Declaration on Lakota Nationhood and the Dakota Access Pipeline Conflict to the United Nations and the International Community


Declaration on Lakota Nationhood and the Dakota Access Pipeline Conflict to the United Nations and the International Community

November 1, 2016   |   Original: English

 To Officers of the United Nations and Friends of Lakota in the International Community:

SINCE THE BEGINNING of the pipeline conflict between the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate (People) of Standing Rock Reservation and Dakota Access Ltd. (DAPL), the Independent Lakota Nation has closely monitored the situation through regular communication with the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate, via our designated observers on the ground, and other reports.

We call the attention of the United Nations and the International Community to the egregious violations of International human rights and International Law that are occurring within our aboriginal territory:

  • The United States Government along with U.S. state and local governments continue to illegally occupy our unceeded, aboriginal lands by force, and permit private land owners (squatters) and corporations to destroy our sacred land base for the purpose of monetary greed in detriment to the Lakota Oyate and the freedom and health of land, water, air, people, and other Life.
  • The illegal occupation of our territory and the resulting destruction and desecration of Lakota cultural and historical sites, burials, and other sacred lands caused by Dakota Access Ltd. corporate personnel has been defended by private mercenaries, United States local, state and Federal law enforcement officers, and overseen by the threatening presence of United States National Guard military troops. Our airspace is also continuously violated by over flights of Federal and state planes and/or drones for the purposes of constant surveillance and to create fear.
  • Lakota people and non-Lakota supporters have been criminalized, arrested, incarcerated in small cages, abusively strip-searched to create shame, and violently removed from Lakota territory by local, state, and Federal law enforcement while the United States Government remains silent and consenting to this violence.
  • The actions of the United States Government and its permitted Corporations in conjunction with abetting private land owners and complicit Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Governments are in violation of our inherent sovereignty and natural rights as a free and Independent Lakota Nation, and are a shameful and knowing continuation of genocidal policies and practices of the United States Government towards the Lakota Oyate and Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island that began long ago.
  • We remind the United Nations and the International Community that, “Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights4 and international human rights law.” In addition, the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clearly articulates the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. Whether the United States or any other nation state agrees to abide by these provisions is irrelevant. These inherent rights have been agreed upon by the International Community and should be defended by the United Nations in whatever manner possible.

Therefore, the Independent Lakota Nation representing the free and unyielding grassroots Lakota Oyate of the northern great plains of Turtle Island, reassert our natural human right to resist tyranny and oppression in all forms, and formally declare the following provisions to the United Nations and International Community as an independent nation of free people:

  1. The matriarchal Tetuwan Lakota Oyate are a sovereign Indigenous First Nation whose ancestral lands comprise a large area of the Northern Great Plains of Turtle Island, including territory in the U.S. states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.
  1. The Indigenous peoples of the Northern Great Plains, and the Lakota Oyate in particular, have never relinquished nation status.
  1. The assertion of independent Lakota political, economic, and cultural identity was present long before the presence of european settlers, and has not ceased since contact with european settlers and the American state.
  1. A truly sovereign and distinct Lakota Nation – independent of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) system of colonial governance forced upon our people by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) – has been continually maintained through our matriarchal system and other customary political and cultural institutions since contact.
  1. Our respectful matriarchal elders – those fluent speaking grandmothers who by virtue of their long life, vision, and preservation of Lakota language and culture, are the customary leaders of the Oyate – have not approved the Dakota Access pipeline and therefore such pipeline is in violation of Lakota aboriginal title and is being constructed without the prior, free, or informed consent of the Lakota Oyate as given by our respectful matriarchal elders.
  1. The Lakota People have the right to assert independent status, sovereign jurisdiction, and eminent domain within our parochitorial territory under International Law, the United States Constitution, Trade Law, and Treaty Law. The 1961 and 1969 Vienna Convention on Treaties, 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Article VI of the United States Constitution are mere starting points in the solid legal framework that underlies our rights to freely assert our nation status without interference from the United States Federal Government, State Governments, or their entities.
  1. All treaties between the United States Government and the Lakota Oyate have been abrogated by past and present United States actions resulting in breach of treaty terms and conditions including but not limited to, a) Conspiracy to defraud; b) Forgery; c) Land theft; d) Manifest violation through U.S. military incursion into sovereign Lakota territory without our consent; and, e) Systemic failure to honor treaty agreements resulting in conditions of life resulting in the destruction of the Lakota People. Under the Preamble to the Law of Treaties, Article 45-63 of the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties, treaties between the Independent Lakota Nation and the United States are terminated with all previous land claims reverting back to aboriginal title of the respective Indigenous nations. The Independent Lakota Nation reasserts our rights to free and unfettered access and use of any and all areas within the territorial boundaries of the Lakota Independent Nation State without prejudice or interference by another foreign jurisdiction including the United States or its state governments.
  1. The Independent Lakota Nation does not surrender our sovereign jurisdiction and aboriginal title over our traditional lands. Furthermore, officials of tribal governments created by the United States Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA) or modeled after U.S. IRA government structures do not speak for the grassroots Oyate as we have our own political institutions based in our matriarchal system that was created long before the presence of european colonists on Turtle Island. The enforced dominance of IRA tribal government authorities by the United States Government is knowingly resulting in the systematic invisibility and oppression of traditional Lakota people as well as our cultural, social, and political institutions that make up our traditional forms of government. This politically motivated dominance and recognition of U.S. IRA tribal authorities over customary, independent Indigenous governments is a form of genocide.
  1. The U.S. Federal Government through Federal Indian Policy as applied through actions of Federal, state, and local governments and their permitted corporations constitute acts of genocide as defined by the United Nations 1948 The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, of which the United States Government is a signatory.
  1. The jurisdictional authority of United States Courts and its applications of law against the Indigenous nations of Turtle Island are constructed upon the racist and genocidal Doctrine of Discovery. Using this doctrine, United States Courts have intentionally and systematically created a false and morally reprehensible legal basis for United States “ultimate dominion” or “ultimate title” over independent Indigenous nations as “domestic dependent nations” subverting our own political and judicial institutions. Therefore, United States Courts cannot provide fair remedy or relief for Lakota Oyate or any other Indigenous people. We demand the United States Government revoke this racist doctrine and its Federal Court decisions that violate the natural rights of freedom and human rights of Turtle Island’s Indigenous nations.
  1. The Lakota Oyate have the inherent human right to resist oppression, genocide, and future colonization in our desire to be free, and to form coalition between sympathetic and supporting governments of other Nation States as well as individual American citizens and citizens of other Nation States, who recognize and share in their responsibility for the past and ongoing illegal and inhumane actions perpetrated by the United States of America on the Lakota Oyate.
  1. We do not recognize United States or state permits to gather, pray, or otherwise demonstrate our cultural, social, and political institutions on our own aboriginal lands. This includes the permit given by the United States Government Army Corps of Engineers to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Government for the Sacred Stone protest encampment and/or Red Warrior encampment against the Dakota Access pipeline for assembly on traditional Lakota territory. Lakota persons and their supporters maintain their rights of way across Lakota territory and all adjacent territory without interference for the purposes of travel and other social, cultural, or political activities.
  1. Federal, state, and local law enforcement do not hold jurisdictional right to enforcement activities on traditional Lakota territory and do so only through the illegal threat of colonial, military force (through the United States National Guard) on Lakota people and our supporters. The forced removal of Lakota and other Indigenous persons and our supporters from Lakota territory for the purposes of arrest, incarceration, and other forms of punishment are illegal incursions into Lakota territory to protect the theft of Lakota land and resources without our free, prior, or informed consent via our customary government. These actions violate International Law and Human Rights provisions that promote and protect the rights of people and nations to their own self-determination and freedom.
  1. Further, United States Courts do not maintain jurisdiction over Independent Lakota Oyate or our appointed agents and allies. Any such military or armed use of force or intimidation by the United States Government, State or local governments or its permitted corporations and private security contractors are illegal Acts of Aggression against the Independent Lakota Nation and our allies in violation of Lakota natural rights, International law, and human decency.
  1. The Independent Lakota Oyate shall exercise its independence and self determination according to the interests of the Lakota Nation including the defense of land and people, and the use of eminent domain to exert jurisdiction over Lakota Territory forcefully or coercively removed from Lakota jurisdiction by illegal and genocidal acts of the United States government, State and local governments, corporations, or its citizens.
  1. The Independent Lakota Nation and all those persons who stand with us shall work together to assert our independence free of U.S. and corporate control, in honor of our ancestors who sacrificed for our lives today, and with love for our children and grand children so they may have a tomorrow as free Lakota people. Hoka Hey!

