November 4, 2015
STRONG HEART ACTION ALERT!
For Immediate Release and Action! Please help and share widely!
LAKOTA GRASSROOTS ELDER & ELDERLY MEALS PROGRAM UNDER ATTACK BY CORRUPT TRIBAL GOVERNMENT
Lakota elder Mary Felicia illegally terminated, threatened with arrest at the Porcupine Elderly Meals Program. 150+ elders left without hot meals.
The corrupt politicians and criminal families who control the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) government on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are continuing their terroristic attacks on traditional and grassroots Lakota elders and people who speak out for a better life.
On Monday November 2nd, corrupt OST officials gathered in a secret meeting and terminated respected Lakota elder Mary Felicia from her job as Site Director and cook for the Meals for the Elderly program in the Porcupine District. Though she did nothing wrong, Mary was then threatened with arrest by OST police Officer Alfred Leftwich.
Grassroots Lakota elders and poor people depend on the Meals for the Elderly program for healthy meals and a safe environment to socialize together. A fluent Lakota speaker, Mary has created a dependable, safe space for Lakota elders to enjoy hot, healthy, culturally-appropriate food and share socially with others for the first time since elders took over the Elderly Meals building back in 2012 to force attention on the abuses they experienced.
Since the building locks were changed overnight Monday, over 150 elders have been locked out from hot healthy food and safe social gathering space. Wednesday flu shots for the elderly and poor were also delayed or cancelled. Programs to aid Lakota foster children and veterans have been interrupted.
A member of the secret meeting admitted Mary’s firing was politically motivated in retaliation for her relationship to the traditional Strong Heart Warrior Society and her outspoken voice to end elder abuse and corruption within the OST government system.
Mary’s termination is only the most recent example of the graft and corruption that controls the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Greedy politicians and criminal families use programs like Meals for the Elderly to embezzle money and exert abusive control over the grassroots people.
The tricks used by these corrupt politicians and greedy families are not new, but part of a routine and systematic abuse of authority backed by U.S. tax dollars and policy goals to disenfranchise and forcefully impoverish the poor and outspoken grassroots people until they are gone .
This is nothing less than genocide! We must stand with Mary and other grassroots Lakota and hold these people and this system accountable!
The grassroots Lakota elders and people in Porcupine and all across the nine districts in Pine Ridge Reservation have the right to a better life free from the corrupt officials and OST government system that is forcefully impoverishing the reservation while pimping the people’s struggles in poverty to gain millions in U.S. tax dollars and more in private donations for personal gain an drug gang profits. The Lakota people have the right to have Mary Felicia and other grassroots leaders provide a safe, healthy, and enriching social environment without discrimination or interference.
Please take the following actions right now to support Mary Felicia and the grassroots Lakota people. We need your support, so please make as many of these contacts as possible.
Contact: Michelle Rogers U.S. AOA Title VI Regional Office Representative for South Dakota
- Demand the U.S. Agency on Aging and Department of Health and Human Services follow through on their promises to intervene in the Meals for the Elderly program. Reinstate Mary Felicia to her post in the Meals for the Elderly program in the Porcupine District and ensure adequate funding and support without interference.
- We demand the immediate removal and prosecution of all OST government personnel including Executive Council, Tribal Council representatives, district officials, committee officers, Judiciary staff, and tribal police who have neglected, abused, and terrorized grassroots elders and/or profiteered off of their struggles and needs.
Contact: Tracy Toulou, Director for Tribal Justice in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Phone: 202-514-5994 and 202-514-8812
- Demand that the Department of Justice begin a full and transparent investigation with audit into the conspiracy and corruption in the Oglala Sioux Tribe Government, no matter where it leads, and prosecution for those individuals and families responsible.
Contact: South Dakota Senator John Thune, – 605-348-7551
U.S. Representative for South Dakota Kristi Noem – 605-791-4673
South Dakota Representative Michael Rounds – tribal liaison, Katie Joe: 605-343-5035
- Demand the senators and representatives as trust representatives force the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice to do their jobs and end the corruption and criminal conspiracy in the Oglala Sioux Tribe government. The Lakota people have the right to their own cultural, political, and social institutions, free from interference, to make a good life for themselves and the future generations to come.
Contact: John Steele, President of the BIA Oglala Sioux Tribe
Tell President Steele he cannot pretend ignorance about the neglect, abuse, and terror inflicted upon the grassroots Lakota elders and people by the corrupt families within the OST. This is a form of genocide. He will be held responsible for everything that is occurring.
- We demand he reinstate Mary Felicia to her post in the Meals for the Elderly program in Porcupine and ensure adequate funding and support to all district Elderly Meals programs without interference.
- We demand an end to the discrimination, intimidation, criminalization, and exploitation of grassroots Lakota elders and people as well as their blacklisting from government services necessary for life.
- We demand the immediate removal and prosecution of all OST government personnel who have abused grassroots elders and/or profiteered off of their struggles and needs.
- We demand the immediate repeal of OST law 07/12 that legalizes elder abuse and criminalizes grassroots elders from speaking out in Tribal Council and other OST government functions passed during the Brewer administration.
Contact: OST Tribal Council Representatives
Medicine Root tribal district council member, James Cross: 605-454-1247
Porcupine tribal district council member, David Puyor: 605-407-1247
Pine Ridge district council member, Ella John Carlow: 605-407-1206
You can also try all of them through the OST line: 605-867-5821
- James Cross, David Puyor and Ella John Carlow need your support in helping them get this message to the council members that are in violation. Tell them you are against the illegal termination of Mary Felicia and that the elders need to be free and left alone.
Action Alert distributed by:
Lakota Cante Tenza Okolakiciye – Strong Heart Warrior Society
Independent Lakota Nation
P.O. Box 512 Hill City, SD 57745
Canupa Gluha Mani 605-517-1547