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South Dakota News and Views/AIM
Land transfer angers S.D.
'Federal law can't abrogate treaties,' Sioux Nation says
By William Claiborne / Washington Post
December 30, 1999
PIERRE, S.D. -- It was a gloriously warm day when 300 people gathered at the state
Capitol here on Native American Day this fall to celebrate the late Gov. George S.
Mickelson's dream of reconciliation between Indians and whites, who in a sense have never
really stopped fighting in South Dakota since Gen. George A. Custer made his last stand at
There was a children's choir, bagpipes, flutists and impassioned speeches condemning
the kind of mistrust and racism long abhorred by Mickelson, who in 1990 angered many
white people in the state by making Native American Day a legal holiday.
Conspicuously absent from the ceremony was its invited Grand Marshal, Gov. William J.
Janklow, a Republican called "Wild Bill Janklow, the Indian Fighter" by many Indians.
Janklow was in Sioux Falls, fulfilling what he said were prior commitments.
Also missing was a group of Indians who since March have occupied a small island in the
middle of the Missouri River -- within sight of the Capitol -- to protest what they call a "land
grab" of more than 200 miles of river shoreline, engineered by Janklow and Senate Minority
Leader Thomas A. Daschle, D-S.D. The protesters say it violates the 1851 and 1868 Fort
Although the treaties gave the west bank of the river -- plus the western half of South
Dakota and large parts of Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota -- to the
Sioux Nation, subsequent congressional acts and U.S. Supreme Court rulings have
effectively abrogated the pacts. In August, President Clinton signed a bill transferring the
river property from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which acquired it in the 1940s for
federal flood control projects, to the state.
Indians across the state are furious at Daschle for first quietly inserting the land transfer
into the voluminous 1998 omnibus spending bill and then, after the House voted to repeal
the deal, submitting a renamed version as part of a water development bill that ultimately
The Corps of Engineers had not been able to adequately maintain boat ramps and other
recreational facilities along the west bank of the river, Janklow said. Transferring the land to
the state, in addition to the Cheyenne River and Lower Brule tribes' agreement to the deal,
will allow the state to develop more recreational facilities while protecting portions of the
shoreline from erosion and development, he said.
"The river is our No.1 resource, and this is a way to protect it," Janklow said.
So as they have been for generations, the Sioux tribes and the state are once again in
conflict over who controls the land they share, an ongoing dispute usually centered on the
mineral-rich Black Hills, 200 miles west of here, which also were taken from the Indians.
But the tensions go far deeper than land disputes. They reflect a vast cultural divide and a
gulf of suspicion and mistrust between Indians and whites in a state that historically was one
of the bloodiest battlegrounds between the races during the great westward expansion.
The smoldering anger of the young "fire-keepers" who are tending a sacramental fire at
the protest encampment on La Framboise Island here -- a fire they vow will not be
extinguished until the Sioux get back the Missouri River shoreline -- seems at times to be
directed less at the land transfer than at Janklow and the kind of anti-Indian sentiment they
say he represents.
"I see him as the modern-day Custer, a racist through and through," said Richard
Charigreaux, an Oglala Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation, as he sat with other
fire-keepers in front of a tepee in which the spiritual fire burned. "In our religion, we were
taught to pray for our enemies so they can see, but I don't think he'll ever see."
The camp protesters -- who vary daily from about a dozen to 200 -- recalled Janklow's
role as a zealous prosecutor of members of the militant American Indian Movement during
the bloody civil wars of the early 1970s on the Pine Ridge Reservation, including defendants
in the 1974 Custer County Court House riots, in which Indians firebombed buildings after
the arrest of an Indian woman whose son had been killed by a white man.
Janklow said he became a villain to militant Indians after he prosecuted prominent
American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks and others in the riot case. "I made the
point that we had to stop this in South Dakota, and I did," he said.
"As much as these folks hate me, I never anticipated" the uproar over the land
arrangement, Janklow said. "I thought this would be the hottest deal they could ever get."
Citing Supreme Court decisions holding that the power to make a treaty is the power to
break a treaty, Janklow said, there's no question the Indians were treated badly when the
Fort Laramie treaties were broken and the Sioux Nation's vast lands were reduced to a few
scattered and desolate reservations.
"If I was an Indian, I could understand the shaft, because this land was stolen in spite of
the treaty. But we didn't do it, the federal government did it, and now it's leaving us to try to
deal with it," the governor added.
Charmaine White-Face, spokesman for the Black Hills Nation Treaty Council, said the
Sioux will fight to repeal the transfer because "federal law can't abrogate treaties. ... We
didn't make an agreement with Bill Janklow, we made an agreement with the U.S.
December 08, 1999
Action Promised on Indian Claims
BY PAUL HAMMEL
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Rapid City, S.D. - After hearing more than 12 hours of complaints about the treatment of American Indians in South Dakota and neighboring Nebraska, a national civil rights official gave one promise.
All that talk would result in action.
Mary Frances Berry, chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, pledged that the panel would complete its report and recommendations within 90 days to address allegations of unequal treatment of Indians.
Unlike a similar set of civil rights hearings held in Rapid City in 1976 after political unrest and violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Berry said the new report would not sit idly on a shelf.
Steps are already being taken, she said, comparing the testimony that concluded late Monday to complaints the commission has heard at other "forgotten communities of America" like those in Appalachia and the Delta country of Mississippi.
It was just worse in South Dakota and Nebraska, Berry said.
"The sense of powerlessness, hopelessness and the number of complaints about police brutality were enormous compared to places we've been," she said.
The commission visited South Dakota and nearby Nebraska communities of Whiteclay and Rushville to investigate a series of deaths of Indian men over the past several months.
Indians told commissioners that the deaths - including those of two Pine Ridge residents near Whiteclay - illustrate an unequal standard of justice for Indians and whites in the region and lack of sensitivity to Indian concerns.
Deaths of Indians are not investigated as vigorously and unsolved murders are soon forgotten, some testified Monday, leveling criticism at understaffed and undertrained tribal police and, especially, the FBI, which is widely distrusted by most Indians.
White officials, meanwhile, acknowledged that there are problems in Indian-white relations in South Dakota, but conditions are improving.
"Thirty-five years ago, if we found a drunk Indian on the street you'd put him in a garbage can and let him sober up," said Rapid City Police Chief Thomas Hennies.
"I personally know that there is racism and discrimination and prejudice among all people," Hennies said, "and those of us who head these agencies are trying to eliminate that behavior. But it's not something that happens overnight."
Complaints from Indians ranged much broader than recent events. Some speakers asked the commission to investigate the broken treaties of the 1800s that took western South Dakota away from the Sioux. Others said the panel should probe the dozens of unsolved murders in the 1970s following the occupation of Wounded Knee by American Indian Movement activists.
Others gave more recent and more personal stories: A sobbing Wagner, S.D., couple said local authorities refused to investigate the alleged sexual assault of their 13-year-old daughter at the hands of a non-Indian; a wheelchair bound, 90-year-old Sisseton, S.D., grandmother said she was assaulted by a town and tribal cop.
"We need justice today, not tomorrow, today," the Wagner woman said. "You've got to do something about it."
As testimony continued, Berry left her chairwoman's seat and walked to the couple from Wagner, consoling them and directing them to provide information to an FBI agent waiting nearby.
She said Native Americans need to realize that as depressing as conditions are, they have improved, and the visit of the commission has already resulted in some action.
The FBI, Berry said, will immediately look into allegations of uninvestigated criminal matters, and civil rights staffers will explore claims of police brutality.
She said she was encouraged to hear a Bureau of Indian Affairs official say Monday that it is looking at using $1.5 million in funds originally intended for prison construction to build a detoxification center at Pine Ridge. Berry and other commissioners said during a Sunday visit there and to nearby Whiteclay that an overnight detox center was sorely needed to get vulnerable intoxicated people off the streets.
She was also encouraged to hear the attorney for one of the men killed at Whiteclay say that he expects arrests soon in the slayings.
"Objectively, there has been some change," Berry said. "Twenty five years ago, people wouldn't have cared that eight men fell into a creek and died. Now, we have three agencies forming a task force to investigate."
Eight homeless men - six of them Indians - have been found dead in Rapid Creek, which runs through Rapid City, in the past 18 months.
As far as recommendations, Berry said it appears a reconciliation effort is sorely needed to improve Indian-white relations. Such an effort was begun under the late Gov. George Mickelson's administration, but was dropped when current Gov. Bill Janklow took office.
