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Pine Ridge News Historicals
SCOTTSBLUFF STAR HERALD JULY 8TH 1999
By JIM HOLLAND, Regional Reporter
PINE RIDGE, S.D. ---- Calling a Pine Ridge Indian Reservation unemployment rate 15 times the national average "appalling," President Bill Clinton announced a new economic package designed to spur job growth and opportunity as part of a nationwide tour of impoverished areas.
"We are in the longest period of economic growth in peacetime in our nation''s history," He told a standing-room-only audience of about 5,000 on the Pine Ridge High School campus Wednesday afternoon.
"For the last two years, we''ve had an unemployment rate of less than 5 percent," he said. "But here, the jobless rate is at 75 percent. That''s wrong.
"We cannot rest until we do better, and trying is not enough. We have to have results," he said.
"Let''s give ourselves a gift for the 21st century, an America where no one is left behind, and everyone has a chance," he said.
Clinton, visiting the reservation as part of his New Markets Initiative tour of depressed areas of the country, toured two housing developments before coming to Pine Ridge High School to speak to an estimated audience of 5,000, including 100 tribal leaders From across the nation.
He witnessed Department of Agriculture secretary Dan Glickman sign a proclamation declaring the reservation as a "zone of empowerment," the first such designation for a reservation in the nation.
Clinton said the empowerment zone designation would unleash $20 million in aid over the next 10 years to help rebuild roads, housing and water systems, and offer job training to stimulate economic vigor in one of the poorest counties in the nation.
He said federal programs alone were not the answer. "Government and the private sector must work together. If the private sector could have done this alone, we wouldn''t be standing here now," he said.
Clinton said private lenders are going to work with the Mortgage Brokers Association to double the number of home mortgages on the reservation in each of the next three years, with goal of 1,000 more homeowners.
Clinton also said agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission would assist in improvements in water and telephone systems.
"Those are absolute prerequisites to economic expansion," he said.
Clinton also proposed projects to harness wind energy on the reservation as well as construction of a Lakota Sioux Heritage Culture Center in Badlands National Park, north of the reservation.
Clinton also urged young people to stay in school and take advantage of higher education opportunities.
"Computers and the internet have all but eliminated the problem of distance," he said. With education, students can be trained to do the jobs when they are available.
"We are going to do everything we can to make your empowerment zone work," he said. "But remember, there''s nothing we can do but help you realize your own dreams."
"We must share the vision, but it must be fundamentally yours," he said.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo said the program is especially needed on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which has a poverty level of more than 60 percent.
"The numbers are staggering," he said. "That''s why President Clinton should be here today. There''s business to be done and money to be made.
"This isn''t about charity, it''s about investment," he said.
Clinton was introduced by Oglala Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold D. Salway, who said Indian leaders of the past would approve of the President''s visit.
"These men would agree that a meeting with an American President will have a lasting effect for our people," he said.
"Indian people walk in both worlds," he said "We honor our culture, tradition and our land, but we continue to adapt and grow in the American community."
Clinton was also accompanied by members of South Dakota''s congressional delegation, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Tim Johnson, both democrats and republican representative John Thune.
Receiving enthusiastic applause From spectators was Rev, Jesse Jackson.
The President participated in a traditional pipe ceremony with Millie Horn Cloud, descendant of Lakota Chief Red Cloud.
Clinton visited Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills after arriving at Ellsworth Air Force Base From East St.Louis, Illinois Tuesday evening.
After leaving Pine Ridge he was to greet Ellsworth base personnel and Rapid City residents before departing on Air Force One for stops in Arizona in Wednesday and the final day of the tour in Los Angeles.
CNN Transcript: Clinton addresses Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
July 7, 1999
Web posted at: 3:55 p.m. EDT (1955 GMT)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you very much.
Thank you, thank you.
Thank you very much, thank you.
Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you to all of you here From Pine Ridge and all the other tribal leaders who are here for a HUD- shared-vision conference.
I am profoundly honored to be in Pine Ridge and in the Lakota nation. In fact, to try to demonstrate my appreciation and respect, I would like to try -- to try -- to say something in Lakota.
(SPEAKING IN LAKOTA)
My neighbors, my friends, we are all related.
Consider those who have come here today to join hands with you along with Secretary Cuomo: Secretary Glickman; your great congressional delegation; our Democratic leader, Tom Daschle in the United States Senate; and Senator Johnson; Congressman Thune. You don't know this, but we have members of Congress From all over America who have come here to express their support and their commitment to join you in building a better tomorrow: Congressman Ed Pastor From Arizona, Congressman Dale Kildee From the state of Michigan.
Congressman Jim Clyburn From South Carolina, and Congressman Paul Kanjorski From Pennsylvania. He's come all the way From Pennsylvania to be here.
I want to thank the other people From the administration, especially assistant secretary of the interior, Kevin Gover, and Lyn Cutler (ph) in the White House who work with all of our Native American leaders around America, for what they do.
CLINTON: I want to thank the CEO of Fannie Mae Frank Raines (ph), the CEO of Norwest Mark Ohman (ph), the PMI President Roger Horton (ph), Mortgage Bankers Association President Don Lang, Champion Home CEO Walter Young (ph) -- for all the work that they are prepared to do in building a better future. And they're here today.
I want to thank my good friend Jesse Jackson for never letting us forget our common obligations.
And I thank the other members of our delegation today -- Bart Harvey (ph) from Enterprise, Al Fromm (ph) from the Democratic Leadership Council.
I'd like to thank the young AmeriCorps volunteers who are here today for all the work they do.
I would like to finally say a word of
appreciation to all the people who live here on this reservation who welcomed me into
their homes, who talked to me today as I walked down their streets. I thank especially
Geraldine Bluebird (ph), who Secretary Cuomo mentioned. She let me sit on her porch and
she told me how she tries to make ends meet for the 28 people that share her small home
and the house trailer adjoining.
I thank the children who stopped their playing and shook hands with me and listened to me while I encouraged them to stay in school and to go on to college and to live out their dreams.
I want to bring you greetings from two people who are not here. First, from Vice President Gore, who has headed our empowerment zone effort that Pine Ridge became a part of today.
And second, just a little over an hour ago, I talked to the first lady. Hillary has spent more time in Indian country than any first lady in history. She is intensely committed to this effort and she asked me to say hello to you.
President Solway (ph) said today I was the only president ever to come to an Indian reservation for a nation-to-nation business meeting.
I remember back in 1994 I invited all the tribal leaders in America to the White House, and it was the first such gathering since the presidency of James Monroe in the 1820s.
Now, I know that Calvin Coolidge came to Pine Ridge in the 1920s and that President Roosevelt visited another Native American reservation. But no American president has been anywhere in Indian country since Franklin Roosevelt was president. That is wrong and we're trying to fix it today.
I was profoundly moved by the pipe ceremony, just as I was when your congressional delegation took me last night not only to Mount Rushmore, but to the Crazy Horse memorial and to the museum that is there with it.
But I ask you today, even as we remember the
past, to think more about the future.
We know well what the failings of the present and the past are.
We know well the imperfect relationship that the United States and its government has enjoyed with the tribal nations, but I have seen today not only poverty but promise and I have seen enormous courage.
I came here today for three reasons: First of
all to celebrate the empowerment zone and the housing projects that are going on here now.
Second, to talk about my new markets initiative and what else we can do, but third, with
the business leaders who are here and I've already introduced them.
But I'd like to ask the business leaders I just mentioned to stand up. We want to send a message to America that this a good place to invest. Good people live here.
Good people live in Indian country. They deserve a chance to go to work. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
You've already heard President Salway (ph) and Secretary Cuomo recite the statistics.
It's a hot day out here and I know you're suffering in the sun, but I want to send a message to America. So I just want to say a few things and I want you to think about this.
Think about the irony of this. We are in the
longest period of economic growth in peacetime in our history.
We have in America almost 19 million new jobs. We have the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for African Americans and Hispanics.
For over two years, our country has had an unemployment rate below five percent, but here on this reservation the unemployment rate is nearly 75 percent.
CLINTON: That is wrong and we have to do something to change it and do it now.
When we are on the verge on the new century and a new millennium where people are celebrating the miracles of technology and the world growing closer and closer together, and our ability to learn from and with each other and make business partnerships with each other all across our globe, and there are still reservations with few phones and no banks; when still three or four families are forced to share two simple rooms; where communities where Native Americans live have deadly disease and infant mortality rates at many times the national rate -- when these things still persist, we cannot rest until we do better.
And trying is not enough. We have to have results. We can do better.
Our nation will never have a better chance. When will we ever have this kind of opportunity, where unemployment is low, inflation is low.
There's a lot of money in our country. The value of the stock market has tripled and then some. Business people are looking for new places to invest. And people who have done well feel a moral obligation to try to help those who are less fortunate, who have not fully participated. And we see it from Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta; to the inner cities of our country; to the Native American communities.
If we can't do this now, we will never get around to doing it. So let us give ourselves a gift for the 21st century -- an America where no one is left behind and everyone has a chance.
We will do our part. CLINTON: You have suffered
from neglect and you know that doesn't work. You have also suffered from the tyranny of
patronizing, inadequately funded government programs and you know that doesn't work.
We have tried to have a more respectful, more proper relationship with the tribal governments of this country, to promote more genuine independence, but also to give more genuine support. And the empowerment zone program, as the vice president and I designed it six years ago, is designed to treat all communities that way.
We're not coming from Washington to tell you
exactly what to do and how to do it, we're coming from Washington to ask you what you want
to do and tell you we will give you the tools and the support to get done what you want to
do for your children and their future.
+++ Elapsed Time 00:11, Eastern Time 02:12 +++
President Saway (ph) and a number of tribal leaders came to me at the White House a couple of months ago. You may have heard in the national press that I repeatedly referred to this profoundly emotional meeting.
I have given a great deal of thought to what was said then and what I heard now. We can do better. I would like to mention just a few specific things, for you have all heard years of pretty words.
There is no more crucial building block for a strong community and a promising future than a solid home. Today I want to talk about a number of things the government and the private sector are going to do to increase home ownership.
Our whole team visited those new homes that are being built not far from here. We talked to the families that are moving into those homes. I had a little boy take me through every room in the home, tell me exactly where every closet was, tell me what his sister's room had that he didn't have and why it was all right because she was older and she needed such things.