To develop relations with the Independent Lakota Nation , please contact Canupa Gluha Mani at 1-605-517-1547.  Messages can also be sent to

Press Advisory: Elders & Warriors Confront OST Tribal Council Today

Pine Ridge Council Crisis Continues – Elders & Warriors Confront OST Tribal Council Meeting Today

Missing $$$, Fired Council Reps, Traditional Elders Insulted – Where does it end?

Please coordinate interviews and timing with Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547

Follow-up or background only use email:
Online at
 WHAT: Pine Ridge Reservation Tribal Council Meeting

WHEN: Friday August 12. Council Meeting Time fluid with media interviews following meeting.

WHO: Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation in support of traditional elders including Lakota Chief Mel Lone Hill, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council and Floyd Hand, Grey Eagle Society Grandmothers and the grassroots oyate from Pine Ridge.

WHERE: Oglala Sioux Tribe Tribal Council Chambers, Highway 18 and Main Street, Pine Ridge, SD

Pine Ridge Reservation – The crisis on Pine Ridge Reservation continues to deepen as millions in U.S. Government trust monies have disappeared once again under the current Oglala Sioux Tribe Government system (OST). The corrupt cabal witin the OST has used retaliatory firings of questioning Tribal Council members, strong-arm tactics, attempted assault with a gun, and elder abuse of traditional elders and Chiefs to keep accountability from occurring.

Led by the Cante Tenza Strong Heart Warrior Society, elders have flooded this week’s OST Tribal Council meetings leading to increased tension and threats of violence. In response, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Lakota Itachan Mel Lone Hill, and Grey Eagle Society Grandmothers with the Strong Heart Warrior Society have called for a mass warrior meeting Saturday at Billy Mills Hall. Warriors and activists from all across North America have responded.

Elders and warriors return to the Tribal Council today in their ongoing efforts for justice and accountability.

See short vidoes from August 8th, 2016 meeting detailing many of the events that have occurred.

The Independent Lakota Nation represents the free and independent grassroots Lakota Oyate (people) who continue more than 165 years of resistance to colonial settlement on Lakota territory – land that has never been ceded by our people. We claim our sovereign powers and jurisdiction within our traditional free of interference by the United States Government, state governments, or any other foreign entities. Wowakan He Glihuniyalo: Our Sacred Way of Life Comes Home!

Anger Over Police Killings Spark Capital Protest in Lincoln, NE

Lakota Cante Tenza Okolakiciye
Strong Heart Warrior Society
Independent Lakota Nation

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2016
Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547


Indigenous and Latino Leaders Come Together for Answers on Police Killings

WHO:  Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society and members of the local Indigenous and and Latino communities.

WHAT: Protest over the May 5th police shooting of Lance McIntire as well as the disturbing ten year history of repeated police shootings of Native and Latino people.

WHERE: Ongoing today on the north side of the Capital Building in downtown Lincoln.

WHEN:  The protest will last until 1pm on  Thursday, July 07, 2016.

MORE: Today, Indigenous and Latino leaders met with Judy Morgan Gaiashkibos (Nebraska Commission on Native American Affairs) and Lozaro Arturo Spindola (Latino American Commission) regarding the disturbing history of police shootings involving Indigenous and Latino persons in the Lincoln-Omaha area.  Activists are demanding a reopening of the investigation into the death of Lance McIntire as well as a civil rights investigation into police shootings of Indian and Latino community members going back ten years.