Speakers suggested several things: more Indian FBI agents and police officers; formation of police oversight committees; better public-relations efforts by the FBI; investigation of unequal jail sentences and arrests of Indians; and forcing local judges to allow the use of bail bondsmen.
Because judges won't allow the use of bondsmen, Indians lacking their own bail funds must remain in jail. Often, they plead guilty to a crime so they can be released rather than wait up to 180 days in jail for a trial, said Brad Peterson, a legal-services attorney from Fort Yates, S.D.
"It's hard to explain that 'you have rights' as opposed to, 'I just want to go home to my family,' " Peterson said. He added that Indians are targeted by police. He said he's had clients pulled over by police for things as minor as a bent license plate and an air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror.
The actual civil rights report will be written by a South Dakota advisory committee with the help of federal civil rights staffers. The federal commission, headed by Berry, a Philadelphia college professor and lawyer and former University of Colorado chancellor, will decide how to proceed and suggest action by government agencies.
December 5 1999
FBI Conducts Extensive Search of Area Where Bodies Were Found
by Steven Barrett
The Associated Press State & Local Wire
December 3, 1999, Friday, BC cycle.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.: The FBI and Oglala Lakota Nation authorities
on Thursday conducted an extensive search of the area on the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation where the bodies of two American Indian
men were found June 8.
The latest search comes just days before the U.S. Commission on
Civil Rights opens an investigation in South Dakota on numerous
Indian deaths in the state in recent months. An advisory panel to
the commission, an independent fact-finding agency, plans to visit
the state Monday and hold a public hearing in Rapid City. It will hear
testimony on the Pine Ridge deaths, as well as deaths in Mobridge,
Rapid City and Sisseton.
Civil Rights Panel to Meet in Rapid City
by Joe Kafka
The Associated Press State & Local Wire
December 3, 1999, Friday, BC cycle
PIERRE, S.D: The state Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil
Rights Commission will meet Monday at Rapid City to examine if
suspicious or unexplained Indian deaths in South Dakota are
treated the same as white deaths. Indians have long had a distrust
of the criminal justice system in South Dakota, and a series of
Indian deaths this year has not helped ease those feelings.
Mary Frances Berry, who chairs the full Civil Rights Commission
and is scheduled to be at Monday's meeting, said a report would
be issued to the U.S. Justice Department within 90 days of the
The meeting was requested by Elsie Meeks, of Interior, a member
of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who serves on the Civil Rights Commission.
There seems to be a disparity in the way deaths of Indians and
whites are investigated, she has said
Strong Hold Community
Talent St., Rapid City, South Dakota, 57701.
Friends For Justice are cordially invited to theMarch for Justice from
Roosevelt Park - Dec. 4th at 2PM to the Pennington County Court House in
Rapid City, SD. Event is being conducted in loving memory of our Lakota
brothers and sisters who are amongst the more than 100 unsolved murders
in South Dakota since Wounded Knee-1973 til now.
Come with us to the Rapid City Court House to keep the pressure on for
Justice! A Prayer & Roll Call to the memory of our dead is also planned
in conjunction with the rally and demonstration. Event is being
sponsored by the Strong Hold Community Action Patrol.
Dinner will be served at the Mother Butler Center after the March for Justice.
Volunteers for security and food preparations are needed.
Further Info: Contact Keith Janis @ (605) 343-1236,
Donna Blue Bird @(605) 737-0189,
Dawn Yellow Bank @ (605) 341-6958;
Volunteers from Rosebud contact:
Alfred Bone Shirt (St. Francis) (605) 747-2591;
Security Volunteers call Dave White Bull @ (605) 399-8564.
Administration of Justice
and Native Americans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11-24-99
The Administration of Justice and Native Americans is the focus of a public
forum to be convened by the South Dakota Advisory Committee to the US
Commission on Civil Rights in Rapid City on Monday December 6, 1999. The
forum is scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.at the Rushmore Plaza
Holiday Inn, 505 North 5th St. there are no registration fees and the public
is encouraged to attend.
The advisory committee is inviting federal, state and local prosecutors and
law enforcement officials, tribal representatives, and community leaders to
share information and views on the criminal justice system in South Dakota,
and its impacts on Native Americans. "The advisory committee is interested
in learning whether disparities or discrimination exist within the operation
of law enforcement and justice systems in the state," according to John F.
Dulles, the Commission's Regional Director in Denver.
In addition to scheduled presentation, an opportunity will be afforded for
other persons to briefly address the panel between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Those wishing to do so will be requested to sign up during the forum and
will need to be interviewed in advance by Commission staff.
The advisory committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Mary Frances Berry,
Chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, Commissioner Elsie Meeks of
Interior, South Dakota and other members of the Commission, will join the
South Dakota Advisory Committee for this important meeting.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan,
factfinding agency initially established by Congress in 1957, and
re-authorized in 1983. The Commission advises the President and Congress on
matters relating to voting rights, the administration of justice, the
enforcement of civil rights laws, and the equal protection of the laws. The
Commission has established advisory committees in each state and the
District of Columbia to assist in its factfinding functions. The Chairperson
of the South Dakota Advisory Committee is Mr. Marc S. Feinstein of Sioux
Falls. Other members of the committee are: Dr. Dorothy M. Butler and Ms.
Bang Ja Kim of Brookings; Mr. William E. Walsh of Deadwood; Mr. David L.
Volk of Ft. Pierre; Ms. Charlotte Black Elk of Manderson; Ms. Alys J
Lafler-Ratigan, Mr. James G. Popvich, and Mr. Julio "Mutch" Usera of Rapid
City; Ms. Amy H. Arndt, Ms. C. Rae Burnette, and Ms. Cynthia E. Hart
Mickelson of Sioux Falls; and Mr. Frank R. Pommersheim.
The South Dakota Advisory committee works under the direction of the Rocky
Mountain Regional Office of the United States Commission on Civil Rights,
located in Denver. John F. Dulles is the Regional Director.
For further information contact:
John F. Dulles, Regional Director
Rocky Mountain Regional Office
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
1700 Broadway, Suite 710
Denver, CO 80290
CNN TRANSCRIPT OF SEGMENT ON
WHITE CLAY -
November 24, 1999
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At sunset on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, brilliant colors fill the South Dakota sky. But soon, shadows and headlights streak across the land. And some people recall a night from last June when murder came to the land of the Oglala Lakota Sioux.
TOM POOR BEAR, RELATIVE OF VICTIMS: The chest, the head, the back of the neck. They were killed 10 times over.
MATTINGLY: The bludgeoned and partially decomposed bodies of two Lakota tribesman -- Ronald Hard Heart, Ron to his friends, and Wilson Black Elk Jr., or Wally, were discovered June 8th on the reservation lying side by side in a deep ravine along Highway 43.
POOR BEAR: I last seen my brother on a Thursday night. Wally was always helpful with a lot of people as far as yard work, he was going to be getting a job, and then he left.
MATTINGLY: Tom Poor Bear lost his half-brother Wally, and his cousin Ron.
POOR BEAR: No one seems to have seen them, you know, I didn't see Ron for about a week or so before he was found.
MATTINGLY: How the bodies got to the roadside, who killed them, and why, remains a mystery.
POOR BEAR: I told myself this is not going to happen no more. I do not want another family to go through this tragedy as my family has.
MATTINGLY: The murder scene is now the site of a memorial, and a place called Camp Justice. Oglala Lakota protesters say this was than just a murder -- it was a hate crime.
POOR BEAR: Somebody had to have had a lot of hate in our people to do this -- to do this brutal murder, to do it so brutally.
MATTINGLY: Poor Bear now takes the lead protesting an investigation that seems to be stalled. And he directs his anger outside the reservation just across the state line to a tiny border town called Whiteclay, Nebraska.
POOR BEAR: We're in a belly of a little monster. That little monster is Whiteclay.
MATTINGLY: At first glance, Whiteclay appears as anything but a monster. But Poor Bear believes that behind its sleepy exterior Whiteclay is a dangerous place for the Lakota. His mistrust for the white community is so great, he believes his brother and cousin were murdered by white Nebraska law enforcement, who, he says, could have dumped the bodies on the reservation outside Whiteclay to cover up the crime.
POOR BEAR: They have no respect for our culture. They have no respect for us as a people.
TERRY ROBINS, SHERATON COUNTY SHERIFF (ph): I don't have no idea what -- why they think that my deputies might have been involved in this.
