Lakota Indians Withdraw Treaties Signed With U.S. 150 Years Ago
WASHINGTON — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States.
“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.
A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the U.S., some of them more than 150 years old.
The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months.
Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free – provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr Means said.
The treaties signed with the U.S. were merely “worthless words on worthless paper,” the Lakota freedom activists said.
Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.
“This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution,” which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.
“It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,” said Means.
The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence — an overt play on the title of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from England.
Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because “it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row,” Means said.
One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples — despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.
“We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,” Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.
The U.S. “annexation” of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere “facsimiles of white people,” said Means.
Oppression at the hands of the U.S. government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies – less than 44 years – in the world.
Lakota teen suicides are 150 per cent above the norm for the U.S.; infant mortality is five times higher than the U.S. average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement’s website.
Libertarian Lakota Nation: No Taxes!
(This post contains 3 Sub-Articles)
It turns out that the leader of the Lakota Nation secession, Robert Means, ran in 1987 for presidential nomination of the Libertrian Party for the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election (Article below in Sub-Article 1). As Ron Paul recieved the nomination that election cycle, there seems to be good odds that these 2 know each other.
Now that most of us have probably heard Ron Paul’s Libertarian solutions to economy, via NO-taxes OR inflation, I think we can tell how to interpret Robert Means statements about “no taxes” in the recent Lakota Nation Declaration of Independence.
The Lakotah Nation economy will be fueled by industrial hemp. To combat rampant poverty, the Lakotah’s have been trying to make industrial hemp their prime cash crop for many years now, but a tyrannical U.S. government has been trampling their sovereign rights to grow a non-THC containing crop to feed their people. (I have a web-exclusive documentary uploading right now…)
Alex White Plume, has grown industrial hemp on his land since 2000. That year and every year since, the DEA, with helicopters and machine guns, have confiscated the crops (legal in the sovereign nation in which it was grown), costing taxpayers more than $1,000,000.00.
To become a Lakota Nation Citizen you must move there and renounce your U.S. Citizenship.
Russell Means Runs for President as Libertarian
Published: May 31, 1987
LEAD: Russell Means, who once led an American Indian group in armed rebellion at Wounded Knee, S.D., is now campaigning for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination.
Russell Means, who once led an American Indian group in armed rebellion at Wounded Knee, S.D., is now campaigning for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination.
”We will prove to every American that America is becoming one big Indian reservation,” said Mr. Means, who contends that non-Indians face the same danger of losing their land and their rights that Indians have faced for centuries.
”I challenge every American to make a list of what they feel their individual rights are, and then, item by item, find out how much government is interfering with those rights,” he said. ”I have been trying to throw off the yoke of government interference in our lives since I joined the American Indian Movement.”
Mr. Means reminds visitors to his log home on a hill overlooking the village of Porcupine that Lincoln also spent time in a log cabin before moving to the White House. ”That proves I’m of Presidential timber,” he said. Belief in Personal Freedom
The 47-year-old candidate, dressed in a black shirt with fringed sleeves and wearing his hair in braids, said it was natural for an Indian to embrace Libertarian philosophy because it fitted the Indian belief in personal freedom.
Describing the party’s philosophy, he said, ”You have individual freedom and individual responsibility as long as it does not infringe upon the individual rights of another person.”
Also seeking the Libertarian nomination is Ron Paul, a conservative Republican from Texas who served four terms in Congress before making an unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 1984.
Indians from Mr. Means’s home base in South Dakota say they do not expect a Libertarian to be elected President, but some say Mr. Means’s candidacy could help the Democratic and Republican parties understand Indian problems better. ‘A Very Positive Thing’
”Neither party has really done anything to help with the poverty, homelessness and other problems that come with unemployment,” said Tim Giago, publisher of The Lakota Times, a weekly newspaper in Martin, S.D., that deals with Indian issues. At least 80 percent of the people on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are unemployed, he said.