This is important. So what are we going to do? Private lenders like Bank of America, Northwest, BankOne (ph), Washington Mutual are going to work with the Mortgage Bankers Association and HUD to more than double the number of government-insured or guaranteed home mortgages in Indian country in each of the next three years. (APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: Right here in Pine Ridge, Fannie Mae,
under Frank Raines (ph) leadership, has set aside millions of dollars to help you buy
those homes at below-market rates, and they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars
all across this country to help people just like you become home owners for the first
Secretary Cuomo's Partnership for Housing is giving financial incentives and counseling to help families figure out how to actually get this done, how to buy their own homes and pay for them.
But, as I heard over and over today, even if we went in and tried to repair or rebuild or build new homes for every family here and in every Indian community throughout the United States, we must have jobs if we want these communities to work.
Adults to have something to look forward to every morning when they get up, and if they want their kids to stay in school and stay out of trouble and look to tomorrow, their lives have to be evidence that looking to tomorrow pays off.
It is appalling that we have the highest growth rate in
peacetime in our history, that we have an unemployment before 5 percent for two years, and
the unemployment rate on this hallowed reservation is almost 75 percent. That is
appalling, and we can do better.
CLINTON: No community in America can grow, however, without basic building blocks. No community in America should be without safe running water and sewer systems. So the Department of Agriculture will put nearly $16 million in water projects throughout Indian country, including two right here in Pine Ridge. That will also help you get jobs as well as improve the quality of life.
As you can see in this big sky country it is rather warm and it gets windy from time to time as the natives will attest. The Department of Energy will help harness the power and profits of wind and solar energy to save money and make money.
+++ Elapsed Time 00:15, Eastern Time 02:16 +++
Owens Corning and North American Steel Framing Alliance will provide skills training and the promise of quality jobs. And Citibank and Gateway computer company will work with Oglala Lakota College and other schools to help Native American students get the computer skills that will allow them to get 21st century jobs.
And our Federal Communications Commission will work with you to improve telephone service throughout Indian country, an absolute prerequisite for getting any new business in here.
Let me just say that one of the things that we have learned is that computers and the Internet make it possible for many people to do many kinds of work -- many kinds of work in any community anywhere in the United States, indeed increasingly anywhere in the world.
CLINTON: The fact that this reservation is a long way from an urban center would have been an absolute prohibitive barrier to a lot of economic development just 10 or 15 years ago. The explosion of computer technology and the Internet -- if you know how to use it and you know how to deliver for others with it -- has literally made the distance barrier almost insignificant for many kinds of economic activity.
So I want to implore you to use your tribal college and work with these companies and make the most of the skills they are offering, and we can get the jobs to come here once you can do them.
+++ Elapsed Time 00:17, Eastern Time 02:18 +++
Finally, we must seize the vast potential of tourism right
here in Pine Ridge by building a Lakota-Sioux Heritage Cultural Center. Every year,
millions of families travel long, long distances to see Mount Rushmore -- 2.7 million last
The Crazy Horse memorial: about a million and a half, even though only the head has been finished. The Crazy Horse memorial last year had a million and a half visitors. Only the head has been finished. I went there late last night.
And the Badlands National Park....
Now, if you look at that, you have to ask yourself, how can you have -- how many people -- if you did everything right down here, if we built this cultural center, of all the people that go to see Crazy Horse, of all the people that go to see Mount Rushmore, of all the people that go to Badlands National Park, how many would come here? I'll tell you, a whole lot. An enormous percentage, if you give them something to come and see.
That is nothing more than the simple, profound, powerful story of your eloquent past and your present, of your skills and your heritage and your culture and your faith.
These commitments that we are making today are just the beginning.
Thirty-one years ago this spring, Senator Robert Kennedy
came to Pine Ridge.
Many of you probably still remember that visit: Senator Kennedy seeking medical care for his child lying sick in the back of an abandoned car, refusing to sit and begin an important meeting until all of the tribal leaders had their proper seats.
You may remember his message of hope. Let me say that all across America, people were watching that.
I have to say on a purely personal note, one of the most touching things about this day for me is that the wife of our HUD secretary is Robert Kennedy's daughter, and she is here today, and this is a proud day. I'd like to ask her to stand. Kerry, please stand.
Thank you. Give her a hand. Thank you.
We lost all those years. There were a lot of reasons. And a lot of things here are better than they were 30 years ago. But this is the first time since the early 1960s when we had this kind of strong American economy, and we have no excuse for walking away from our responsibilities to the new markets of America.
I have asked the members of Congress to go back and pass legislation that will give major tax breaks and government guaranteed loans to people who will put their money in Indian country; to lower the risk of taking this chance.
We are going to everything we can to make your empowerment zone work. But remember, there is nothing that we can do except to help you to realize your own dreams.
So I say to every tribal leader here, the name of the conference you are attending is "Shared Visions." We must share the vision and it must be fundamentally yours -- for your children and their future. If you will give us that vision and work with us, we will achieve it.
Thank you and God bless you.
© 1999 Cable News Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota: The Oglala Lakota Oyate's
WALK FOR JUSTICE coordinator Tom Poor Bear and others have established
a "CAMP JUSTICE" on the Nebraska and South Dakota borders near Whiteclay
Whiteclay is an unincororated border town that hails a population of 22,
yet generated $4,300,000 in liquor sales last year! This isolated hamlet
offers 4 liquor stores and 2 grocery stores and relies hevily on the
reservation to support it's liveihood. Because of it's desolate location,
area Nebraskans have taken an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude towards
Whiteclay. It is an eyesore and embarassment to the people of Nebraska
and we would encourage them to call their governor, senator, congressmen
to shut down these liquor stores! We demand that the United States of
America honor our 1868 Treaty with the Great Sioux Nation and return
the land called White Clay to the Oglala Lakota Oyate!
"CAMP JUSTICE" is a reminder to our Nation and the State of Nebraska
that we as Oglala Lakota Oyate must not forget the brutal murders of
Wally Black Elk, Ron Hard Heart AND others. There have been 64 unsolved
murders on this reservation since 1973. "CAMP JUSTICE" will be here
until JUSTICE is served! Everyone concerned are welcom to participate
in our struggle for JUSTICE.
On Saturday, July 3, 1999, we marched to White Clay, NE only to be
stopped by a police barricade. As so-called "citizens" of the United
States, we believe that our consitutional rights have been violated!
The Oglala Lakota Oyate is planning another WALK FOR JUSTICE on Saturday,
July 10, 1999 starting at 10:00 AM. We will begin with a rally followed
by a peaceful march INTO WHITE CLAY, NE. WALK FOR JUSTICE will walk
every Saturday until JUSTICE is served.
For more information contact Dale Looks Twice (media coordinator)
or Floyd Hand at (605) 867-5762 or Russell Means at (605) 867-1025.
Lincoln Star Journal July 7th
PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) -- Paying the first presidential visit to an Indian reservation in 60 years, President Clinton today declared that the United States can no longer afford to ignore poverty and unemployment among American Indians. "That is wrong, and we're trying to fix it," he said.
Visiting Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Clinton seemed almost disbelieving as Geraldine Blue Bird, stifling tears, explained her living situation in a house and a nearby trailer. "You have 11 living in here and 17 in the other place," the president repeated.
Tribal President Howard Salway said Blue Bird's Igloo neighborhood -- a collection of foam-green shacks with crumbling porches -- is typical of housing conditions on the reservation. "In the winter, the hardship it puts on our people increases tenfold," he told Clinton.
Addressing the Oglala Lakota Nation before a large beige tepee in a courtyard at the reservation's high school, Clinton said it is time for a more respectful, empowering relationship with tribal governments. He sought to strike a conciliatory note by speaking a phrase in Lakota: "Mitakuye oyasin" -- "We are all related." "We know well the imperfect relationship that the United States and its government has enjoyed with the tribal nations," Clinton said. "You have suffered from neglect and you know that doesn't work." He said the Department of Agriculture would implement $16 million in water projects throughout Indian lands, with two of those projects in Pine Ridge.
"No community in America should be without safe running water and sewer systems," he said. "That will also help you get jobs as well as improve the quality of life. ... These commitments we're making today are just the beginning." In addition to the Igloo neighborhood, Clinton saw a part of the reservation that has new housing secured with federal assistance.
"We have to find a way not only to fix the very difficult housing circumstances but also to get them jobs," he said, noting that while the national unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for two years, the jobless rate on the reservation is 75 percent.
Clinton and his party were welcomed to Pine Ridge by Oglala leaders wearing traditional headdresses of eagle feathers. A group of Indians chanted and beat a large cowhide drum, and Millie Horn Cloud exchanged the 1868 treaty pipe with Clinton.
Reciting the names of great Sioux leaders, including the legendary Crazy Horse, Salway characterized the visit as one between governments and reminded Clinton that there are "unresolved land issues with the federal government" that must be addressed.
"I am humbled by the leaders that have come before me, ... who have fought for our land," Salway said. "I think these men would agree that this historic meeting with the United States president on our hallowed land will have a lasting impact for our people." As Clinton arrived, a demonstrator held up a sign: "Stop Lakota ethnic cleansing." The visit was part of Clinton's four-day, cross-country tour to highlight the plight of some of the nation's poorest areas and the "untapped markets" in America's inner cities and rural areas.
Clinton's visit -- the first to a reservation by a president since Franklin D. Roosevelt visited a Cherokee reservation in North Carolina on Sept. 9, 1936 -- called attention to American Indians, who are so raked by grinding poverty that his advisers suggested he come up with special proposals geared specifically to the Indians' plight.
At Pine Ridge, a scrolling marquee at Big Bat's Texaco expressed both joy over Clinton's visit and wariness of all the official attention: "Welcome President Clinton. Remember Our Treaties," the sign read.
According to statistics from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, there are 1.43 million Indians living on or near reservations. Roughly 33 percent of them are children younger than 15, and 38 percent of Indian children aged 6 to 11 live in poverty, compared with 18 percent for U.S. children of all other races combined.
Aside from that, only 63 percent of Indians are high school graduates. Twenty-nine percent are homeless, and 59 percent live in substandard housing. Twenty percent of Indian households on reservations do not have full access to plumbing, and the majority -- 53.4 percent -- do not have telephones.