MATTINGLY: Sheraton county sheriff Terry Robins is the law in Whiteclay.
ROBINS: I do know that their attitude is that they don't think we have jurisdiction up there, and that law enforcement picks on the Native American.
MATTINGLY: Hard Heart and Black Elk were last seen alive in Whiteclay. It's a night, according to locals, that typically might have begun with them hanging out in the evening shadows, maybe sharing a can of beer. But as the hours wore on, this time there was a brush with the law.
(on camera): A county sheriff's deputy responded to a complaint from a Whiteclay business owner. The deputy found Ronald Hard Heart and Wally Black Elk asleep in the tall grass at the far end of town. According to the sheriff, the deputy woke the two men, warned they were trespassing and told them to go home.
(voice-over): That was on a Sunday night, but the two men never came home. Two days later their bodies were found on the reservation, less than a hundred yards from the edge of Whiteclay, leaving behind bitter suspicions involving motives of racism and hatred.
(on camera);In a lot of ways this could be just any other small town.
POOR BEAR: Yes, it could be like any other small town, but it's what's inside of a town of what you look at.
MATTINGLY: Those looking at Whiteclay include the FBI, but agents say they have found no evidence implicating any law enforcement official, and no evidence to support the claims of a hate crime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have interviewed over 100 people. We're approaching 200 separate interviews in this case alone.
MATTINGLY: The investigation has taken the agents onto the reservation as well, but just like in Whiteclay, the murder trail seems to lead nowhere.
POOR BEAR: It had to be someone from another race because on our nation here, we've experienced a lot of death.
DONALD GREEN, HISTORIAN: It looks, I think, to the Lakotas, as if there's some kind of a gang or a conspiracy of some kind against them at this point.
MATTINGLY: Don Green is a regional historian, who says that generations of violence and territorial disputes, dating back to the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee, have left a legacy of resentment on the reservation towards white authorities.
GREEN: And, of course, Whiteclay itself is just a symbol of this whole -- how should I put it -- rotten relationship between the Lakotas and the whites.
MATTINGLY: A relationship which, some Lakotas say, is poisoned even greater by the convenient lure of alcohol.
POOR BEAR: They know of our alcohol problem, they know of this disease that we have, and they're capitalizing on it.
MATTINGLY: Whiteclay's four package stores sell 11,000 cans of beer a day, more than $3 million worth in 1998 alone, most of it to Lakota customers.
POOR BEAR: We walk for the injustice that had happened to two Lakota men when alcohol was brought into our lands.
MATTINGLY: On June 26th, less than three weeks after the murders, a protest march on Whiteclay turned violent. Hundreds of Lakotas protesters filled the streets demanding answers in the murders, and demanding that beer stores be closed.
POOR BEAR: I apologized to my people that happened because it was not the intent of the walk since it was a spiritual, peaceful walk, but I cannot apologize to someone that has harmed my people.
MATTINGLY: The violence is unsettling to Whiteclay merchants and customers who believe that suspicions of a racially motivated crime are unfair.
ANN CEDARFACE, WHITECLAY CUSTOMER: The people in Whiteclay consider both of the individuals that were killed friends. Even pallbearers at their funeral.
MATTINGLY: But could someone here have felt differently? Enough to kill the men in the streets of Whiteclay, then dump their bodies back on to the reservation? Sheriff Robins has one theory:
ROBINS: I believe that them two individuals was probably met their demise right where they fell.
MATTINGLY: And these Whiteclay residents agree. They say Hard Heart was at times in trouble.
MARY ECKHOLT, WHITECLAY RESIDENT: He used to come in there, and he'd say, loan me $5, I have got to get out of town, they're going to beat me up. Well, he could have gone -- if it was white people, he could have gone across the border in two minutes and nobody would have bothered him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing, Bob?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm the sobriety checkpoint today.
MATTINGLY: Since the murders, the border between Whiteclay and the reservation has become a line in the sand. The sale and possession of alcohol is prohibited on the reservation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got no alcohol or drugs with you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
MATTINGLY: Tribal police set up periodic roadblocks to stop the flow of beer. Anyone caught carrying beer has to pour it out. Anyone who has been drinking is taken to jail.
POOR BEAR: Like the words of Sitting Bull, we must put our minds together and see what kind of future we are going to have for our children.
MATTINGLY: While they hope for a break in the case, Tom Poor Bear continues to march on weekends into Whiteclay, and they call for the day when the Oglala Lakota people would no longer have a Whiteclay to walk to.
POOR BEAR: No matter who is caught and held responsible for my little brother Wally and my cousin Ron, I'll always hold Sheraton County responsible. It has to stop, and Whiteclay is a start.
Panel to Investigate Indian Deaths
The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com
7 November 1999, p19.
The United States Civil Rights Commission has decided to hold a hearing
in South Dakota to investigate the recent deaths of American Indians in the
state. The commission, an independent fact-finding agency that approved the
action on Friday, tentatively scheduled a visit to South Dakota for Dec. 5
and 6, with a public hearing in Sioux Falls. Among the deaths to be investigated are those of
eight men -- six of them Indian -- whose bodies were found in a creek in
Rapid City over the last 18 months.
The commission can make recommendations but has no enforcement power.
Seventh Circle Help
Thanks your correct in that it fell thru the cracks of mayhem.
With winter coming now would be a good time to start drives
to gather supplies and to get this guy on board to pick up and
Hi All! A few weeks ago, I sent this info to Ellis, but his pc blew up and
then the onelist went down and well, you all know the rest. It must of got
lost in the shuffle.
Due to a family illness, I am not able to persue this at this time, but
thought I'd shoot it through to see if anyone else could.
A few weeks ago I talked to a trucker who lives in the apt. complex where I
work. I told him about the donations waiting in PA for shipment to South
Dakota. He was such a nice man, and gave me the number of his company (I
beieve it's Roman-Haaus?)
Anyway, he said they do this sort of thing all the time so here is the info:
Robin Berry (it's a guy)
East Coast Sales Division
Can't beat an 800 #! If anyone can follow up on this, it'd be great!
Please let me know......
Peace and prayers,
FBI Agents Denied Meeting
FBI Agents Denied Meeting In Case Of Many Horses Death
SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- A committee seeking answers in the death of Robert
''Boo'' Many Horses of Mobridge says it won't meet with FBI officials
looking into the case.
The Justice for Boo Committee says the FBI has wrongly limited the scope of
''The feds are only investigating the four defendants,'' said committee
member Mark White Bull. ''They aren't looking at how law enforcement has
mishandled the case. As far as we're concerned, they have no credibility.''
Meanwhile, he said, the American Indian Movement is ready to mobilize to
''AIM is on alert,'' White Bull said. ''Everyone is waiting to see what
happens with the FBI investigation.''
The body of Many Horses, 22, was found stuffed headfirst into a garbage can
in Mobridge on June 30. An autopsy concluded he had died of alcohol
poisoning, and a judge dismissed charges against four teen-agers accused of
leaving him there.
The FBI said it would look into the case to see whether Many Horses' civil
rights had been violated.
Agents are investigating the four teens, said David Heller, senior
supervisory resident agent for the FBI.
''Agents are still gathering information so that we can give a complete
package of information to Washington, D.C., to see if there have been any
violations of federal law,'' Heller said.
White Bull also says FBI agents are investigating committee members and
people who helped the committee look into the case.
''We will only talk to the feds if we have an attorney present,'' White
Bull said. ''They have intimidated some of our members.''
Heller says no committee members are under federal investigation.
''Why, or for what purpose would we investigate them? I welcome the
opportunity just to meet with them and open a dialogue. We want to know
their problems so that we can work for solutions.''
VICTORY!!! Oceti Sakowin: CPT leaving LaFramboise
SUCCESS!!! OH THANK GOD ALMIGHTY SUCCESS AT LAST!!!
Oct. 11, 1999
PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA: CPT Presence at Oceti Sakowin Camp
Ends with Repeal of First Mitigation Act
Christian Peacemaker Teams is ending its presence at the Oceti Sakowin Camp
on La Framboise Island in South Dakota,following the repeal of the first
Mitigation Act and a new focus by the Oceti Sakowin on other treaty issues
impacting the Great Sioux Nation.
On Monday, October 4, about 35 people representing seven bands of the Lakota
and Dakota kicked off the new focus by meeting Senator Daschle at a boat
landing. He was touring the river with South Dakota media. Daschle has
instigated most of the legislation which presently challenges the Treaties,
and denies the validity of Lakota Treaty rights.