”I think if Russell Means will use the exposure he can get as a candidate for positive things, make some positive statements about things that are facing Indian people and stay away from making outrageous statements, it would be a very positive thing for Indian people,” Mr. Giago added.
Mr. Means is an Oglala Sioux who was born on the Pine Ridge reservation and grew up near San Francisco. He first received national attention in 1973 as a leader in the 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee, an armed confrontation between Indians and Federal officials that left two Indians dead and a deputy marshal wounded. The dispute grew from AIM complaints about the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Since then he has been shot twice and stabbed while serving a prison term for rioting. He was acquitted on a charge of aiding and abetting a murder. Occupation of Federal Land
Mr. Means is a leader of AIM’s Yellow Thunder Camp, where Indians have been occupying about 800 acres of Federal land in the Black Hills since 1981, against the Government’s wishes. A court order allows the Indians to camp, but an appeal is pending.
Mr. Means, who has visited more than a dozen Libertarian state conventions in the last few months, said he had been on the periphery of the Libertarian Party since 1980 and became more involved when some party members asked him to help draft the party platform plank on Indian policy. That plank, adopted by the party two years ago, calls for the Government to honor all Indian treaties and to return all land belonging to Indians.
He said the plan could lead to the return of up to 250 million acres of Federal land. Indians should be compensated for privately owned land, he added, but such land would not be taken from current landowners.
Lakotah Unilateral Withdrawal from All Agreements and Treaties with the United States of America
We as the freedom loving Lakotah People are the predecessor sovereign of Dakota Territory as evidenced by the Treaties with the United States Government, including, but not limited to, the Treaty of 1851 and the Treaty of 1868 at Fort Laramie.
Lakotah, formally and unilaterally withdraws from all agreements and treaties imposed by the United States Government on the Lakotah People.
Lakotah , and the population therein, have waited for at least 155 years for the United States of America to adhere to the provisions of the above referenced treaties. The continuing violations of these treaties’ terms have resulted in the near annihilation of our people physically, spiritually, and culturally.
Lakotah rejects United States Termination By Appropriation policy from 1871 to the present.
In addition, the evidence of gross violations of the above referenced treaties are listed herein.
Lakotah encourages the United States of America, through its Government ,to enter into dialogue with Lakotah regarding the boundaries, the land and the resources therein. Please contact the Lakotah Interests Section, Naomi Archer, at (828) 230-1404 or info@Lakotafreedom.com.
Should the United States and its subordinate governments choose not to act in good faith concerning the rebirth of our nation, we hereby advise the United States Government that Lakotah will begin to administer liens against real estate transactions within the five state area of Lakotah.
Lakotah, through its government, appointed the following representatives to withdraw from all the treaties with the United States of America based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties entered into force in 1980 and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007: (See PDF)
Lakotah Political and Diplomatic Relations with the United States of America
The first official contacts between Lakotah and the government of the United States of America began in earnest after the United States conducted a commercial transaction with France, commonly known as the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803. Prior to that time, Lakotah exercised complete and unfettered freedom and independence in their territory. According to the fantasy of United States’ history, the Louisiana Purchase was a purported sale by France to the United States of 530 million acres (2.1 million sq.km.) for $15 million. Part of this sale included the territory of Lakotah who, of course never had knowledge of, nor gave consent to, the sale of their national territory.
The first treaty between the U.S. and any segment of Lakotah occurred in 1805, , and various other treaties of “peace and friendship,” between Lakotah and the U.S. As citizens of the U.S. began to invade and encroach on the territory of Lakotah in increasing numbers, tensions and violence erupted. To prevent full-scale war, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 was requested by the U.S., to allow a transportation route through Lakotah territory. The treaty did not impair the sovereignty or the independence of Lakotah. In fact, the treaty expressly recognized Lakotah as an independent nation, and the treaty respected “all national business” of Lakotah.
After repeated violations by the United States of the 1851 Treaty, warfare broke out between Lakotah and the U.S. Lakotah defeated the U.S. in the so-called “Red Cloud War,” leading to the U.S. to call for another treaty conference at Fort Laramie. The second treaty agreed for the U.S. to abandon the Bozeman Road, and the accompanying military forts that had been built along it, and promised to keep U.S. troops and settlers out of Lakotah territory.