Lakota 500 Mile Sacred Hoop Run, June 24 – 29

SacredHoopRun2016FlyerCante Tenza is proud to support the Lays Bad family in the 34th Annual 500 Mile Sacred Hoop Run around the Black Hills.  The run begins tomorrow June 24th and continues to the 29th.  The 500 mile prayer run empowers Lakota youth with a strong Lakota identity while sharing traditional Lakota culture, language, and spirituality.

Thank you to the following for your support of the run:

  • Steve and his staff at Hardware Hank, Rapid City
  • Sandy in Rep. Kristi Noem’s office – $25
  • Senator John Thune’s office – printing
  • Gabril at Office Depot- printing
  • Rick Brady and Black Hills Community Bank – 15 cases water
  • Justin in the Baken Park Safeway
  • Venice and Josh  – shoes for the runners
  • Russell and Sound Pro – 5 cases gatorade
  • Family Thrift Center
  • Cindy Johnson and Connect Lumber Mart

Lakota Chief Mel Lone Hill and Strong Heart Warriors Work to Stop Alcohol Sales on Pine Ridge

For quotes and follow-up, contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547
For non-deadline specific inquiries, email:
See online at:
Sacred Struggle: Lakota Chief Mel Lone Hill and Strong Heart Warriors Work to Stop Alcohol Sales on Pine Ridge Reservation

On the eve of the proposed referendum to approve alcohol sales on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation issued the following statement:

This is to the Lakota Oyate of an Independent Lakota Nation within the five states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska as well as our relatives across Turtle Island:

The Lakota Nation is under attack by the Federal Government at the discretion of their 1934 Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) puppet government known as the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST).

After the attempt in 2013 to legalize alcohol sales on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the OST was told by the body of the Lakota Oyate to not bring the alcohol issue up again to referendum. Only about 12% (3526) of the estimated 30,000 residents of Pine Ridge even voted on the issue in 2013, representing the deep distrust and lack of recognition of OST leadership. This does not include the thousands of Lakota Oyate who live outside of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The full membership of the Oglala Lakota People have never given the Oglala Sioux Tribe consent to legalize alcohol in any measure. But the OST persists, driven by the possibility of feeding the corrupt tribal government system with alcohol dollars that represent the misery of the Lakota people the IRA government has itself created.

Mel Lone Hill is the Tetuwan Lakota Itachan – chieftain of the Tetuwan Oglala Lakota people. He has enlisted the help of the Independent Lakota Nation and the Strong Heart Warrior Society to oppose the sales of alcohol on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. We are taking on this challenge.

Today, Uncle Mel Lone Hill appeared in court today to file an injunction to eliminate the voting standards to stop the May 17 vote of the referendum to go into effect. We pray that he succeeds.

But we must not forget this is the same tribal government that has refused to give the sacred pipe back to the people at Uncle Mel Lone Hill’s request. So he asked Canupa Gluha Mani and the Strong Heart Warrior Society to help get the pipe returned in order to rid this evil of white supremacy which is imposing its own european bipolar disorder upon the last living Lakota people who defeated the U.S. Government on the field of battle known as the Greasy Grass or Little Big Horn.

We should no longer question why our children commit suicide at alarming rates or our people turn to alcohol and drugs when our own supposed tribal government labels our elders as criminals and refuses to return the sacred pipe to the Lakota Oyate. The cause is right before our eyes.

It is our opportunity and discretion for our people to take this issue into consideration. We call on all sun dancers – not those weekend warriors who are Lakota when convenient, but those real grassroots and full-blooded sun dancers and all Lakota people to vote against this referendum, should the vote occur on Tuesday May 17th.

John Yellowbird Steele and his 18 members of the OST are committing an act of genocide against the Lakota people by going against the will of the Oyate in attempts to bring this poison directly on to the reservation.