The per capita income of Indians living on reservations is far below that of other Americans.
To begin addressing the housing problem, Clinton was announcing a partnership among the Treasury Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, tribal governments and mortgage companies to help 1,000 Indians become homeowners over the next three years -- a small number that nonetheless would double the number of government-insured home mortgages issued on tribal lands. Under the effort, "one-stop mortgage centers" would be opened at Pine Ridge and on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona to help streamline the mortgage lending process.
Web posted Friday, July 2, 1999
By KEVIN O'HANLON
Associated Press Writer
LINCOLN, Neb. -- State officials are worried about repeat violence when Oglala Sioux Indians march on the border town of Whiteclay, Neb., on Saturday to protest over several issues.
Last weekend, about 350 American Indians walked from the Pine Ridge, Reservation in South Dakota to Whiteclay, where a grocery store was looted and fires were set.
''There is going to be a State Patrol presence'' at this weekend's march, said Chris Peterson, spokesman for Gov. Mike Johanns. ''We have to anticipate and be prepared.''
Peterson would not specify how much of a presence the State Patrol would have Saturday other than to say extra troopers from Scottsbluff and North Platte probably would be sent to the area.
He said there was some discussion in the governor's office about whether to send National Guard troops to Whiteclay.
''But there's been no decision to involve the guard at this point,'' he said.
Meanwhile, about a dozen protesters marched Thursday in Lincoln at a rally organized by Nebraskans for Peace to show solidarity with the Oglala Sioux.
Tribe members are upset over several issues, including the unsolved deaths of two Indian men.
Some tribe members say that law enforcement has not done enough to investigate the deaths of Wilson Black Elk Jr., 40, and Ronald Hard Heart, 39, whose bodies were found June 8 in a culvert near the Nebraska border.
Whiteclay, a town of 22 residents, is located just across the border from reservation.
Tribe members also are upset that a handful of stores in Whiteclay sell more than $3 million worth of beer each year -- mostly to Indians with alcohol problems.
Other tribe members allege that the federal government has violated the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which they say reserved parts of North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska for the Sioux tribes.
Tribal leaders have requested that Johanns meet with them in Whiteclay, which is unlikely, Peterson said.
Johanns instead hopes to meet with them Friday in Scottsbluff, where he already was scheduled to appear.
Negotiations on the meeting were still in progress late Thursday.
Tribal President Harold Salway and Chief Oliver Red Cloud did not return messages left at the tribal office Thursday seeking comment.
Peterson said the governor's office has received e-mail from around the country from people sympathetic to the tribe's concerns.
That, he said, could lead to trouble this weekend.
''We're concerned that the spread of this information over the Internet may encourage a lot of outsiders to come -- outsiders who don't respect the tribal leadership,'' Peterson said. ''Certainly, the Oglala Sioux leaders want a peaceful march and want no repeat whatsoever of the looting and arson. The concern is the affect of outsiders.''
But Judi Morgan, executive director of the Nebraska Indian Commission, said earlier that tribal leaders of the tribe do not want Saturday's march to turn ugly because it could scare away President Clinton, who is scheduled to visit the reservation Tuesday.
Clinton is scheduled to discuss the lack of private sector investment in American Indian communities and their economic potential.
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News and Views
Leonard wrote the following and asked us to put it out to all supporters and media. Thanks, LPDC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement of Leonard Peltier on Demonstration March to Whiteclay, Nebraska Set for July 3, 1999
I know the situation in Whiteclay has reached the boiling point. Once again, our people are being killed. Once again there is a call for justice, for full investigations, for equal punishment for those responsible. Once again, our pleas fall on deaf ears. And once again, violence is erupting. Our people have legitimate concerns that must be addressed, and addressed now. As I write this, my thoughts are with those planning to participate in the march from Billy Mills Hall to Whiteclay tomorrow morning. The whole world is watching. What will you do? I can only hope that everyone involved will read these words and see that we now have a chance to make a change, to make a difference.
As I sit "in here" and read about what's going on "out there" in places like Whiteclay, I can't help but be reminded of what happened nearly a quarter of a century ago at Pine Ridge, of the events that put me in this cell in Leavenworth. It seems that we have come full circle. Over the years, I've had a lot of time to think back about Pine Ridge. I can still see the faces of those elders, the Traditionalists who asked for our help. They knew who they were and where they came from. They didn't just talk about their spirituality, they lived it. Those elders knew the power of thought, and they taught us that when we become of one mind, all things are possible. When people look back at what happened there on the Jumping Bull property, they seem to forget that our little camp was a spiritual camp and that we were spiritual warriors. That is, until that now infamous day in 1975 when the sound of gunfire shattered our unity, shattered our world. In an instant, so many lives were changed forever. And I know I'm not the only one doing time because of it. Each and every one of us whose lives were touched, no matter which "side" we were on, is serving a life sentence, because those tragic, mind-numbing events are burned in our collective memory forever. Nothing can bring back those lost lives or take away the pain of grieving families. Nothing can change what happened that day.
We are now back at the beginning. We have come full circle and we have a choice to make. We can either mend the hoop once and for all, or we can go back around and repeat the cycle of violence and destruction. It's up to us. We have to trust in what our elders teach us. They aren't just making it up, you know. Our traditional ways have sustained us for thousands of years, through all kinds of adversity, and we're still here. A little ragged around the edges, maybe, but still here. And in spite of all, we still have our Original Instructions. Isn't it about time we started following them?
As things heat up and we face off in places like Whiteclay, we must not forget our pipes and our traditional manner. We must not exchange our spirituality for violence and destruction. We are now at a place in time where we have powerful allies throughout the world. If we keep our heads up and follow the spiritual path, we can mobilize these forces. Are we going to let history repeat itself? Will more people suffer pain and loss? And more "Leonard Peltiers" going to be created? Or do we keep our heads together and let the spirit of the old ways guide us to change the outcome going into this new millennium? We can, if we remember who we are, if we quit ignoring the experiences of those who have come before us. It's time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Are we living our spirituality, everyday, like those elders, or are we just talking about it?
We must become of one mind, united in thought and action. Not just during Sundance or when we're in the sweat lodge, but every single day of our lives. Then and only then will change begin and doors be opened. Who knows, one of those doors may even be the door to MY CELL. To those planning to march to Whiteclay tomorrow, I urge you to follow your own spiritual knowledge, not the path of violence. In everything we do, we must think of the seventh generation to come. Mitakuye Oyasin.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
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From: Mike Wicks <Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com>
To: AIM List <AIM@onelist.com>;
First Nations <First_Nations@home.ease.lsoft.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 1999 10:54 AM
Subject: [aim] WALK FOR JUSTICE INVITATION
The following statement is being issued on behalf of Floyd Hand,
a spiritual leader of Oglala Lakota at Pine Ridge, and one of the
organizers of the "Walk for Justice". Permission to forward to
other lists or to media is hereby given. Thank you.
We, the Oglala Lakota people, living on the Pine Ridge Indian
reservation, encourage Nebraska residents to join us for a
peaceful gathering. The purpose of this Spiritual rally is to
bring national media attention to the staggering number of
UNSOLVED MURDERS that have taken place in and around Whiteclay,
The desolate, unincorporated hamlet of Whiteclay hails a population
of just 22 residents, yet generates over $4,000,000.00 in annual
liquor sales! Because of Whiteclay's isolated location and lack
of funding for adequate law enforcement, UNDERAGE DRINKERS from
South Dakota and from Nebraska find it easy to obtain alcohol there.
Our Nation's goal is to promote a healthy, alcohol and drug-free
community for our children, AND FOR YOURS! As our neighbors, we
are asking that you unite with us to cease liqour sales and end
violence in Whiteclay.
"WALK FOR JUSTICE"
DATE: JULY 3, 1999
TIME: 10:00 A.M.
PLACE: Billy Mills Hall, Pine Ridge Village
The "WALK FOR JUSTICE" will begin with opening prayers followed by
a PEACEFUL walk to Whiteclay.
The organizers of this rally are insuring that there will be security
to maintain peace. WE DO NOT CONDONE VIOLENCE OR CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT!
= There are none so blind American Indian Cultural Support =
¤¤ as those who will not see P.O. box 1783 ¤¤
= Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com Lutz, FL =
¤¤ http://www.aics.org/index.html 33548-1783 ¤¤
= http://www.mindspring.com/~mike.wicks/index.html =
SCOTTS BLUFF STAR-HERALD JULY 01, 1999
By the Star-Herald Staff, and The Associated Press
With another march planned this weekend on the border town of Whiteclay, Gov. Mike Johanns wants to meet with Oglala Sioux tribal leaders to ensure violence does not erupt again.
Last Saturday, about 350 American Indians walked from the Pine Ridge, S.D., reservation to Whiteclay, where a grocery store was burned and vandalized.
Several members of the tribe were upset over beer sales from four stores in Whiteclay and two unsolved murders.
Johanns hopes to meet with tribal leaders in Scottsbluff on Friday to address their concerns and head off any more violence.
Leaders of the tribe do not want the planned march to turn ugly because it could scare away President Clinton, who is scheduled to visit the reservation Tuesday, said Judi Morgan, executive director of the Nebraska Indian Commission.
Clinton is scheduled to discuss the lack of private sector investment in American Indian communities and their economic potential.
Whiteclay, a town of 22 residents, is located in Nebraska just across the border from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Whiteclay is home to four stores that sell more than $3 million worth of beer each year.
"This is an alcohol trading post of amazing magnitude," Johanns said Wednesday.
The best way to deal with concerns over Whiteclay was to sit down with tribal leadership, Johanns said.
"I believe that we can work together in an atmosphere of compassion and mutual respect," Johanns said in his letter to Tribal President Harold Salway and Chief Oliver Red Cloud.
Neither Salway nor Red Cloud returned messages left at the tribal office seeking comment on the meeting.
March organizer Tom Poor Bear of Pine Ridge said Sunday that any meetings with Johanns should take place in Whiteclay. Poor Bear, a member of the American Indian Movement, said a takeover of the village might result if Johanns didn''t attend a meeting or deal with issues concerning Whiteclay.
Poor Bear said he intended for last Saturday''s march, organized to bring attention to the apparent murders of Pine Ridge residents Wilson Black Elk Jr. and Ronald Hard Heart more than two weeks ago, to be free of violence.