People stood in the fall sun at the boat ramp, holding signs with messages
like "Leave our land, you greedy greedy man" and "Mitigation Act is as
illegal as the Act of 1889." Across the river, others held a tarp with the
painted message, "Stop the Mitigation [Act], Honor the Treaties."
Daschle, Senate Minority Leader avoided looking at the gauntlet of Native
American elders and youth on either side until one Lakota lady stepped in
front of him. As he shook hands with elders, a Dakota woman, Stella Pretty
Sounding Flute, explained the group's concerns about violations of treaty
rights and ended, "You should let us walk this land in peace." He responded
with a lame, "I appreciate the fact that you feel as strongly as you do.
Thanks for coming here today."
On September 30, President Clinton signed a bill which included the repeal
of Title VI of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1999, or the Mitigation
Act. The repeal was Section 605 of the Energy and Water Development
Reflecting on the repeal, the media coordinator for the camp, Charmaine
White Face, said that prayers for the repeal had been answered. The precise
purpose of the camp has been fulfilled. However she added, there are other
attacks looming on the Great Sioux Nation's treaties with the U.S. CPT is
leaving in part to give space for the campers and the Coalition to develop
this new strategy and focus. Besides serving as a deterrent to harassment
of the camp by local racists and law enforcement, CPTers have helped
campers to think about new possibilities for direct action as part of a
nonviolent struggle. They have partnered with supporters of the camp on
several public witnesses drawing attention to the violations of treaty rights.
CPT will maintain contact with the camp and its supporters, the Red Earth
Coalition, and respond to requests for presence.
Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of
the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence
reduction efforts around the world. CPT P. O. Box 6508 Chicago, IL 60680
tel:312-455-1199 FAX 312-432-1213 To join CPTNET, our e-mail network, fill
out the form found on our WEB page at http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/
October 12, 1999 2:47 AM
Native American Day celebrated
While the rest of the nation celebrates Columbus Day, in South
Dakota it is Native American Day. In celebration, a ceremonial
blast on the Crazy Horse Memorial began the second stage of
completing the Sioux Warrior sculpture. It also was a day filled
with diversity and the hope that one day racial tensions will
cease to exist.
Ten years ago, Governor George Mickelson stood at Crazy
Horse Memorial and declared this day as Native American Day in
South Dakota is the only state in the union that does not
recognize Columbus Day.
For many of the more than 500 Native American Nations the
theme is, Honor All Children.
"I think the children in some way humble
all of us to take another look at making a
great effort for reconciliation," says Bishop
Blase' Cupich from Catholic Diocese of
Native Americans spoke Monday
afternoon about reconciliation between
Cookie Ramos believes, "This land is
polluted with innocent blood. There's
pollution of Native American Indian blood
that cries out from this ground. It's crying
out right now."
Although racial tensions in South Dakota
have been mounting during the past few
months, many today agree that the way
toward reconciliation and peace, is to leave
hatred and prejudice behind.
Although racial tensions in South Dakota have
been mounting during the past few months, many
today agree that the way toward reconciliation and
peace, is to leave hatred and prejudice behind.
At the Crazy Horse carving on Thunder Mountain, a ceremonial
blasting commemorated Native American Day.
The Seventh Circle
October 10, 1999
When you enter Rapid City for the first time you are struck with images of industry, tourist
attractions and gaming parlors. There are many new buildings and lots of things to do, without
having to see the tragedies that occur beyond the glitz. Every winter people are dying of
exposure and because they are Indian and hidden their fate means little to the general
population. That must change.
Winter is closing in fast and many people are not equipped withh the necessary clothing.
Winter coats,clothes, gloves hatsand footgear along with socks are going to be desperately
needed. Warm blankets and sleeping bags would also be appreciated. Check out the guest
book for other needed items.
With the extreme poverty of the Reservations,people come to the cities seeking a better life
and are all too often left stranded. The cities are overwhelmed by the numbers of destitute
people and often the shelters can not house everyone. People sleep in abandoned houses,
cars, boxes, under bridges and anywhere they can find some shelter from the elements.
Weather in the plains states can be brutal and even deadly. But weather is not the only killer of
the people, apathy can be just as deadly, we need people to care enough to sacrifice what they
can to help. This is an effort taking place in Rapid City, please read this page carefully and let
your heart do the rest.
All to often indigenous people are turned away from the homeless shelters in Rapid City, South
Dakota because they have been drinking. During the bitter winter that is often a sentence of
death. Alcohol decreases the body's ability to fight hypothermia and as a result they freeze to
death. Until now their only option has been to seek shelter under bridges or in abandoned
houses. They may survive another winter but the problem remains, they have little hope for
anything better in their lives. The Seventh Circle is a non-profit organization, dedicated to
providing the homeless of the Rapid City, S. Dakota area, with affordable housing , restoring
dignity and giving them a foundation rooted in traditional culture. Although it is aimed at the
Native American homeless the program will be open to all that are homeless. There are a few
preconditions: 1.They must be willing to change destructive habits thru traditional methods
and 2. They must be homeless at the time of their application, and 3. They must be willing to
work within the community for everyone's benefit.
The plan would provide the indigent not only with physical shelter, but with a caring
community built around our Native traditional values, culture and religion. We believe that
such a living and learning situation will be especially valuable for the most vulnerable of our
people-- children living in poverty. Without such a cultural background, these children will
have little chance to compete effectively in mainstream culture, with it, they will have the
confidence to learn and master the skills that they will need to survive and prosper. The plan
hinges upon obtaining the surplus military housing at the West Nike site near Ellsworth AFB, S.
And here is a statement from Rick Grey Buffalo Quinn, Founder of the Seventh Circle: The
Seventh Circle is seeking urgently needed help from all generations and peoples. And as
founder of the Seventh Circle, I am working with the homeless. Not only working with the
homeless, but trying to replace things lost or stolen, by replacing homes to the homeless. And
so I thank you.
We are but a small voice crying in the wind. And again, we ask all mankind to help with our
endeavors. Although I cannot come to you I pray my voice will. From the heart of the Dakota
Nation, the housing that I will aquire will be called the "Leonard Peltier Housing Project", In
the spirit of Crazy Horse, it is a dream of Leonard Peltier to provide housing for his people.
Donations of food, clothing and desperately needed funds can be sent to:
The Seventh Circle
c/o Rick Grey Buffalo Quinn,
321 Doolittle Street,
Rapid City S. Dakota 57701,
for information via e-mail contact David Hendren at firstname.lastname@example.org
Janklow, Protesters Argue
About Land Claims During Boisterous Meeting
By JOE KAFKA
Associated Press Writer
PIERRE -- Congress made treaties with Indian tribes, and Congress can break
them, Gov. Bill Janklow told a handful of protesters Thursday during a
feisty session in his Capitol office.
Raising their voices, the two sides tried to speak over each other on
several occasions, turning part of the meeting into a shouting match.
The governor's impromptu guests are members of an encampment on LaFramboise
Island, located on the Missouri River between Pierre and Fort Pierre. The
group wanted the governor to formally acknowledge an 1868 treaty with the
Sioux as well as the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.
A copy of the treaty, which set aside the western half of South Dakota as
Indian lands, was placed on the governor's desk for his signature.
The governor refused to sign, accusing the protesters of staging a
publicity stunt for bringing reporters.
The treaty cannot be considered in a vacuum, he said.
''I have no reason to sign it,'' Janklow said. ''I uphold the Constitution
and the laws of the United States.''
Cliff Kindy of North Manchester, Ind., a member of Christian Peacemaker
Teams who is staying at the camp, argued that the treaty does not allow
federal transfer of land along the river to state government. Two tribes
also are to receive some of the land.
''We're inviting you to acknowledge a common history that all of us have,''
Kindy said to the governor. ''We're not talking about what's law. We're
talking about what's right.''
Christian Peacemakers is a Chicago-based group that works to prevent
violence and tries to resolve conflicts.
''What we're trying to talk about is a nation-to-nation agreement that was
signed in 1868,'' Kindy said during several minutes of spirited banter with
''Your office has been an obstacle to the withholding of that agreement
between the Great Sioux Nation and the United States,'' Kindy told Janklow.
Campers have been on LaFramboise Island since March 22 to
protest the land transfer. The deal, which was brokered by Janklow and
Sen. Tom Daschle a couple years ago, violates treaties, protesters argue.