Almost immediately, the U.S. began violating terms of the treaty, allowing railroad and mining interests to trespass and steal Lakotah resources and territory. In 1874, the infamous U.S. military commander, George Custer, led an invasion of the most sacred part of Lakotah territory, the Paha Sapa (Black Hills), prompting an invasion of gold seekers, and provoking another war between the U.S. and Lakotah. As a result of the war, Lakotah territory was illegally occupied by the U.S., and billions of dollars of natural resources have been stolen from the occupied territories of Lakotah.
The United States has engaged in multiple military, legal and political strategies for more than a century to deny Lakotah our right to freedom and self-determination. In 1876-77, in violations of the treaties that it had signed with Lakotah, the U.S. engaged in a sell-or-starve policy to coerce Lakotah to sell our national homeland. Lakotah refused, and has consistently refused to the present time.
In 1871, the U.S. decided no longer to enter into treaties with indigenous nations, but the U.S. treaty-ending legislation made explicit that the new policy of the United States would in no way impair or limit those treaties already in force between indigenous nations and the U.S. Lakotah have consistently relied on the sanctity of the treaty between the U.S. and Lakotah.
As mentioned above, the United States has consistently violated the treaties between Lakotah and the U.S., resulting in the loss of life, resources, and territory for Lakotah. Although the United States was willing to take the benefit of its bargain (i.e., territory and natural resources) in signing treaties with Lakotah, it was almost immediately unwilling to respect the mutual bargain to the Lakotah. The U.S. began to use U.S. law and policy to attempt to diminish the political, economic and cultural freedom of Lakotah.
After signing the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the U.S. allowed its military, and its civilian citizens to invade Lakotah territory to steal gold, silver and other natural resources. The U.S. unilaterally violated the 1868 Treaty throughout the 1870s and 1880s by coercing alterations in the Treaty onto Lakotah, without the required 2/3 agreement of Lakotah, as required in the Treaty.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the ongoing freedom and independence of Lakotah in the landmark case of Ex Parte Crow Dog (1883), two years later, the U.S. Congress attempted to steal Lakotah independence through the passage of the Major Crimes Act, that unilaterally extended U.S. criminal jurisdiction into Lakotah territory.
These actions were followed by more arrogant actions of the United States, culminating in the shocking Supreme Court Case of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903). Although Lone Wolf involved the Kiowa and Comanche Nations in what is now the State of Oklahoma, its impact adversely affected Lakotah. In Lone Wolf, the United States not only said that it could violate, change or abrogate treaties with Indian nations unilaterally, but it also said that the U.S. Congress possesses plenary (absolute) power to legislate in any way in indigenous affairs without the consent or consideration of indigenous nations.
By extension, Lone Wolf has been used to violate hundreds of treaties between the U.S. and indigenous peoples, including Lakotah. Through the operation of Lone Wolf, the U.S. stole the sacred Black Hills, allowed the mining of billions of dollars of gold from them, admitted that the Black Hills were taken in violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, and then offered to compensate Lakotah at 1874 land values. Lakotah have, to this day, rejected the offer of payment, and continue to insist on the return of the Paha Sapa (Black Hills).
An overview of violations follows:
• Homestead Acts
• Allotment Acts
• Citizenship Act forcing United States citizenship upon all American Indians
• Indian Reorganization Act a.k.a. Howard Wheeler Act (the first Apartheid Act)
• Forced relocation during the decades of the 1950’s over the 1960’s.
• Supreme Court decision disallowing our religions.
• Even though we are citizens of the United States of America, we are denied protections of the United States Constitution while living on Indian reservations, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The operation of the United States in the nefarious ways outlined above are a violation, not only of the sovereignty and independence of Lakotah, not only of the solemn treaty signed between the U.S. and Lakotah, but it is a violation of the fundamental law of the United States itself. Article Six of the United States Constitution explicitly states that treaties signed by the United States are the supreme law of the land, and must be respected by every court and by every lawmaker, as such.