But he offered no apologies for an outburst by 50 to 60 participants that left VJ''s Market in Whiteclay looted.
He said the violence was a result of what he called racist attitudes by business owners in Whiteclay, and because no state officials were present in the village to talk about the murders and alcohol issues.
"My intent was for the march to be peaceful and spiritual, and it was. We said our prayers and we sang our songs. It was a few people that got out of hand. I can''t control the emotions of that many people," he said.
He also said he hoped those attending the Saturday march would "keep their cool."
Johanns also has spoken with U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., and U.S. Attorney Tom Monaghan about Whiteclay. A fact finding team is being established to work with the tribe on identifying issues relative to problems at Whiteclay, Johanns said. A community relations team from the U.S. Department of Justice also may be used to facilitate conciliation discussions, Johanns said.
Johanns said he looks forward to the meeting with tribal leaders and gathering more information.
"I''m not exactly certain what''s going on there at the moment," he said.
Last year, then-Gov. Ben Nelson established an interagency task force to investigate what could be done about Whiteclay. Members include representatives from the State Patrol, the Liquor Control Commission, the Indian Affairs Commission, the Health and Human Services Department, the Department of Revenue and the offices of the attorney general and the governor.
Morgan said the group continues to meet and is a viable entity. But, she added, its effectiveness is constrained by a lack of funding.
July 01, 1999
Reward Offered in Pine Ridge Deaths
BY TODD VON KAMPEN
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Meeting With Tribe Still Pending
Johanns Offers Teamwork To Sioux Tribal Leaders
Johanns, Tribe Differ on Meeting Site
Oglala Sioux Plan More Protests
Governor, Indians to Meet
Looting Ends Indian Rally
Whiteclay Beer Seen as Catalyst for Trouble
Indians to Rally Over Deaths
Slayings Open Old Wounds at Pine Ridge
Two Oglala Sioux men whose deaths touched off Saturday's violence-marred protest walk to Whiteclay, Neb., apparently were last seen alive two days before their bodies were found, authorities said Wednesday.
Tribal police and the FBI disclosed the finding
Wednesday in a press release that also announced a reward of up to $15,000 for information
leading to the arrest and conviction of those who killed Wilson "Wally" Black
Elk Jr., 40, and Ronald Hard Heart, 39.
It was the first new information in a week about the fate of the two men, whose bodies were found June 8 just inside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation about a quarter of a mile north of Whiteclay.
A lack of public information about the case has fueled allegations by some Sioux that law enforcement officials may have been involved in the deaths. The deaths were also the catalyst for last Saturday's protest.
A second rally is planned Saturday.
In conversations with Pine Ridge reservation leaders Wednesday, Judi Morgan, executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, said she has stressed the importance of keeping the second march "calm and peaceful."
Any violence could jeopardize a planned July 7 visit by President Clinton, she said. Clinton is slated to be on the reservation to speak about an economic development initiative.
"If we can't guarantee the president's safety, then the president probably won't come," Morgan said.
Wednesday's press release stated that Black Elk and Hard Heart reportedly were spotted walking north from Whiteclay to Pine Ridge, S.D., about 10:30 p.m. June 6, according to tribal Police Chief Stan Star Comes Out and James H. Burrus Jr., acting special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis office.
Autopsies conducted in Rapid City, S.D., found that the deaths were homicides. Investigators have refused to describe wounds found on the bodies, but have said blood was found near them. Published obituaries had listed the date of death as June 7.
Black Elk and Hard Heart were found in a grassy depression beyond a barbed-wire fence west of South Dakota Highway 407, the two-mile main road from Pine Ridge to Whiteclay.
"All investigative leads are being pursued vigorously in an effort to identify possible suspect(s) and motives in the slayings," according to Wednesday's press release. People with information are asked to call the FBI's Rapid City office at 605-343-9632 or tribal police at 605-867-5513.
Organizers of last Saturday's "rally for
justice" in honor of Black Elk and Hard Heart say family members have been frustrated
in efforts to gain information, including specific autopsy results. The rally - which
ended with the looting of a Whiteclay grocery store and claims of Sioux control over the
town - also was meant to call attention to Whiteclay's heavy volume of beer sales to
Indians from the reservation, where alcohol is banned.
Their frustration prompted a request Tuesday from new U.S. Civil Rights Commission member Elsie Meeks, an Oglala Sioux from rural Kyle, S.D., that her commission colleagues ask Attorney General Janet Reno to devote as many people as possible to the probe of the recent deaths.
Since the bodies were found, "there's been practically no information given," said Meeks, who put the request in a Tuesday letter to commission Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry. "It may be that there is no information, but it makes people feel that not everything has been told."
But tribal police and the FBI say people shouldn't be surprised when law enforcement is keeping information to itself. They say they have no evidence tying law officers to the deaths, but add that they can't risk divulging most of what they know about the fate of Black Elk and Hard Heart.
"Any time you release information that becomes known to the public, then the individuals who might be witnesses or suspects themselves become aware of that information," said Mark Vukelich, supervisor of special agents for the FBI's Rapid City office. He stressed that his comments reflected general rules of thumb about criminal investigations and weren't specifically related to the current probe.
If sensitive information gets out, several things can happen to damage the investigation, Vukelich said. People being interviewed can repeat the known information, making it hard to determine whether they knew the information on their own. If police tell about evidence they've found, that allows suspects or accomplices to destroy it.
"Once you tell one person, you lose control of where you send the information," he said.
Robert "Joe" Herman, acting executive director of the tribal police, said he knows what it means to be in the two families' shoes. His nephew was killed by a gunshot wound to the head a few years ago, he said.
"We were asking questions I knew investigators couldn't answer," Herman said. "It helps produce a lot of suspicion and a lot of distrust, but it's something we can't do without jeopardizing our investigation."
When asked last week if an explanation such as that made sense, rally organizer Tom Poor Bear said, "I could understand that, yes." But it doesn't make it any easier to live with the lack of information into the deaths, said Poor Bear, a half-brother of Black Elk and a cousin of Hard Heart.
The Sheridan County Sheriff's Office was first
to respond when the two men's bodies were found. It handed off the case when it was
determined that the bodies were on reservation land in South Dakota.
World-Herald staff writer Nancy Hicks contributed to this report.
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Johanns contacts two Lakota leaders
BY FRED KNAPP Lincoln Journal Star
Gov. Mike Johanns said Wednesday he has started a dialogue with Oglala Sioux leaders and will assemble a team to study alcohol sales in Whiteclay and other troubles between the Nebraska border town and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
At his weekly news conference, Johanns said he had talked by telephone Tuesday with Oglala Sioux Tribe President Harold Salway and Chief Oliver Red Cloud.
"They have bona fide and genuine concerns," Johanns said, mentioning specifically alcohol. "They worry about their people, and they have every right to." Johanns also said he was establishing a fact-finding team, which will include Kevin Roach, chairman of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, Judi Morgan, the commission's executive director, and a tribal judge.
"I'm not exactly certain what's going on there at the moment," Johanns said of the troubled area encompassing the American Indian reservation, where no alcohol is sold, and Whiteclay, where an estimated 4 million cans of beer are sold annually, principally to Indians.
A march from the reservation to Whiteclay last weekend, intended to draw attention to the unsolved murders of two Lakota men, ended with the looting and setting of fires in a Whiteclay grocery store. Another march is scheduled Saturday.
"The tribal leadership does not condone the burning of the building that occurred," Johanns said. "If the Lakota people listen to their leadership, we can de-escalate this situation." Although unofficial Indian spokesmen have been quoted in the newspapers, Johanns said, he would deal with Salway and Red Cloud. "They are the leadership here," Johanns said, adding that as governor, he would deal with them "leader to leader." An attempt to reach Tom Poor Bear, who organized Saturday's march, was not successful.
Meanwhile, the FBI and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety announced Wednesday a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the deaths of Wilson Black Elk Jr. and Ronald Hard Heart. The two men were found June 8 near the road leading from Whiteclay to Pine Ridge.
Morgan said efforts to deal with the situation around Whiteclay begun under former Gov. Ben Nelson and continue via a group called "Border Tiospaye," Lakota for "extended family." The group is a coalition of social services workers, health care professionals, counselors, clergy and law enforcement personnel.
While the Nebraska State Patrol does not want to pursue lawbreakers onto the South Dakota reservation, it has offered to train tribal police, Morgan said.
"The tribe has dropped the ball on that," she said.
Tribal public safety officials could not be reached to comment.
Border Tiospaye also has discussed setting up an outreach office in nearby Rushville, staffed with social workers who could patrol Whiteclay to help people suffering from alcohol-related problems, Morgan said.
Among the group's suggestions:
-- A task force to hold public hearings on civil rights violations.
-- A joint land claims commission to review Indian claims that Whiteclay belongs to them.
-- Upgraded drug and alcohol treatment programs.
-- A meeting between Oglala Lakota, Nebraska and South Dakota leaders and President Clinton during the president's scheduled visit to the reservation Wednesday.
Johanns has declined to meet with Indian leaders in Whiteclay on Saturday but has offered a Friday meeting in Scottsbluff or Gering.
"I'm not sure if that will work out or not," he said Wednesday. "If that doesn't work, we'll figure out something else." While arrangements for that meeting are still being worked out, Johanns spokesman Chris Peterson said Wednesday evening that the governor will meet Tuesday in Scottsbluff with elected officials from the Sheridan County area. Participants will include County Commissioner Vern Platt, County Attorney Dennis King, County Sheriff Terry Robbins and Sen. Bob Wickersham of Harrison.
"Obviously, he's very much wanting to sit down with leaders of the Oglala Sioux tribe, but he also wants to hear from local elected officials," Peterson said.
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reserved. This content may not be archived or used for commercial purposes without written
permission from the Lincoln Journal Star.
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Johanns hopes to meet Friday with president of Oglala Lakotas
From: Mike Wicks <Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com >
President Harold Salway has expressed interest
in meeting with the
governor in Scottsbluff, said the governor's press secretary, Chris
Peterson. Details of such a meeting have yet to be arranged.
"It's the proper thing to do, to meet leader to leader," Peterson said.