Congress passed a law last year returning land taken decades ago for
Missouri River dams.
The act makes the state and the Cheyenne River and Lower
Brule Sioux responsible for environmental protection and
development along the Missouri River virtually all the way from
North Dakota to Nebraska.
Janklow has said the state and tribes can manage the land
cheaper than the federal government and improve recreational
access to the river.
Although protesters said the transfer law violates the 1868
treaty, Janklow said there is a century-long history of the U.S.
Supreme Court upholding the power of Congress to pass
laws affecting treaties.
''The power to make a treaty is the power to follow a treaty,'' the
Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has the final say
on all laws and treaties, he said.
''The Constitution predates any treaty,'' he told the protesters crowded
into his office.
The Black Hills and much of the rest of western South Dakota was reserved
for the Sioux in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. After gold was discovered
in the Black Hills, the land was taken back in 1877 and Indians were forced
onto smaller reservations.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that the federal government improperly
confiscated the land, awarding financial damages. With interest, the sum
has now grown to several hundred million dollars, but the tribes have
refused to accept it.
The justices did not say the land must be returned to the Sioux.
Janklow told protesters Thursday that an 1825 Sioux treaty acknowledged the
supremacy of the United States and that the tribe lived within U.S.
territory. He also said the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1903 that Congress
can break treaties.
''I will not allow you to single out one treaty,'' Janklow
told his wary guests. ''You have to look at all the treaties. You
have to look at all the laws and the Constitution.''
A dozen or so campers stay on LaFramboise Island. They are
allowed by the Corps of Engineers to stay even though camping there
is off-limits to others.
''I'm concerned that we all respect the laws of our country,'' said Joanne
Kaufman of Chicago, another Christian Peacemaker. Treaties
are the supreme law of the land and courts must follow them, she told
''A treaty, under the auspices of nation-to-nation relationship, is what
binds all of us to respect that treaty,'' Kaufman said.
''How can the state of South Dakota take treaty land ... by an act of the
United States Congress?''
The act transfers about 158,000 acres of shoreline from Corps of Engineers
control to the state and two tribes.
Opponents said changes in the 1868 treaty must first be approved by
descendants of all the tribes that signed it, not just the Lower Brule and
Cheyenne River Sioux.
The controversial land varies in width on the shoreline along both sides of
the river. The transfer is to compensate the state and tribes for more than
400,000 acres of flooded wildlife habitat when the dams were built.
The state wants to plant trees and fix deteriorating boat ramps,
campgrounds and other recreational facilities along the river.
The new law also creates a trust fund to give the state and tribes money to
manage the land.
Daschle hears protesters
Tuesday, October 05, 1999
About three dozen protesters met Sen. Tom Daschle D-S.D.
before he boarded a boat to tour areas of Lake Sharpe affected by
sedimentation. The group from Fort Thompson was expressing opposition to the
Mitigation Act which provides for the transfer of lands along the Missouri
River from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the Cheyenne River and Crow
Creek reservations and the state of South Dakota. Daschle thanked the
protesters for their message but, on the boat said, the transfer is important
because it will benefit the state of South Dakota and the two reservations.
(Capital Journal photo
by Al Lundy)
October 05, 1999 1:34 PM
Mitigation Act - 
US citizens who wish to follow up on the issue may contact
Senators and Representatives to thank them for keeping
Section 505 in the final conference version of Public Law
106-60. Remind them that there is a second version of this
legislation, or the Mitigation Act, passed as Title VI of
the Water Development Resources Authorization Act of 2000.
This version also should be repealed or have hearings held
on it so that Native American and other people opposed to
the land transfer may register their concerns.
1st Mitigation Act repealed! 
October 4, 1999
South Dakota: First Mitigation Act Repealed!
Pierre, SD -- On September 30, President Clinton signed a
bill which included the repeal of Title VI of the Omnibus
Appropriations Act of 1999, or the Mitigation Act. A second
version of the Mitigation Act, passed in August, still
stands, so Oceti Sakowin campers on La Framboise Island are
digging in for the winter, chopping wood and winterizing
tipis and tents.
The Oceti Sakowin camp has been on La Framboise Island since
the lighting of the sacred fire on March 22, in protest of
the Mitigation Act. The campers are determined to remain
until the second version, which calls for the transfer of
92,000 acres of land to the state of South Dakota, is also
Hearing set to determine
BY JODI RAVE Lincoln Journal Star
A Sheridan County judge Tuesday scheduled a Nov. 17 hearing
to begin deciding the legal issue of where Indian Country begins and
ends in Nebraska.
Judge Charles Plantz will preside over a hearing during which lawyers will
argue whether nine American Indians -- the "Whiteclay 9" --
arrested this summer fall under Nebraska jurisdiction.
"To answer that question you would have to look at treaties, statutes,
executive orders, as well as cases interpreting those documents," said John
Snowden, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln law professor.
The Whiteclay 9 were arrested during a protest march from South Dakota's
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to Whiteclay, an unincorporated village of 22
just inside the Nebraska border. Marchers were protesting 4 million cans of
beer sold annually by Whiteclay's non-Indian merchants, mainly to nearby
Those questioning reservation boundaries maintain a turn-of-the-century
presidential order illegally removed Whiteclay from reservation jurisdiction.
John Yellow Bird Steele, former Oglala tribal chairman, and Oliver Red
Cloud, a noted Lakota elder, recently asked the reservation's tribal court
to exert jurisdiction in Whiteclay to stop alcohol sales.
The men said alcohol is being sold on reservation land where alcohol sales
In a Sept. 20 court order, Oglala Sioux Tribal Court Judge Patrick Lee
said: "Whiteclay, Nebraska, may in fact be a part of the Pine Ridge
Reservation. When the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the United States officially
declare Whiteclay, Nebraska, to be a part of the Pine Ridge Reservation ...
then this court will be in a position to enforce tribal laws." Meanwhile,
Nebraska officials disagree with arguments the state does not have
jurisdiction in the matter. They say the law clearly supports state
troopers who charged the Whiteclay 9 with obstructing a police officer and
failure to comply with a lawful order, both misdemeanors.
"We have jurisdiction," said Deputy County Attorney John Freudenberg. "The
state law enforcement officer and the county law enforcement have proper
jurisdiction to enforce the state's criminal laws."
Congressman Bill Barrett said in news reports that even if land near
Whiteclay was Indian land he would be reluctant to support its return.
"I'm appalled by these statements," said Frank LaMere, a Winnebago who was
among those arrested.
Barrett replied: "Some took that response to mean I wouldn't, under any
circumstances, support granting the tribe more land.
"It's always dangerous to take comments out of context, especially in a
situation as complex as this one. This is complicated by 200 years of
history, court decisions, congressional actions ...
plus each person's emotions on the subject.
"There are too many unanswered questions and much more research that needs
to be done."
October 06, 1999
Whiteclay Beer Proposal Divides Indian Leaders
BY DAVID HENDEE AND PAUL HAMMEL
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITERS
Plans by two American Indians to seek a liquor license for an Indian-owned
store in Whiteclay, Neb., has put a twist into a pending court case and
created a split among Indian leaders.
Tom Poor Bear, an Oglala Sioux from Wanblee, S.D., and an organizer of
weekly protest marches to Whiteclay, said he does not support the plan
announced Monday for Indians to sell beer in the northwest Nebraska village
21 miles north of Rushville.
"Their intentions are good," Poor Bear said of Frank LaMere and Russell
Means, "but it's still illegal to sell or possess alcohol on Indian land,
and I believe 100 percent that Whiteclay is on Indian land."
LaMere, a Winnebago from South Sioux City, Neb., and Means, an Oglala from
Porcupine, S.D., plan to seek a license to sell beer in Whiteclay. They
said the profits would build an alcoholism-treatment center on the Oglala
Sioux's adjoining Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Poor Bear, LaMere and Means are among nine defendants in a misdemeanor
criminal case in Sheridan County Court stemming from their arrests during a
July 3 protest march to Whiteclay from the nearby village of Pine Ridge, S.D.
They are challenging Nebraska's jurisdiction in their cases, saying
Whiteclay is on Indian land.
Poor Bear said he did not understand how his co-defendants could argue on
one hand that Whiteclay is legally part of the reservation but then say
they want to be part of the action by selling beer to Indians.
"We say the Whiteclay people are illegally selling alcohol on reservation
land, and if Indians get a liquor license they would also be selling liquor
illegally on Indian land," he said.
