seek their own independence.

The National Ledger reports that as a result of 150 years of broken treaties, the Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States. A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S.

Excerpts of the National Ledger article follows:
The Lakota Indians want out of the United States. The have announced that they will break a 150 year old treaty and will secede from the US. "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," said Russell Means, an Indian rights activist.

The tribe, whose territory spans five Midwestern states, delivered a message to the US State Department earlier this week, announcing that they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties signed with the US government.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licenses, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Means said. The treaties signed with the U.S. were merely "worthless words on worthless paper."

Is it legal? The activists believe that it is. Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said. "This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

The Lakota Indians have gone through hard times in recent years as a culture. Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the United States average; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is very high.

Read or download a PDF version the Declaration of Continuing Independence here.

Read the entire National Ledger article here.

Read more about the Lakota people at the The Republic of Lakotah website.

Read the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) here.

See how the Native American lands have been diminished since the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868):

plez sez: although this is a noble gesture and quite a big step to restoring the pride of their people, i don't see the US returning stolen lands to the Lakota Nation. with very little in the way of capital and very few armaments that would be necessary to take what is rightfully theirs, i can't see the united states walking away from prime real estate in the midwest.

if nothing else, this action shows a desire for self-determination on the part of the Lakota Nation... i would only hope that our Black communities could learn a thing or two about attempting to take control of our destiny by addressing the issues of excessive taxation, poor state of the education system in the Black community, the over-reliance of government in the Black community, the need to encourage and support Black businesses in our communities, and the real value of property ownership in the Black community.


Homeland Colors said...

I saw this story and was absolutely fascinated. Natives have worse statistics than we do and I completely understand their motivation. I hope that they are making serious efforts to generate an infrastructure for their people and finding a way to generate income for their tribal government. Its an awesome concept I hope that they succeed in bettering the lives of their people.

lotus07 said...

Having lived in the Dakotas as well as many other portions of the United States where Native Americans have gotten some pretty raw deals, I can emphasize, but I gotta admit, the fact that they can sell cigarettes tax free and have more casinos that Las Vegas sort of tempers my pity for them.

plez... said...

i co-sign with you 100%... but i am pessimistic about the successful secession of the Lakota people.

to my way of thinking, the few native americans who benefit from tax free cigarettes and revenues from the casinos is trumped by the misery and continued destruction of the indian communities. more lives are squandered in the ghettos of reservations than are enriched by those few casinos.

Chad said...

What they don't and purposely aren't showing you are the statistics of the Lakotah not on the reservations. It's nowhere near those numbers they show. I could show you statistics in the the inner cities on whites that almost match those they are showing.

If you choose to live in the ghetto, who's fault is that? Yes. Choose. As many on the reservations have chosen to live there. For good or bad. But it's their choice. Not the govt's. Not yours or mine. It's theirs.

They have the money for casinos and such, yet no money for education, or to help reform their people on the reservation about why they shouldn't be in gangs, doing drugs, or just doing illegal activity in and of itself.

I have Lakotah friends that do not live on the reservation in SD but do have family and friends there. In many ways they seem to almost detest those on the reservations and their pitty party attitudes. How they basically want hand outs rather than to actually work for things. To take responsibility for their own actions.

Russell Means though is circumventing the whole situation. He's almost trying to play savior of his people. Trying to position himself as one of the big wigs. When in reality he's actually been making things worse. Even if he had/has good intentions.

Anywho, I'm off to blame the govt. for taking Crystal Pepsi off the store shelves. Maybe start something so they bring it back and treat us Pepsi users better! TTYL.