He commented on a day when the governor's
earlier statements about
problems in the unincorporated Nebraska town of Whiteclay came under
fire and law enforcement reported little progress in investigating the two
deaths that sparked a march last weekend.
The march, from the Pine Ridge Indian
Reservation in South Dakota, was
organized to call attention to alleged mistreatment of Indians in
Whiteclay and to call for an end to beer sales in the town. Oglala
tribe members also are upset about the unsolved deaths of two Lakota
men, found along a road in early June on the reservation north of
March leaders, who said the Nebraska town sits
on what should be
reservation land, asked Johanns to meet with them to talk about the
But Peterson said a letter sent to Johanns'
office Monday asking the
governor to meet with tribal members at 10 a.m. Saturday came from
tribal members - not the tribe's top elected officials.
The letter was signed by Chief Oliver Red
Cloud, a spiritual leader,
and Michael Graham, a tribal council member.
Grass-roots leaders, not elected tribal
officials, also led last
weekend's march to Whiteclay, which ended in looting and violence.
Meanwhile, an FBI agent investigating the
deaths of Ronald Hard
Heart, 39, and Wilson "Wally" Black Elk Jr., 40, could offer no new
information about the case Tuesday.
"We're still following up and vigorously looking into it," said Special Agent Vukelich with the FBI in Rapid City, S.D.
During Saturday's rally in Pine Ridge, leaders
with the American
Indian Movement said they had learned the name of an eyewitness to
Vukelich said his investigators were following
up on the tip, but he
declined to say whether they had talked to the alleged eyewitness.
"It wouldn't be fair to the investigation," he said. "It would kind of
handcuff them if we gave out too much information." Also on Tuesday,
Nebraska Democrats called for Johanns to apologize or "paternalistic
and insulting remark" about the sale of beer in Whiteclay.
Party Chairwoman Anne Boyle also took the
Republican governor to task
for declining to meet in Whiteclay on Saturday. Citing reports that
the governor could not go to Whiteclay because he has a parade
scheduled Saturday, she questioned his priorities.
"The governor seems to care more about
marching in a parade than
meeting with Oglala Sioux leaders to discuss the increasingly urgent
situation in Whiteclay," she said. "He was elected to lead, not avoid
problems and difficult meetings that take him outside his comfort
zone." Boyle also objected to Johanns saying that one solution to
Whiteclay's alcohol problemwould be to not buy beer there. She said
the remark trivialized a "deeply complex matter important to all Nebraskans.
" Tuesday afternoon, Peterson shot back, saying: "Anne Boyle's partisan
rhetoric is totally irresponsible." He said Johanns does plan to appear in a
parade Saturday. But more importantly,Peterson said, "there have been
threats and demands made, and the governor does not deal with threats
and demands. He will not go to Whiteclay in that kind of situation
" The governor has offered to meet with members of the tribe in Scottsbluff
on Friday or to arrange a meeting in Lincoln. He also has offered to meet with local
officials and Whiteclay business owners Tuesday, during another stop in Scottsbluff.
In addition, Peterson said, the governor talked
about the Whiteclay
situation with Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey. The two met Tuesday morning
before Johanns testified at a U.S. Senate hearing. Peterson said he didn't
have any more information about their discussion.
= There are none so blind American Indian Cultural Support =
¤¤ as those who will not see P.O. box 1783 ¤¤
= Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com Lutz, FL =
¤¤ http://www.aics.org/index.html 33548-1783 ¤¤
= http://www.mindspring.com/~mike.wicks/index.html =
STAR HERALD - SCOTTS BLUFF NEB.
June 27, 1999
Whiteclay protest rally erupts in violence
WHITECLAY -- At least a temporary calm returned Saturday evening to this tiny Nebraska village bordering South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after a rally erupted in violence earlier in the day. The rally and march were conducted protesting the murders of two Pine Ridge men.
AIM leader: Town is part of reservation
PINE RIDGE, S.D.--American Indian Movement leader Russell Means used Saturday's Rally for Justice, organized as a protest to the alleged murders of two Pine Ridge men, to reiterate a primary platform of the movement since its formation in 1968 -- treaty rights and land ownership.
Clinton must look at issues, says leader
PINE RIDGE, S.D. -- President Bill Clinton must address more than poverty and economic development on the Pine Ridge Reservation when he makes a scheduled visit on July 7, American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks said Saturday.
Clinton is scheduled to visit Pine Ridge as a part of a four-day cross-country tour of impoverished areas to encourage business development.
Nebraska's governor is open to discussions surrounding apparent murders nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns will not respond to demands or threats, but has an open phone line for anyone wishing to discuss the issues surrounding the apparent murder of two native Americans whose bodies were found near Whiteclay. Whiteclay was the scene Saturday of a march and rally in protest of the deaths and the manner in which investigations are being conducted.
March turns violent as store is ransacked
PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) -- A demonstration by American Indian activists turned violent Saturday as people ransacked a store and set fires. Two news photographers were roughed up.
OMAHA WORLD HERALD Published Monday June 28, 1999
Governor, Indians to Meet
BY TODD VON KAMPEN WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Pine Ridge, S.D. - Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns plans to meet with Pine Ridge Indian Reservation leaders and Sheridan County, Neb., elected officials sometime during the next two weeks.
AUTHORITIES CRUISE THE STREETS OF WHITECLAY
The meetings are in response to the weekend's violence-marred "rally for justice" march from Pine Ridge to nearby Whiteclay, Neb., which ended with looting of a grocery store that was also set on fire. Oglala Sioux leaders said Saturday's event wouldn't be the last demonstration of tribal claims to Whiteclay.
Johann's staff was working Monday with the Nebraska Indian Commission to set up the meeting as early as this week, said Chris Peterson, a Johann's aide.
The meetings will not take place in Whiteclay, Peterson said. They will probably be in Lincoln or in Scottsbluff or Gering, Neb., where Johanns has previously scheduled visits planned. Johanns is eager to meet with the Indian leaders, Peterson said.
Tom Poor Bear, an organizer of Saturday's event, said Sunday that neither a visit by Johanns nor a break in the investigations into the deaths of two Sioux men three weeks ago will stop Indians from trying to halt Whiteclay's bustling beer trade or asserting that the reservation once again includes the town of about 25.
"To me, even if the case is solved - which I pray and hope for - and Whiteclay is still open, I feel there will be more Lakota deaths if Whiteclay is kept open," he said over a hamburger and fries at Big Bat's Texaco. "It will not end until it is closed down and the land is back in the hands of the Lakota people."
Poor Bear is a half-brother of Wilson "Wally" Black Elk Jr., 40, and a cousin of Ronald Hard Heart, 39, whose bodies were found June 8 just inside the reservation's borders about one-quarter mile north of Whiteclay.
Saturday's rally was triggered by a lack of law enforcement information on the deaths, frustration over Whiteclay's alcohol business and allegations of racism by Sheridan County residents and law enforcement officials.
Johanns said Sunday from Lincoln that while the two Sioux deaths were tragic, arson is illegal.
"It's a very sad statement. It doesn't promote any cause," Johanns said. "The people responsible will be held responsible. . . . Two hundred and fifty people got together, and the adrenalin started pumping."
American Indian Movement leaders Russell Means, Dennis Banks and Clyde Bellecourt will return next weekend, Poor Bear said. Banks and Bellecourt left Sunday for their homes in Minneapolis. Means was to leave Monday for his home in California, Poor Bear said.
A letter signed by Sioux spiritual leader Oliver Red Cloud was to be sent Monday to Johanns, asking him to be present at the end of another Indian walk to Whiteclay, Poor Bear said. He also planned to contact the U.S. Justice Department, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, the Nebraska Indian Commission and the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
"It's not going to be a letter demanding the governor be here," he said. "It's going to be an invitation for him to come down and deal with this matter in a responsible way."
Johanns noted that he has visited all the American Indian reservations in Nebraska.
Johanns said AIM members' demands to return Whiteclay to the Oglala Sioux were rhetoric.
"They know I don't control that land," he said.
Nebraska law enforcement officials reopened Whiteclay to traffic Sunday, but Nebraska State Patrol cars and Sheridan County Sheriff's Office cruisers were in full view. Whiteclay's handful of businesses remained closed Sunday, including the four beer outlets and VJ's Market, the looted store.
Most businesses appeared to be reopening Monday, said Tom Hotz, owner of the Whiteclay Jack and Jill.
Whiteclay was quiet after the Saturday violence, said Terri Teuber, spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol. Most residents left town Saturday to spend the night elsewhere. They began returning Sunday.
Troopers scaled back their presence Sunday and Monday.
When the rally began, leaders led the walkers through Whiteclay, then turned around and returned to the north edge of town for speeches. About 1:45 p.m., the rally appeared to be breaking up. Some demonstrators who had scattered up and down Whiteclay's four-block-long main street tore down the "Welcome to Nebraska" sign and carted it off to the other end of town, egged on by rally leaders.
"Let's take that Nebraska sign back where it belongs - way over there!" Poor Bear said as the sign came down.
About 25 to 30 people then started throwing cans at the windows of VJ's, after which an unknown number of people broke into the store, looted it and started a fire. After Nebraska, South Dakota and tribal police moved in and firefighters from Pine Ridge tried to contain the fire, Poor Bear and other rally leaders persuaded demonstrators to leave the town and return to Pine Ridge.
No one was seriously injured. No arrests had been made as of Monday morning, but the investigation continued.
Tribal police estimated the size of the rally at 250 walkers and 150 cars, although Poor Bear said that up to 1,500 people took part. He said he felt at peace despite the violence, adding that VJ's owners had mistreated Indians in the past while Hotz at Jack and Jill respected and helped Indian customers.
"What was so beautiful was that when we left Whiteclay, there were two eagles flying over where the bodies were found," he said. "That means Tukashala (the Great Spirit) sent Wally and Ron down in eagle form to fly over us, watch over us and protect us."
Four officers from the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office were joined by 17 Nebraska State Patrol officers and 25 Pine Ridge Reservation police officers in stopping the outburst.
Poor Bear and AIM leaders contend that Whiteclay should be inside the Pine Ridge reservation - not just outside it.