Poor Bear said he supports the idea of using profits from Whiteclay beer
sales to operate a treatment center on the reservation.
"Whiteclay now contributes nothing in the way of treatment and
detoxification centers to help cure this disease we have," Poor Bear said.
"But first we have to deal with the land issue."
Sheridan County Judge Charles Plantz on Tuesday set a Nov. 17 hearing for
the nine Indian defendants to prove their claim that Whiteclay and land
around it is legally part of the Pine Ridge reservation.
Jerry Matthews of Hay Springs, Neb., the defendants' attorney, said his
clients would prove that 19th-century treaties, acts of Congress and
presidential orders make the Whiteclay region part of the reservation.
Deputy County Attorney John Freudenburg did not challenge Matthews' move
but reserved the right to reply after evidence is submitted.
The court action is the first legal step taken by the Indians to use their
case to argue treaty claims to Whiteclay.
Poor Bear said the solution is for the Tribal Council to file a federal
lawsuit, to get a determination on whether Whiteclay is legally a part of
the reservation, and for the tribe to step up roadblocks to stop the flow
Currently, reservation police set up roadblocks once or twice a month for a
period of up to two hours at the border near Whiteclay to confiscate
alcohol coming into the reservation.
Poor Bear said that is too infrequent and too short.
"People can wait that out," he said. "They need to be there for several
Poor Bear met last week with tribal police officials on the issue, asking
for roadblocks lasting 12 hours or more for the first three days of the
month - when welfare checks are received and Whiteclay liquor and grocery
stores are swamped with customers.
That can't be done, said Oglala Tribe Police Chief Stanley Star Comes Out.
He said that his department is too short of manpower and finances to
increase the roadblocks, which take 10 officers or more during peak times.
The tribe has 65 police officers and four highway troopers to cover its
800-square-mile reservation, Star Comes Out said.
The tribe laid off 40 police officers Aug. 30 after a federal grant ran
out. Star Comes Out said that a new, three-year federal grant allowed the
rehiring of those officers on Oct. 1, plus the hiring of 19 others.
Russell Means seeks beer
Indian leaders urge equality for all
October 5, 1999
BY JODI RAVE Lincoln Journal Star
ERIC GREGORY/ Lincoln Journal Star
"Refugees in our own country": Russell Means speaks at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Law College Monday about plans to
file an application with the state liquor commission. Means envisions an
Indian-owned beer store in Whiteclay, from which proceeds would be used to build
a multimillion-dollar alcohol treatment center on the nearby Pine Ridge
Two American Indian leaders urged Nebraskans Monday to challenge a society
dominated by white males and understand the hopeless plight of many
Russell Means, an Oglala Lakota, and Frank LaMere, a Winnebago, both
arrested this summer during a protest rally in Whiteclay, spoke to a
standing-room-only crowd at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
"We are refugees in our own country," said Means, first national director
of the American Indian Movement who helped lead the occupation of Wounded
Knee in 1973. "If we live on the reservation, we have no constitutional
protection. The FBI is our national police. The secretary of interior is
our god. And Congress has absolute power over our daily lives." Speaking to
about 175 people at the UNL Law College, Means, 60, and LaMere, 49, said
they wanted a better life for their indigenous relatives who often had no
"You can't take the most powerless among us and victimize them," said
LaMere. Earlier Monday the two Indian leaders met with Gov.
Mike Johanns to discuss filing an application with the state to sell
beer in Whiteclay.
White merchants in Whiteclay, an unincorporated village of 22 just across
the South Dakota line from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, sell more
than 4 million cans of beer annually. Most of the sales are to members of
the nearby reservation, where alcohol sales are illegal.
Does Means think his beer-selling proposal unusual?
No, Means said in an interview before his campus speech:
"It's a resolution." Means said he has been talking with a Lincoln
attorney well-versed in state liquor laws. He wants to file his
application as a nonprofit organization, funneling beer proceeds into a
multimillion-dollar alcohol treatment center. He envisions the center
being built on the reservation.
He also said he expects to be treated fairly in the application process
and is certain the business would make money. "An Indian business will get
the business," he said. "That's the American way. I want to participate in
it." Said Johanns: "We will treat that like any other application that
comes forward." During his afternoon speech, Means said the
struggle of native people to succeed on their own terms was kept
alive by America's patriarchal society. "Unless you become like a white
American male they will not leave you alone," said Means, who has been
arrested almost 30 times in as many years.
Both LaMere and Means encouraged people to unite and seek
equality for all people.
Jean Krejci, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department employee, said she
dreamed of the day "when all people in power see this as a white person's
issue. Indians didn't create this problem. We run the system. If there's
inequality, we need to deal with it." Means and LaMere, who were among nine
men arrested July 3, both said they were tired of seeing native people
victimized. That's when they joined the first of several summer marches
into Whiteclay to protest beer sales and the murders of two Lakota men,
Ronald Hard Heart and Wallace Black Elk.
The day of the arrests remains unforgettable, said LaMere, founder of a
company that focuses on renewable energy sources for Indian reservations.
"What we saw would make you shudder," he said, describing
the helicopters, snipers, tear gas, attack dogs and nearly 100 Nebraska
state troopers in riot gear.
The tribal marchers had been warned that if they crossed a yellow streamer
marking the Nebraska border, they would go to jail.
The state's message was clear, LaMere said: "We're here to maintain the status
quo." The state contends failure to obey crowd control efforts is a
violation of the law.
Two years ago LaMere delivered a similar speech at the law college. At
that time he said he would be back to talk to them again because the
alcohol problem in Whiteclay would only get worse.
Joe Breckenridge, a third-year law UNL student who attended the on-campus
speeches, said that if the marchers disturbed the peace they should have
been arrested. "But to not allow them to enter the state is going too far."
September 30, 1999 6:36 PM
South Dakota Judge Talks
What a judge....typical unfortunately.South Dakota
Judge Talks About Decision To Drop Charges In
Many Horses Case
ABERDEEN (AP) -- The judge who dismissed charges against four Mobridge area
teen-agers in the death of Robert ''Boo'' Many Horses says he tried to keep
emotion out of his decision.
''I just tried to be analytical, and apply the law to the facts of the
case,'' Magistrate Judge Tony Portra told the Aberdeen American News.
''I hope that Native Americans don't view this as white justice -- but
justice,'' said Portra, who is one-eighth American Indian.
''The law isn't like a basketball game where there are two equal sides
and two rims of equal size and height. Things are not always even. You
need to do the best you can with what you have.''
Portra ruled Tuesday that the state failed to prove its case against any of
the four defendants.
Many Horses was found dead in a Mobridge alley on June 30.
He had been stuffed in a garbage can.
Autopsy results showed that the cause of death was alcohol
The case drew attention from American Indians who said the
defendants, all white, received preferential treatment and that
prosecutors weren't aggressive enough. Many Horses was an Indian.
Layne Gisi, 19, of Mobridge, was accused of putting Many Horses in the
trash can. He was charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter,
aggravated assault, and abuse or neglect of a disabled adult.
Ryan Goehring, 16, of Mobridge; Joy Lynn Hahne, 18, of Trail City, and Jody
Larson, 19, of Mobridge, were charged with aiding and abetting and with
being an accessory to a crime and not reporting it.
Portra said Walworth County State's Attorney Dan Todd acted
too quickly when he charged the teens before getting the autopsy
''He rushed in too fast. (Then) he couldn't have dismissed (the charges)
even if he had wanted to. He did the best with what he had.''
Todd has not commented on the ruling.
In his decision, Portra wrote that although he dismissed the charges, ''The
court wishes to make it clear that it does not decide at this time that no
offense has been committed by these defendants, only that
the elements of the offenses charged have not been met.''
He characterized the actions of the defendants as ''stupid and extremely
dangerous,'' adding ''they struck a severe blow to race relations in the area.
''One can only hope that other people, especially young
persons, will learn from this incident and be more aware of the
ramifications of their actions.''
At issue was whether the four teens caused or contributed
to Many Horses' death by placing him in the garbage can, or whether he
would have died anyway because of the alcohol.
Authorities have said that Many Horses had been drinking
beer before meeting the four teens at a Mobridge convenience
store. He then went with the others to a field northeast of Mobridge and drank
Lila Martel, Many Horses' foster mother, said justice had not been done.
She said she continues to think about they way her foster son spent his
''What those kids did to him was unbearable. The idea of where they left
him ... no one deserves to be left in a garbage can.''