Should this proceed, we are prepared to immediately file a genocide complaint with the International Community against these 18 members and the Ogala Sioux Tribe in general for their intentional actions that will directly increase those conditions of life known to be lethal to our people.

Cante Tenza Okolakiciye
Independent Lakota Nation


The Independent Lakota Nation represents the free and independent grassroots Lakota Oyate (people) who continue more than 165 years of resistance to colonial settlement on Lakota territory – land that has never been ceded by our people. We claim our sovereign powers and jurisdiction within our traditional free of interference by the United States Government, state governments, or any other foreign entities. Wowakan He Glihuniyalo: Our Sacred Way of Life Comes Home!

Stop Lakota Cultural Theft in Boyce, Virginia

Feburary 10, 2016

To:             The Friends, Organizations, Native Warrior Societies, and Activist Allies of the Lakota Cante Tenza Strong Heart Warrior Society and grassroots Lakota Oyate (People)

Ally Sign-On letter and documents found at:

The Cante Tenza Okolakiciye or Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation, acting on behalf of traditional and grassroots Lakota people on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, have issued a Cease & Desist Order to a group of white and non-native individuals who willfully engaged in the theft of Lakota cultural property by raising and using a Lakota ceremonial tipi for their own use, without the free, prior, and informed consent of the grassroots Lakota Oyate and against the expressed denial of the Lakota Cante Tenza.

The individuals and their groups named in this February 18, 2016 Cease and Desist Order are as follows: Eric Joseph Lewis of Silver Spring, MD; Zachary Owen Heidemann of MD; Katie A. Poffenberger aka Alia Kaitan of Boyce, VA; Barry Wagner of Boyce, VA; Zee Kong of Rockville, MD; and Amanda Truett, of Accokeek, MD.  Additionally, this group of self-described “hippies” also operates under the name of The Harvest Collective, a permaculture education and gardening business in the Washington D.C. metro area.

The tipi is raised in violation at 1040 Page Brook Lane in Boyce, Virginia on land currently under ownership of Ned, Clara, and Katie Poffenberger. In postings and photos of the “Tipi Raising Party” found on social media, an empty beer bottle appears to lie inside the tipi and a future “Medicine Retreat” is planned.

Let it be known, Cante Tenza provided multiple written, phone, and in-person verbal communications denying the individuals and their groups permission to raise and use a Lakota ceremonial tipi and explained in detail the harmful effects to Lakota and other Indigenous peoples caused by their culturally disrespectful behaviors.

Despite this prohibition, on February 3, 2016 the individuals callously and with racist threats and statements refused to remove the tipi, return stolen property, or be accountable for their actions to Cante Tenza or the grassroots Lakota Oyate. Further they recklessly threatened the use of colonial law and police violence to block Cante Tenza efforts at open communication and accountability, with no regard for the historic or ongoing effects of colonial violence on the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island known as North America.

Theft of Indigenous cultural property and denying Lakota and other Indigenous people’s rights to preserve and protect their spiritual and cultural traditions is in direct violation of Lakota Customary (traditional ) Law, the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples International Treaties, International Human Rights Covenants, and no less than seven multi-national declarations of inherent Indigenous rights by Indigenous nations from across Mother Earth.

The willful denying of Indigenous authority acting to protect and preserve Indigenous cultural and spiritual traditions is not a trivial or insignificant action, but is deeply hurtful and emotionally traumatic to those Indigenous people fighting to preserve what culture they have left. Indeed, Indigenous people within the “United States” have been systematically oppressed from their own identities and denied recognition and rights to practice their cultural and spiritual traditions without interference. We are still denied many of the same cultural and spiritual rights afforded religions that are not original to these lands. These injustices are violent, perpetuating inter-generational trauma and genocide.

The flagrant and privileged claim to raise and use a Lakota ceremonial tipi for white and non-native use without grassroots Lakota consent is without moral or ethical defense and it must end now.