Indian leaders should be pursuing that claim in the courts where it belongs, said Nebraska State Sen. Bob Wickersham of Harrison, who represents the northern Panhandle.He said he doubts that ending Whiteclay's annual beer sales of 4 million cans would stop Indians from driving outside the officially alcohol-free reservation for beer. If the reservation line was moved 10 miles south, "the businesses will be moved 11 miles south," said Wickersham.
Meanwhile, others in both Sheridan County and Pine Ridge said AIM leaders don't realize that many whites and Indians in the area have learned to live in peace in the years since the 1972 slaying of Raymond Yellow Thunder of Gordon and the 71-day AIM-led occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973.
At the Catholic Church of Immaculate Conception in Rushville, the Rev. Robert Karnish led parishioners Sunday morning in prayers for peace and the poor.
"That the difficulties yesterday in Whiteclay not poison the hearts and minds of people of good will, we pray to the Lord," he said.
After the Mass, longtime Rushville-area residents Charles Hinn, 73, and Stella Otte, 74, said the area's Indians and whites will suffer from the perceptions being spread by AIM leaders. Hinn, owner of several businesses in Rushville, Gordon and Scottsbluff, Neb., said he has some second-generation Indian customers and has worked hard to build respect and trust on the reservation.
But "the misconceptions of people - the people in Rushville when they see people out of order or drunk in Whiteclay - they misjudge the people," Hinn said. "They don't see all the good people up there who have nice homes and pay their bills and go to work every day."
Otte, a retired nurse, put in many years tending to Indians in reservation and Sheridan County hospitals and teaching nursing to Pine Ridge residents. She watches Indian and white youths play sports on the same teams and attend high school proms with little concern for the color of each other's skin, she said.
"There are so many people here who have good friends up there, people up there who have good friends down here, who feel it's wrong to let things that happened years ago ruin the progress that we've made here," Otte said. "Does hatred ever conquer evil? I don't think so."
Later, at Big Bat's, Eugene Black Bear Jr. of Wounded Knee said hatred hurts Indians and whites alike. "The ones that hate, they're the ones who make trouble for the innocent people," said Black Bear, 58. "They're the ones who get killed."
Jasper Spotted Elk Big Foot, 71, said he didn't like Means, Banks and Bellecourt and doubted that they were making their case the right way. His grandfather, Big Foot, was the leader of the Sioux band massacred by the U.S. Army at Wounded Knee in 1890.
"Let them talk," he said. "Whatever they're talking about, they've got to do it right."
World-Herald staff writers David Hendee, Nancy Hicks, Erin Grace and Leslie Reed contributed to this report.
Questions? Comments? E-mail email@example.com
Sunday, Jun. 27, 1999
News Local Nebraska
Pine Ridge looks forward to July 7 visit by Clinton American Indian Movement grew in response to its times Beer retailers, critics disagree on alcohol troubles Whiteclay protest turns violent
Whiteclay protest turns violent
BY JOE DUGGAN Lincoln Journal Star
WILLIAM LAUER/ Lincoln Journal Star
Not welcome: Demonstrators carry the "Welcome to Nebraska" border sign through Whiteclay, claiming the town should belong to the Pine Ridge Reservation under a treaty land description. Rioting began after they threw the sign on Nebraska 87 on the southern edge of town.
WHITECLAY -- They marched for their dead brothers, their dead sons, their dead people.
About 2,000 Oglala Sioux people marched from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to this Sheridan County border town, the center of anguish for those who've lost family members here.
For four hours, the emotional march progressed peacefully. Then, in one hour of white-hot anger, it disintegrated into looting, arson and a police standoff.
"We're here today to tell Nebraska, all the way to the governor, that this is our land," said Russell Means, an Oglala and high-profile member of the American Indian Movement, as he stood on the north edge of town.
Minutes after his speech, the blue-sky Nebraska day spun out of control.
Before it was over, a line of roughly 40 law enforcement officers -- some wearing Plexiglas face shields and carrying tear gas guns -- marched into town.
As Nebraska State Patrol troopers and Oglala Tribal Police struggled to gain control of the situation, a tense standoff ensued in the center of the unincorporated village.
It started with about a dozen Indian men tearing down the large metal "Welcome to Nebraska" sign on the edge of town and ended with looting and a fire at VJ's Market in Whiteclay.
Protesters pelted officers with rocks, epithets and screams of "murderers" and "killers." One Indian officer repeatedly beat a protester with a baton, but no shots were fired. A Los Angeles Times photojournalist shooting pictures of the looting was struck by protesters and had cameras stolen. Another photographer also had his cameras taken.
"Whiteclay is no longer Whiteclay, you lost it to the Lakotas," one woman shouted at authorities.
No arrests were made, according to Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Terri Teuber. An investigation is ongoing into the fire. No injuries were reported, she said, but several Indian people appeared to have suffered minor cuts, scrapes and bruises in the melee.
By late afternoon, officers regained full control, but the word around the reservation was that some people were attempting to rally another assault on the town.
"I just can't believe it can happen in the United States," said VJ's market owner Vic Clarke, after firefighters had left and as he tried to take stock of his losses. "I just can't believe it." Making sense of the violence may never happen, but its roots go back 27 years to an Oglala man named Raymond Yellow Thunder.
On a February night in 1972, the hard-drinking brothers Leslie and Melvin Hare beat Yellow Thunder, stripped him from the waist down, stuffed him in a trunk and drove around Gordon. At one point, they tried to force the injured, half-naked man onto a crowded dance floor at the American Legion.
Yellow Thunder spent the night in jail. The next morning, he went to a Gordon used car-lot, sat behind the wheel of a pickup and died of a brain hemorrhage.
"The Oglala people stood up and said that's enough and they took over Gordon for two days," Means said Saturday. In a gymnasium full of tribal members in Pine Ridge, he recalled the AIM protest he led to the Sheridan County seat 27 years ago. Since then, there have been unsolved murders on the reservation, but it's difficult to pinpoint an exact number.
During the lawless, violent times of the early 1970s, tribal police known as "goon squads" hunted AIM members, who represented a threat to the elected leadership, said Clyde Bellecourt of Minneapolis, one of AIM's co-founders.
In the early to mid-1970s, more than 60 unsolved murders occurred on the Pine Ridge Reservation, according to tribal members and scholars who've researched the era.
Mark Vukelich, an FBI supervisory special agent in Rapid City, S.D., disagreed. He said the number of unsolved homicides is "a handful." So when Wilson "Wally" Black Elk Jr. and Ronald Hard Heart were found dead June 8 in a reservation highway ditch a few hundred yards north of Whiteclay, it harkened to the days of Yellow Thunder.
Two weeks after the bodies were found, family members had received little information about the killings. Tom Poor Bear, an Oglala living in Rapid City who is the brother of Black Elk and the cousin of Hard Heart, said he felt the old suspicions creeping in.
Rumors ran rampant, especially around Whiteclay. The village is the closest place to buy beer for people living on the dry Pine Ridge Reservation. Friends have reported last seeing the victims taking the two-mile walk south at various times before their deaths.
One of the most persistent rumors is that a Sheridan County sheriff's deputy killed the men. Authorities, from the FBI to Sheriff Terry Robbins, said the rumor is unfounded.
"They can deny all they want to the mistreatment of Indians, but we've experienced it," Poor Bear said.
In addition, Poor Bear said there have been about a half-dozen unattended deaths in and around Whiteclay in the past few years. Poor Bear added that families of the deceased all saw evidence the victims were beaten.
Sheriff Robbins said he was familiar with four of the cases and the deaths were caused by alcohol, exposure, a fall and a pedestrian-vehicle accident. Officials with the FBI and the Oglala Sioux tribal police said they knew of no unsolved homicides in recent years.
When asked about allegations that Sheridan County law enforcement authorities ignore crimes against Indians, County Attorney Dennis King said, "I don't even want to dignify that comment. We do our duty and it doesn't have anything to do with race." Pine Ridge is the second-largest of the nation's 320 Indian reservations. Its boundaries encompass roughly 5,000 square miles at the foot of the Badlands, and it is home to about 18,000 Oglala Sioux.
History breathes in the Pine Ridge, and it stirs the people like the wind sways a field of buffalo grass. This is the land of Crazy Horse and Red Cloud, perhaps the greatest warriors of the Indian Wars.
Each June 26, the Oglala call a tribal holiday to celebrate their 1876 victory over Lt. Col. George Custer at the Little Big Horn.
Once nomadic bison hunters, the government forced the Oglala to adapt to the fixed lifestyle of white European settlers more than a century ago. The government provided housing, food, medicine that began a relationship of dependency that still exists today.
That relationship has not been good for the Oglala.
Residents of reservations face staggering unemployment. It is estimated that eight out of 10 people living on the Pine Ridge are jobless. Unemployment causes widespread poverty and Shannon County, S.D., is considered the poorest in America.
Poverty leads to despair. Depression is common and suicide rates on the reservation are six to eight times the national average. Social service workers say up to 90 percent of Pine Ridge residents have alcohol problems.
"I don't think people truly understand the things we're faced with, it's tragic," said Leon Matthews, an Oglala living in Pine Ridge village who is pastor of the Lakota church, The People Gathered To Pray.
To make matters worse, the reservation is reeling from its worst natural disaster. On June 4 and 5, tornadoes ripped through the reservation village of Oglala, destroying 22 mobile homes and damaging 60 other houses and buildings.
A 45-year-old Oglala man, Jonas Belt Jr., died in the storm and 40 others were injured.
People left homeless by the twisters now live with family or at temporary Red Cross shelters set up in school dormitories. Nylon camping tents -- usually reserved for traveling to sacred Sun Dance ceremonies -- are now common sights around Oglala village.
This is what awaited three of the American Indian Movement's most noted leaders when they came to the reservation Friday.
Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks and Russell Means led the siege at Wounded Knee in February 1973. By the time the standoff came to an end 71 days later, it was the longest armed conflict on American soil since the Civil War.
The three AIM leaders came back to protest what they see as the latest round of racially motivated killings. Although not universally accepted among Pine Ridge residents, they drew a packed house Saturday morning at Billy Mills Hall.
"We're up against people who think it's OK to kill Indian people," Banks said. "They think it's OK because they'll get away with it." The air inside the gym was infused with the aroma of burning sage and tobacco. Soon, a band of Oglala drummers sang a prayer song in honor of Black Elk and Hard Heart.