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 23:16:34 -0700 (PDT)
AIM Press Release SD March
From the Offices of: AMERICAN INDIAN MOVMENT
NATIONAL FIELD OFFICE
E-mail Address: AIM4JUSTCE@aol.com
Nowa Cumig AKA Dennis Banks and myself have just returned from
the Walk for Justice in Rapid City, SD. The walk and subsequent meetings
and events were extremely successful. This success would not have been
possible without your prayers, support and messages of good wishes,
which continue to strengthen us and all of Indian country.
The walk organized at Roosevelt Park in Rapid City about 10 am. with
speeches by Nowa Cumig and several others. There was a heavy
media and police presence.
The marched began about 11am and moved from the park to
the federal building in Rapid.
At the federal building speeches regarding the deaths in Rapid, White
Clay, Mobridge as well as other places were addressed.
Nowa Cumig was the main speaker and was very motivating as usual.
The walk continued on to the Pennington County Courthouse where
more speeches were delivered.
Many people drove by and honked or waved their support. The march then
continued on to the Rapid CityPolice Station but stopped on the way
to sing & drum traditional songs outside the jail for the benefit of the
prisoners inside. At the Police station more speeches and statements
were made. Afterwards the march returned to Roosevelt Park and we
regrouped at the Oyate Center in Lakota Village in the northern section
of Rapid City. During the march the Rapid City Police were respectful
and accommodating, and in my view were not intimidating at all. ( No I'm
not on drugs ).
At the Oyate Center there were several representatives of area law
enforcement who agreed to discuss with us the issues surrounding the
Rapid Creek murders. Included were the Pennington County Sheriff, two
investigators from the Rapid City Police Department and a Deputy
Sheriff (who had been working in plain clothes throughout the march). Nowa
Cumig, Mark White Bull (Mobridge) and myself convened with these people in
a private office for discussions. As promised, a representative of U.S.
Senator Tom Daschle's office, joined the discussion via phone
hook up. The law enforcement officers were very forthcoming with
information regarding their efforts in solving the Rapid Creek
murders and efforts in preventingadditional assaults on Indian people.
Much of the information provided to us is confidential and could compromise
ongoing investigations if listed here so I won't.
Quite frankly, the investigation into these deaths is far more involved
then we had previously believed. ( one of the investigators is an
enrolled member of the OglalaLakota Nation). Senator Daschle's office
was also extremely helpful and well-informed (as he should be) of the issues
surrounding the deaths of Indians in SD.
Mark White Bull stressed the issue of the murderers of Boo Many
Horses in Mobridge being charged with manslaughter instead of murder. After the
private meeting Nowa Cumig stated to the law enforcement officials that he
believed they were putting forth their best efforts tosolve the Rapid Creek
murders but since the murderer(s) are still at large more needs to be done
and a coalition between the Indian community and law enforcement must be
established to secure the welfare of Indian people. They agreed. We are now in the
process of establishing "citizen patrols" of the area's where the murders took place,
working in conjunction with law enforcement and establishing credible liaisons
between us and them. Following the meeting the officers met with the Indian community
gathered at the Oyate Center and enjoyed frybread and soup with us. A few of the
people vented their anger and frustration with the police in general but overall the
community meeting was positive.
Afterwards, Nowa Cumig and myself met with the Head of the FBI for South Dakota.
He gave us a run down of the investigation into the Killings at White Clay (Pine Ridge).
Although he was not as forthcoming as local law enforcement he did enlighten us to their
efforts in bringing the murderer(s) to justice. He said a large contingent of investigators
was assigned to this case, more than he has seen in seven years on a single investigation.
I'm sure that after reading this there are those who may feel that we have been deceived
by the police or fallen victim to a conspiracy of lies. We believe those officials we spoke with
were honest and truthful, after all, they did not have to be there nor share this information
with us. On the other hand, this report is not to be interpreted as meaning we have
complete trust in any law enforcement agency or individual.
We will never let down our guard. The investigation to find the killer(s) responsible for the Rapid
Creek murders is ongoing and intensified as a result of all of our actions and prayers.
I truly believe we have moved closer to apprehending the killer(s) and have scored a victory for
IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE,
Sherman Madage Moniga
Asst. to Nowa Cumig aka
National Field Director,
P O BOX
06167 Columbus, Oh 43206
Lawyers file briefs in Many
By Eric Davis
Lawyers in the case of the death of Robert Many Horses of Mobridge
filed briefs last week, detailing the facts of the case and answering the
question of whether the defendants in the case could have prevented the death.
The memorandums regarding the death of Many Horses, 22, attempted to
answer whether his death could have been avoided by giving him proper medical attention.
The memorandums detailed the events of the early morning of June 30.
According to Walworth County State's Attorney Dan Todd's memorandum,
in the early morning hours of June 30, the four defendants, Layne Gisi, 19,
Joy Hahne,18, Ryan Goehring, 16, and Jody Larson, 19, met Many Horses at
Boomer's convenience store in Mobridge and invited him to join them. The four
defendants and Many Horses rode in Hahne's vehicle to a gravel road 3 to 4
miles northeast of Mobridge, known to most people as "Frey Seed Road." While driving
to the road, and at the road area, Gisi and Many Horses shared a pint of
Yukon Jack. Gisi and Many Horses were both intoxicated and were vomiting at the
scene. While at the road, Many Horses started to become incoherent and
later became unresponsive. Many Horses fell and cut his forehead causing it to
bleed. Gisi attempted to wake Many Horses by slapping him and then picking him
up and throwing him in a ditch.
Rick Sommers, attorney for Gisi, argues this point by saying that
there is no evidence supporting the claim that Gisi threw Many Horses in a
ditch. The attempts to awaken Many Horses failed. Hahne instructed Larson and
Gisi to place Many Horses in the vehicle. Sommers states in his brief that
Many Horses slipped from the grasp of Larson and Gisi and was dropped to the
ground. While driving towards Mobridge, according to Todd, Hahne asked where they
should take him and the reply was "anywhere." Hahne pulled into an alley
and asked Larson and Gisi to remove Many Horses from the car. Gisi opened the
car door and Many Horses fell out. He picked up Many Horses and put him head
first into a garbage can. Gisi indicated that he thought it would be a funny
joke if Many Horses was to wake up inside the garbage can.
At 7 a.m., Mobridge Chief of Police Brooks Johnson found Many Horses in the garbage can.
An autopsy report indicated that the cause of death was complications
due to ethanol toxicity, also known as alcohol poisoning. Many Horses'
blood ethanol level was 0.446 at the time of his death.
In her testimony at the preliminary hearing, Many Horses' foster
parent, Lila Martel, said that he had fetal alcohol syndrome which caused his
height to be under 5 feet tall and reduced his weight. She also said Many Horses
was unable to manage his own affairs. She testified that Many Horses had an
alcohol problem and was scheduled to attend an inpatient alcohol treatment
In the brief filed by Sommers, he stated that Many Horses had been
drinking prior to meeting with the four defendants. He wrote that at a
minimum, Many Horses had a 40-ounce bottle of Old English malt liquor and a beer
prior to meeting with the four defendants. Earlier that evening, Many Horses
had arrived at a residence in Mobridge where he was already
intoxicated and asked to leave because of his condition.
Sommers also wrote that the alcohol Gisi and Many Horses shared did
not have time to "absorb into Many Horses system" because he vomited shortly
after drinking it. Sommers contends that the placing of Many Horses into a
garbage can was meant to be a joke, "a tasteless joke, but it was intended
to be a joke."
Todd argues that the defendants had a duty to provide medical aid to
Many Horses, stating that "statutory or common law places upon someone a
responsibility for care or support of another person."
"Civil law imposes upon individuals an obligation to act honestly and
morally towards others," he wrote.
Sommers stated that Todd's argument "flies in the face of his own
expert witness, Dr. Rick Kalister." Kalister testified that a non-medically
trained person would not know the difference between a comatose state and passed
Kalister also testified that while at Mobridge Regional Hospital, he
never saw anyone bring a person in because they had passed out from alcohol.
The attorneys for Gisi and Hahne have filed for a dismissal
of the case due to lack of evidence.
According to Hahne's attorney, Drew Johnson, the only role that
Hahne played in the incident was that her car was the vehicle they were riding in
and she was the driver.