1. Treaties of Fort Laramie, 1851 and 1868
Full text of these treaties can be found at http://www.lakotafreedom.com/portfolio.html
2. Article VI of United States Constitution
Article. VI. – Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
(For the rest of the referenced documents see here (it’s a PAIN to copy-paste from PDF’s!))
Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status
Threaten Land Liens, Contested Real Estate Over Five State Area in U.S. West
Lakota Satisfies Treaty Council Mandate of 33 Years, Drafted by 97 Indigenous Nations
Dakota Territory Reverts back to Lakota Control According to U.S., International Law
Washington D.C. – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.
“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!”
“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.”
The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.
“In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock.
Property ownership in the five state area of Lakota now takes center stage. Parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as predecessor sovereign [historic owner]. Lakota representatives say if the United States does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property.
Young added, “The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people”.
Following Monday’s withdrawal at the State Department, the four Lakota Itacan representatives have been meeting with foreign embassy officials in order to hasten their official return to the Family of Nations.
Lakota’s efforts are gaining traction as Bolivia, home to Indigenous President Evo Morales, shared they are “very, very interested in the Lakota case” while Venezuela received the Lakota delegation with “respect and solidarity.”
“Our meetings have been fruitful and we hope to work with these countries for better relations,” explained Garry Rowland. “As a nation, we have equal status within the national community.”
Education, energy and justice now take top priority in emerging Lakota. “Cultural immersion education is crucial as a next step to protect our language, culture and sovereignty,” said Means. “Energy independence using solar, wind, geothermal, and sugar beets enables Lakota to protect our freedom and provide electricity and heating to our people.”
The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average . 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%.
“After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative,” emphasized Duane Martin Sr. “The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway.”
We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under. We are in Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at www.lakotafreedom.com.
White Plume Family
Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way)
The White Plume family’s site highlights their activism work and lists ways that people can contact and help them.
Inter-Tribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte
This Lakota website supports protection of the sacred Mato Paha — Bear Butte Mountain — in South Dakota, an effort the White Plume family champions.
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Debra White Plume serves as a delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The forum’s website includes a Declaration of Rights as well as records of proceedings regarding indigenous-population issues around the world.
Oglala Sioux Tribe
The Oglala Sioux Tribe’s website includes information about their government, history, schools and land, as well as news. Alex White Plume was a member of the Tribal Council from 1982-1984 and from 1990-1992.
Natives Unite: Hemp at Pine Ridge
This part of the Natives Unite website focuses on the White Plume legal case and includes a downloadable copy of the final judgment explaining the court’s position.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs
There are 561 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for administering services and managing land held in trust by the U.S. government for American Indian tribes. Due to litigation, most of the website’s resources are currently offline.
The Native American Rights Fund
This nonprofit law firm is dedicated to defending Native American rights. The website includes the National Indian Law Library, an extensive collection of legal documents, including documents related to events featured in the film.
Indian Land Tenure Foundation
The website of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation includes historical and current information about tribal land rights and sovereignty issues.
New Perspectives on The West: Events
The website for Ken Burns’ documentary about the American West includes a detailed timeline highlights major events in American history, including the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, in which the United States government agrees to divide several tracts of land between the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, Arikara, Assiniboin, Mandan, Gros Ventre and other tribes pledging that the tribes will retain possession of their land forever.
Circle of Stories
Four Native Americans share stories about their culture in this beautiful site. Rosella Archdale, a Lakota medicine lodge woman, tells the story of the cooking spirit. Learn about Lakota culture and cuisine in this engaging site.
Washington Post: On Pine Ridge, a String of Broken Promises
Written during the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, this article describes the harsh conditions and economic impoverishment among the Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Promised federal help fails to materialize again and again, infant mortality is twice the rate of the rest of the country, life expectancy is the nation’s lowest and progress on the reservation, as the article points out, is “best measured in inches.” (October 21, 2004)