Families and friends said both men were kind and willing to help out others on the reservation. Black Elk, 40, was described as a spiritual man. He loved his nieces and nephews and was working to put his life together so he could obtain custody of his six children.
"The Great Spirit didn't call for him, somebody sent him," Poor Bear said. "Wally had too many things to do here on Mother Earth." Hard Heart, 39, worked odd jobs and was always willing to help, said Bamm Brewer, an Oglala who raises bison on a ranch west of Pine Ridge village. But Hard Heart had a drinking problem and he hung out at Whiteclay a lot.
"Sometimes I'd pick him up, take him home and let him sober up," Brewer said. "Now I wish I would have done a better job looking out for him." After the rally, the marchers poured onto the streets of Pine Ridge. The drum singers loaded into a pair of pickups and the people began their 2-mile march to Whiteclay.
Several hundred yards long, the procession filled the highway from shoulder to shoulder. Marchers sang, thrust their fists into the air and beckoned people lining the route to join in. Family members carried photographs of the victims.
When they reached the spot where the bodies were found, the families walked down, said more prayers and planted flags in the ground. Then the marchers crossed into Whiteclay. The procession went to the south edge of the town and back to the state line.
Along the way, some people yelled "start it on fire," but people laughed and seemed not to take it seriously.
Means told the people the Dawes Act of 1887 gave the pine-covered escarpments of northwestern Nebraska to the Oglala. He said he will urge tribal leaders to seek the return of the land to the Lakota.
Soon after, about a dozen Indian men began shaking a large metal sign on the north side of Whiteclay. Before long, "Welcome to Nebraska, the Home of Arbor Day," was being lifted by the group and carried through the streets of Whiteclay.
They carried the sign to the south edge of town, where a pair of Nebraska State Patrol cruisers waited. They slammed it down, spat on it then taunted the troopers.
As they turned back into town, others smashed the glass doors of VJ's Market. Soon looters began pouring out of the market carrying cartons of Marlboros, cases of Pepsi, boxes of candy and even watermelons.
Observers said the looters targeted the market because its owner has a reputation for mistreating -- even assaulting -- Indian people. Market owner Vic Clarke called the allegations absurd.
As the State Patrol cars slowly crept toward the looters, rocks flew. Soon, thin smoke started seeping from the market doors.
A fire truck drove up to the store, but firefighters abandoned it after being pelted by rocks and bottles. That seemed to prompt the officers to move in.
For what seemed like hours, angry faces shouted at each other over an invisible line in the highway. Police wanted the protesters to move back to the state line. The protesters refused to budge and they seemed particularly incensed by the tribal police who stood side-by-side with the Nebraska officers.
"Why don't you stay over there, traitors," a woman yelled.
Finally the tension eased somewhat when Chief Oliver Red Cloud, a respected elder of the tribe, told the protesters to back up. Eventually, most of the marchers left the town. The AIM leaders apparently left earlier.
Meanwhile, the editor of the Scottsbluff (Neb.) Star-Herald, Steve Miller, said he had received phone calls Saturday from protesters who threatened to "take over the town" unless Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns arrived by today.
"The governor doesn't deal with demands," said Chris Peterson, a spokesman for Johanns. "Making a demand that the governor travel two miles or two hours seems foolish, considering the governor's open-door policy. His home phone number is listed and he is always willing to listen and work with people." Sen. Bob Wickersham of Harrison said he was not aware of the incident but said he "would have to hope" it was not the result organizers intended.
"I can't imagine any circumstances under
which it is appropriate as a form of protest or expression to destroy property or to harm
others," he said. "I do not think that additional acts of violence will
contribute to any reduction in future violence, nor do I think it serves as a salve for
old wounds or injustices."
News and Views
Visit us at http://members.tripod.com/~ellis_smith/ameri-advocate.html
9.09 p.m. ET (109 GMT) June 26, 1999
By Carson Walker, Associated Press
PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) - A demonstration by American
Indian activists turned violent Saturday as people ransacked a store and set fires. Two news photographers were roughed up.
The four-hour American Indian Movement rally Saturday
started peacefully in Pine Ridge and ended with a two-mile
walk to nearby Whiteclay, Neb.
At Whiteclay, a group of people stormed VJ's Market and
threw soda pop, cigarettes and other merchandise onto the
street. Two fires were also set in the store but were quickly
Someone also threw rocks at law officers when they arrived.
At least two news photographers were roughed up, including
one from the Los Angeles Times, who had his camera and film
The trouble apparently started when several people took down the "Welcome to Nebraska'' sign at the border and carried it down Whiteclay's main street.
At the rally, three of the nation's best-known American Indian
activists said Saturday they intend to respond to racial tensions
along the South Dakota-Nebraska border - including taking
back part of northern Nebraska that is legally part of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Russell Means, Dennis Banks and Clyde Bellecourt said the
rally was aimed at calling attention to alleged anti-Indian
prejudice and racism which they allege has contributed to the unsolved slayings of Indians along the state line.
The editor of the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, Steve Miller, said he had gotten e-mails on Saturday from protesters who threatened to "take over the town'' unless Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns arrived by Sunday.
"The governor doesn't deal with demands,'' said Chris
Peterson, a spokesman for Johanns. "Making a demand that
the governor travel two miles or two hours seems foolish,
considering the governor's open-door policy. His home phone
number is listed and he is always willing to listen and work
The rally took place less than two weeks before a scheduled
visit by President Clinton to the reservation, which includes
Shannon County, one of the poorest in the nation. A
reservation villages, Oglala, was hit by tornadoes earlier this month that killed one man and destroyed about 160 buildings.
Means, Banks and Bellecourt want the presidential trip to
include discussion of issues other than poverty.
"You will respond to a tornado. Why don't you respond to the
tornado of murders?'' Bellecourt yelled at the several hundred
Whiteclay protest rally erupts in violence
By JIM HOLLAND, Regional Reporter
WHITECLAY ---- At least a temporary calm returned Saturday evening to this tiny Nebraska village bordering South Dakota''s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after a rally erupted in violence earlier in the day.
The rally and march were conducted protesting the murders of two Pine Ridge men.
Nebraska State Patrol troopers were routing traffic around Whiteclay''s Main Street after the brief rampage by participants angered over the apparent murders of Wilson Black Elk Jr., and Ronald Hard Heart, whose bodies were discovered just across the South Dakota line from Whiteclay on June 8.
Grocery store owner Vic Clarke told the Star-Herald he returned late Saturday afternoon to find his business, VJ''s Market on Highway 18 in Whiteclay, in a shambles.
"I was told it was a peaceful march, and then it got ugly," Clarke said.
"Windows in coolers were smashed, gondolas were overturned and a lot of product was ruined," he said. "And they started a little bit of a fire."
Clarke who had closed the store and left for the day, said he was told about 50 to 60 individuals began tearing down street signs and breaking windows in several Highway 18 businesses at about 1:45 p.m., just as a march by participants, including members of the American Indian Movement, appeared to be winding down.
Home Local Story Index
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 10:26 PM
Subject: :Executions of Oglala Sioux - Sheriff
A Sheriff is suspected in White Clay Nebraska for
the execution of two Oglala Sioux men and suspected of seven more. Ron
Hard Heart and Wally Black Elk of the Oglala Lakota Nation were found shot in the
back of the head execution style and Denver AIM has called for a mass rally
and march June 26th, 10:00 a.m. From Pine Ridge Reservation South Dakota to White Clay
Nebraska to demand justice and an end to these blatantly racist atrocities and
abuse of governmental authority. Scheduled speakers include: Clyde Bellecourt,
Dennis Banks, Russell Means and the families of the victims.
Genocide and ethnic cleansing executions are not the American Way, at least not in light of our adventures oversea's recently.
Ellis Smith Ameri-Advocate N.J./ C.A.
From: Ish <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS CONFIRMED BY AIM MASSACHUSETTS AS AN OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION FROM AIM....ISH
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 17:20:31 EDT
Subject: (no subject)
From the Offices of: AMERICAN INDIAN
DIGNITY & HONOR
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the struggle.
It was reported to me today at 3:30 PM EST. By Marvin Young Dog,
AIM Director of Veteran Affairs. That the town of White Clay Nebraska
has been secured and is currently/permanently occupied by THE AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT
and THE OGLALA NATION. Citing the treaty of 1868 and the 1889 Dawes
allotment Act, The area known as White Clay has always been part of The Pine
Ridge Reservation and is simply being occupied by the legal custodians of
A call to action has gone out from The
Leadership of AIM and The
Oglala nation for warriors to proceed to White Clay to maintain and defend our land
and our people.
I will forward additional info as it becomes
available. Matt Sherman
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 3:29 PM
Subject: [aim] Rally for Justice
From: Mike Wicks <Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com
Rally for Justice Saturday June 26, 1999 10:00 a.m. Billy Mills Hallin Pine Ridge on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SD
Support the struggle. The Indian Wars are not over. The American Indian Movement, Denver is calling for all warriors and supporters for Ron Hard Heart and Wally Black Elk of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
Both men were murdered execution style by a Nebraska Sheriff in White Clay, NB. A town whose sole purpose is to destroy the Oglala People through alcohol. A peace march From Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge to
White Clay, NB will take place on June 26, 1999 at 10:00 a.m. Scheduled
speakers include: Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, Russell Means and the families of the victims.
A caravan will depart From the Texaco gas station at Colfax and Mariposa
at 7:30 p.m. on Friday June, 25 1999.
For more information concerning this event please contact: John Old Horse enrolled Oglala Lakota Nation member #U-37439 Interim Director AIM-Denver.
Don't allow the deaths of our people to continue. We need your support.
In SD, contact: Tom Poor Bear 605-867-5821:
Dave Clifford 605-867-5428 or
KILI radio 605-867-5002.
These men were murdered, shot through the back of their heads! The person
responsible for this action is still the sheriff of Sheridan County in NB.
He has turned himself in but NO ACTION has been done. He is allegedly
responsible for SEVEN other deaths of FN people. Support the Oglala
People in this cause. We need as many people that can make it there.