David Von Wald, attorney for Larson, wrote that if the court cannot
find sufficient evidence for the charges against Gisi, then there is no evidence
According to testimony, Larson's role in the events was helping Gisi
place Many Horses into the back seat of Hahne's vehicle after he had passed
The charges against the four defendants were amended on Aug. 3. Gisi
was originally charged with second degree murder, but after the release
of the autopsy report, it was reduced to manslaughter in the first degree.
Hahne, Larson and Goehring have been charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter
in the first degree.
"If one could only ask Robert now what he would think of prosecuting
his friends for their conduct," Johnson wrote, "Robert would come to their
defense and ask that those charges be dismissed."
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 01:17:33 -0600
Editorial - or Guest Editorial -
Support for Lakota expressing Civil Rights marching behind upside down American flag - the opinion of many people
Here in Colorado and elsewhere we have been following newspaper comments denouncing, and trying to discredit AIM (American Indian Movement) as un-patriotic and disrespectful to veterans for marching behind a upside down US flag, during the recent "March for Justice" to Mobridge. SD.
How many veterans who experienced battle, people who have killed to protect our country, or those who say they stand strong for Human and Civil rights responded to the Distress Call, SOS Call of the upside down flag?
My husband served 6-1/2 years in the Viet Nam war and was a Navy Seal Captain. He and other Veterans, including Alfred Boneshirt, the Lakota Vet who carried the flag that day, are now asking whether people think that they fought and died for freedom so those who returned could reprimand citizens for expressing their Constitutional Right to demonstrate? They say Absolutely Not!
Most patriotic people can see that the Lakota supporters are saying Mobridge is in denial of their acts of racism against our people. This demonstration and the outrage started because of the dual standard of justice in regards to Lakota not being treated justly and fairly in the South Dakota judicial system. The white teens accused of participating in Robert "Boo" Many Horses' death, are walking free on the streets of Mobridge, SD. while Lakota teens in Martin, SD, are being denied bail and are locked away in the federal system, away from their family and community, although no one died. Both tragedies were caused by too much alcohol.
Lakota are saying people in Mobridge and in America are not protecting us, as promised by the people of the United States of America in treaties for legal payment of our land. If we were being protected as promised, then the many Human and Civil injustices going on would not be occurring against our people. Pine Ridge is located in the poorest county in the U.S. and our people are kept poor to force us off our land so others, including government, corporations and leaseholders, can continue to exploit and abuse our people and take what little land and resources we have left.
Native networks are getting reports that many Mobridge people shouted racial slurs and threw things at supporters, under the watchful eyes of their officials and spiritual leaders. People there are saying that Mobridge people make the people of White Clay, NE seem somewhat human in comparison. Scary!
Families and friends have responded and offered support, so have our true Lakota Spiritual Leaders and Native American communities. Surprisingly, Reverend Jessie Jackson is the only Christian Leader we know of who has offered support to us in print, although there are hundreds of churches within accessible driving distance from Mobridge.
Rev. Jackson took a stand by signing the "End Lakota Ethnic Cleansing" banner during the presidential visit to Pine Ridge this Summer. (President Clinton also signed that banner but we figure he will say he "didn t know what he was doing" as he has been very "hush, hush" about the subject since).
Native Americans have become more tolerant of the many injustices occurring against us. Not many years ago, some were burning the US flag to get WORLD attention in the continuing attempt to plan and create genocide for our people.
In the Spirit of Justice, Respectfully,
Sandra Matchen, Native American Advocate, Sicangu Lakota, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Member
FYI: Veteran: Ray Matchen Jr., same address as above. Veteran Flag Carrier: Alfred Boneshirt, P.O. Box 283, Mission, SD 57555, 605-747-2591
cc: American Indian Movement, Camp Justice Leadership and supporters, Lakota Student Alliance, Native American Prisoners Support Group, Native American Rights Fund, American Indian Cultural Support, Friends for Native American Communities, Reverend Jessie Jackson, Presidential candidate John McCain, Walking Eagle Network members, Human, Civil and Treaty rights groups & supporters, President Clinton, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Please distribute to Media and your networks.
Editorial - or Guest Editorial - Support for Lakota expressing Civil Rights marching behind upside down American flag - 545 words, 23 sentences, 2,733 characters - the opinion of many people
Support for Lakota expressing Civil Rights
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 17:23:59 -0400
This is an article concerning the reactions following the march in
Mobridge, South Dakota. Please forward it, make people aware
of what is going on.
Send it to your local newspaper or other news media.
--------------------------- Article follows ----------------------------
Here in Colorado and elsewhere we have been following newspaper comments
denouncing, and trying to discredit AIM (American Indian Movement) as
un-patriotic and disrespectful to veterans for marching behind a upside
down US flag, during the recent "March for Justice" to Mobridge. SD.
How many veterans who experienced battle, people who have killed to protect
our country, or those who say they stand strong for Human and Civil rights
responded to the Distress Call, SOS Call of the upside down flag?
My husband served 6-1/2 years in the Viet Nam war and was a Navy Seal
Captain. He and other Veterans, including Alfred Boneshirt, the Lakota Vet
who carried the flag that day, are now asking whether people think that
they fought and died for freedom so those who returned could reprimand
citizens for expressing their Constitutional Right to demonstrate? They say
Most patriotic people can see that the Lakota supporters are saying
Mobridge is in denial of their acts of racism against our people. This demonstration
and the outrage started because of the dual standard of justice in regards
to Lakota not being treated justly and fairly in the South Dakota judicial
system. The white teens accused of participating in Robert "Boo" Many
Horses' death, are walking free on the streets of Mobridge, SD. while Lakota teens
in Martin, SD, are being denied bail and are locked away in the federal
system, away from their family and community, although no one died. Both
tragedies were caused by too much alcohol.
Lakota are saying people in Mobridge and in America are not protecting us,
as promised by the people of the United States of America in treaties for
legal payment of our land. If we were being protected as promised, then the
many Human and Civil injustices going on would not be occurring against our
people. Pine Ridge is located in the poorest county in the U.S. and our
people are kept poor to force us off our land so others, including
government, corporations and leaseholders, can continue to exploit and abuse
our people and take what little land and resources we have left.
Native networks are getting reports that many Mobridge people shouted
racial slurs and threw things at supporters, under the watchful eyes of their
officials and spiritual leaders. People there are saying that Mobridge
people make the people of White Clay, NE seem somewhat human in comparison. Scary!
Families and friends have responded and offered support, so have our true
Lakota Spiritual Leaders and Native American communities. Surprisingly,
Reverend Jessie Jackson is the only Christian Leader we know of who has
offered support to us in print, although there are hundreds of churches
within accessible driving distance from Mobridge.
Rev. Jackson took a stand by signing the "End Lakota Ethnic Cleansing"
banner during the presidential visit to Pine Ridge this Summer. (President
Clinton also signed that banner but we figure he will say he "didn't know
what he was doing" as he has been very "hush, hush" about the subject
Native Americans have become more tolerant of the many injustices occurring
against us. Not many years ago, some were burning the US flag to get WORLD
attention in the continuing attempt to plan and create genocide for our
In the Spirit of Justice, Respectfully,
Sandra Matchen, Native American Advocate, Sicangu Lakota,
Rosebud Sioux Tribal Member P.O. Box 1150, Clifton, CO 81520-1150
FYI: Veteran: Ray Matchen Jr., same address as above.
Veteran Flag Carrier: Alfred Boneshirt, P.O. Box 283, Mission, SD 57555,
--------------------- end of article -----------------------------------
= 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 =
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 1999 9:55 AM
Subject: Oceti Sakowin Update 9/11/99
From: "Robert Quiver" <email@example.com
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 16:51:09 PDT
Award Winning Journalist and Publisher
Worth Weller, North Manchester, IN extensive article on time with CPT in
Pierre, South Dakota and perspective on the Seven Council Fires Camp
From: Pat Morris <firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 1999 5:32 AM
[aim] Protestors Welcome In Washington
Protesters Welcome in Washington
A group of protesters left La Framboise Island in Pierre this week,
heading for Washington. South Dakota Congressman John Thune
says the group will be welcome in the nation's capitol. But Thune
says he doubts the trip will change many minds. The Native American
group is protesting the transfer of 200,000 acres of Missouri River
shoreline from the federal government to the state. Thune says
the group hasn't scheduled any meetings with him, but he would
meet with them if he's asked. Some of the protesters have been
camping on La Framboise Island in the Missouri River since
March to protest the land transfer.
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