= There are none so blind American Indian Cultural Support =
¤ as those who will not see P.O. box 1783 ¤
= Mike.Wicks@mindspring.com Lutz, FL =
¤ http://www.aics.org/index.html 33548-1783 ¤
= http://www.mindspring.com/~mike.wicks/index.html =
A subscriber of AIM One List did a search of all the available articles in newspapers in Nebraska for anything on this story and this was the only mention. It is common here in the East Dakota Reservation that when incidents of this sort happen, a "news blackout" occurs. So, in effect, there is nothing out of the ordinary. Unlike the happenings at Pine Ridge, here, the executions appear as "accident" victims. Just two weeks ago two men had an "accident", they run over by a vehicle. They actually apprehended the man who did it and he was charged and convicted of .... DWI. Pretty incredible but sadly true.
Anywhere else, vehicular manslaughter would have been the first charge followed by a DWI. Certainly not a DWI alone when a death is incurred. Not to mention multiple deaths.
The number of un-investigated homicides on the Reservations is unbelievable high. To even think that a homicide would not be investigated is probably foreign to anyone outside the Reservation system but to those within the Reservations it is all too common. Living in fear has become a way of life and its apparent that until we all unite and bring these tragedies to the nation and the worlds attention it is not going stop. It will only get worse. On with the article.
Ellis Smith - Ameri-Advocate
The Lincoln Journal Star,
The Sheriff of Sheridan County, Terry Robbins, denies any knowledge of
Indians being mistreated by residents or law enforcement agents and
when questioned about unsolved Native murders said that they were just
rumors. He answered, and this is his quote: "I don't know how many
unsolved murders they have on the reservation. We don't have any in
Sheridan County, unsolved deaths, you might say."
The following are a series of communications and writings on the numerous problems occurring today regarding land, property and use issues in the diverse area of property rights and the regulating agencies involved in usurping these rights. To get your opinions or experiences included on this page please participate in the discussions on the list either here or through our affiliate Ameri-Advocate Sites and list. When interest dictates we'll be setting up conferences with the assorted player's in this arena so you may present your views in person to those who may have some input in getting these views heard and where they can be addressed.
LAND - PROPERTY ISSUES
From: Ellis Smith To: AMERI-ADVOCATE
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 1999 10:40 AM S
Subject: [Ameri-Advocate] Update on SD relief effort
I just got word that coming From Michigan are cooking utensils, food, one or two generators for power and assorted stuff. Hawk has arrived in SD with cooking utensils, generator, food, UPS took From NJ blankets, clothing and more is being gathered for an additional shipment. From Tenn. a shipment went out today which included a Tent, cooking supplies and clothing.
So relief is not only on the way but is already arriving.
The Michigan caravan is leaving Friday night/Saturday morning. Anyone en route that has things to be picked up to be delivered then send me a note and we'll try to arrange a rendevous.
Thanks to all and lets keep the effort going. There's still actions we're combating over there in SD and disasters like this weather event only mean we have to double our efforts.
Current needs are toiletries, soaps, shampoo's, dish soaps, baby items are in desperate need.
From: Kathy Morning Star
The Loneman School, in the Oglala District has been set up as a center for distribution of donations for victims of the tornadoes that has almost completely destroyed Oglala. Wilma Black Smith, of the Loneman School, said that right now they're concentrating on the 22 families who were left homeless after the disaster.
Items that are needed include clothing for children and adults, blankets, diapers (desperately needed), toiletries, non-perisherable food items, cooking pots and utensils; sleeping bags would be helpful.
These families have been left with absolutely nothing.
They've been informed that their power will be out for another 3-4 days, so they are also in need of lamps, oil, flashlights, and candles ASAP.
Donations can be sent to:
Loneman School P.O. Box 50
Oglala, SD 57764
C/O Black Smith
P.O. Box 322
Oglala, SD 57764
Assistance is greatly appreciated.
In Struggle, Kathy
There are three major land stealing efforts underway domestically in the US. Our concern is primarily the Sioux Nation where the pressure is every bit as forceful as the Serbians exercised but is receives NO media attention what so ever. Following is a series of posts From what we've heard for the past six months or so of this American Ethnic Cleansing campaign.
SOUTH DAKOTA - HOW TO STEAL 200K ACRES, BECAUSE YOU CAN
I just got word From Della Eastman From AIM Sissenton S.D. who has relayed to me that in addition to having the power cut off, Banks shut down and phones disconnected (the phones are now reconnected but they are unable to call outside the reservation unless its collect); apparently in their attempts to force them off the reservation they are now intercepting food shipments both commercially and FDA surplus commodity shipments. Additionally, already one elderly man has died as a result of these "motivational techniques" but a child has as well.
Since they managed to survive the winter with no power or heat, now the deprivation of food and communications is hopefully going to succeed in moving them off their land and canceling the treaty that has been legally in effect for some time.
NARF (Native American Resource Foundation) apparently was responsible for getting the phones turned back on in the limited capacity they currently have. However, recent developments in food supply Deprivation is going to take some significant and expedite action in order for these people to get through this... ALIVE. They have reported that the Power Company is already beginning construction on Native Treaty Land in anticipation of its being overturned and the Sioux being chased off their own land. The whole deal is about stealing land to thread power lines thru it without having to pay for it. I'd wager that the power company made some significant financial contributions to the South Dakota legislature not to mention the Governors Office.
I would like to close this note in not only a plea for everyone and everyone you know, their mother, distant relatives and causal acquaintances contacting these villain and demand they stop this atrocity but to take note, this event, now taking place not only in South Dakota but in Arizona and Minnesota and many, many other places domestically is absolutely NO different then the fiasco in Kosovo... namely the removal of a people based upon their cultural heritage From their own land by a more powerful nation who's only goal is personal gain without out any capital investment.
In My Humble Opinion,
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 1999 1:37 PM
Subject: 200,000 acre treaty land transfer
Dear Peltier list, Because Leonard is concerned about the following, we are putting it out on the list. One of the key figures in this land transfer is the self proclaimed "Indian fighter" William Janklow. There are websites with more information listed at the bottom. ---LPDC staff (anyone please feel free to cross post on this)
The government in SD are trying to transfer 200,000 acres of Lakota land to the state of SD. There are protestors camped in the state capitol. The protestors are asking for congressional oversight hearings, as required by law, on Title VI of the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act, also called the Mitigation Act. Under the terms of the Ft. Laramie Treaty, the land can't be transferred without the signatures of 3/4 of all adult males of the seven tribes. The government is trying to expedite this through congress this week, before the Greater Sioux Nation has a chance to challenge this in court.
Here is a list of names, phone numbers, faxes and e-mails to help protest this illegal transfer. The more people who protest this, the more the politicians responsible for this will have to listen. I would suggest to call or fax or e-mail often.
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
838 Hart Senate Office Building
Attn: Patricia Zell or Paul Moorehead
Honorable Ben Nighthorse Campbell,
Chairman U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
828 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Attn: Patricia Zell
The Honorable Tom Daschle (D-SD)
509 Hart Senate Building US Senate S-221
Washington, DC 20510
Honorable Daniel Inouye, Vice-Chair (D-HI)
U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
722 HSOB Washington, DC 20510
Honorable George Miller (D-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources
509 O'Neil Annex House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Attn: Steve Lannich
Tel: 202-225-2095 Fax:202-225-5609
Honorable Don Young, Chairman(R-AK)
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Attn: Tom Glidden
Again, please feel free to post this information so many people can see it and respond.
Thank-you all for your support. Laura
-=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=- Related URL's: -=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=-
From: NAIIP News Path! "North American Indian & Indigenous People"
Federal & State Governments "Trying To Expedite Land Transfer" Written by CPT Peacemaker Corps member, Joanne Kaufman and Reservists Rick Polhamos and Kathy Kern. Saturday, April 17, 1999
CPT Ask Senators to Honor Treaty Rights of Sioux Nation Written by CPT Peacemaker Corps member, Joanne Kaufman and Reservists Rick Polhamos and Kathy Kern. Tuesday, April,13 1999
Mitigation Act Or Sold Out! by Candace Ducheneaux Wednesday, April 7, 1999
Brief Chronology of the La Framboise Island Occupation From Robert Quiver Sunday, April 4, 1999 http://www.YvwiiUsdinvnohii.net/News99/0499/BH990404chronology.htm
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee PO Box 583 Lawrence, KS 66044 785-842-5774
I am writing on behalf the Ameri-Advocate Newslist and myself in order to protest the U.S. Congressional bill transferring 200,000 acres of Treaty land to the state of South Dakota. We want Congressional committees to hold oversight hearings on the bill (Title VI of the 1998 Omnibus Appropriations Act) to determine whether it is in fact legal. We overwhelmly support any efforts that respect and assist the legal and intrinsic rights of Native Americans. The Christian Peace Teams and the Lakota/Dakota Sioux Nation are now currently protesting this blatantly obvious attempt to illegally steal land from a Nation who legitimately has claim and title through treaty of this land since 1868. We also want to ask that you help to ensure that the local and national authorities refrain from harassing the protestors who are camped on land granted them by the U.S. government and be part of the solution that is legal and morally right by respecting their right to protest peacefully without harassment, intimidation or harm. Lastly we would like to point out that this attempt to usurp the treaty of 1868 and steal the land out from under the Lakota/Dakota Sioux Nation differs very little from the current war in Kosovo. A more powerful neighboring nation, by sheer will and force, pushes the local population off their own land without regard to the human tragedy that will inevitably follow. Let us not continue to introduce hypocrisy as our national political heritage.
Thank you , Ellis Smith / the Ameri-Advocate Newslist
Dances with Derelicts Kevin Costner has decided to build a huge recreational complex with his brother on...you guessed it, Sioux Territory by treaty (which was in fact recently upheld by the Supreme Court no less). When is enough, enough? When does NO, mean anything other then NO? Due Process. The Right to own property. A nation under LAW. It is obvious that the Department of the Interior and the State of South Dakota have decided that if one item of the contract is in dispute then therefor the entire contract is invalid.
Redefining the Territorial Borders, harassment, legislating in direct conflict of the Treaties is purely an effort to intimidate and illegally coerce an unconscionable settlement. In the city this would be considered fraudulent and extortion. However, here, its considered business as usual.
Since when does the State of South Dakota feel it no longer has to abide by the Supreme Court? Follow along and you'll see there's far more going on then meets the eye.
KOLA - Costner & Black Hills and don't forget to fill out the petition at No Casino in the Paha Sapa
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