We call upon friends and allies of the Independent Lakota Nation and grassroots Lakota Oyate as well as Native activists, groups, and warrior societies to stand with us to resist these racist actions. We must stand together and defend our spiritual and cultural traditions, as well as the rights to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures in honor of our ancestors, for our people today, and for the future generations to come.

Please sign on to our Solidarity Letter and stand with us to end these actions. Fill out the form here or email your name, organization, and contact information to cantetenza [at]

Pilamaye and Hoka Hey!


Action Alert: We Will Not Be Intimidated! Investigate Pine Ridge Now!

February 5, 2016
For Immediate Release and Action! Please help and share widely!

 We Will Not Be Intimidated! Investigate Pine Ridge Now!

Your Phone Calls and Emails are Pressuring U.S. Officials to End Elder Abuse – Keep it Up!

This Action Alert is created in honor of Harvey Iron Boy, the latest Lakota elder to die at the hands of the abusive Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) system. Just several weeks ago, Harvey and his wife were concerned to sign the Grandmother’s Letter in fear of OST retaliation that would interrupt Harvey’s medical care. We send our prayers to his wife and family. Hoka Hey!

U.S. Senators and Agency on Aging/Agency on Community Living (AOA/ACL) bureaucrats have been rattled by your phone calls, faxes, and emails in solidarity with ending the abuse against Lakota elders. This is great news, though they are trying to pressure us into weakening our demands. These are not our demands – these are the demands of the grassroots Lakota elders on Pine Ridge! They have even gone so far as to say AOA employee Cynthia LaCounte is offended by our Action Alerts calling for her action in investigating Pine Ridge. These are not personal attacks – they are reminders to KEEP YOUR PROMISES AND DO YOUR JOB!

We remind Ms. LaCounte, Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Senators from South Dakota –failure to protect traditional and grassroots Lakota elders and people from a system of inhuman conditions leading to abuse and death is an act of genocide. Is this the legacy you wish to leave behind?

Please act again with the phone calls, emails, and faxes today (Friday), and into next week!

Contact: Cynthia LaCounte, Director, Office for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Programs, ACL/AOA, U.S. Department Health and Human Services
Phone: 202-357-0148
Also Contact: Kathy Greenlee, Administrator, ACL
Phone: 202-401-4634
Also Contact: Sharon Lewis, Principal Deputy Administrator, ACL
Phone: 202-795-7385

  • Politely demand Ms. LaCounte keep her word and meet with the Porcupine elders. Demand the Agency on Aging investigate the illegal fraud and abusive conditions of the Pine Ridge Meals for the Elderly Program and place the program under Independent Lakota Elder control.

Contact: South Dakota Senator Michael Rounds
(ph) 605-343-5035  (fax) 202-225-5823
Legislative Contact:
Contact: South Dakota Senator John Thune
(ph) 605-348-7551   (fax) 202-228-5429
Legislative Contact:

  • Demand the Senators and Representative follow through with their letter to Strong Heart and the grassroots Lakota elders outlining the trust actions they will initiate to clean up the corrupt system on Pine Ridge and in the Meals for the Elderly, including the reinstatement of Mary Felicia. Remind them of their trust responsibility over U.S. tax dollars being stolen and misused on Pine Ridge leading to the misery and death of grassroots Lakota elders and people.


Action Alert proudly 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


A Step Forward! Plus, pics from Jan 29 Senator’s meeting

THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT of Lakota elders and the Cante Tenza delegation!  Your phone calls, emails, and faxes made this critical step forward possible!  Thanks as well to our legal support team. Pilamaye!

As a result of this January 29th meeting, the Senator’s have forwarded the elder’s letter to the Agency on Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. The elder’s letter demands investigation and change in the Meals for the Elderly Program on Pine Ridge!

This is an important step forward towards accountability and change.  But we need to remain vigilant and keep the pressure up with U.S. Officials and bureaucrats. Please stay engaged!

January 29, 2016 Meeting with Senator Mike Rounds Legislative Assistant Peter Eckrich, and Senator John Thune Legislative Assistant Ty Littau, on behalf of Porcupine District elders.

Lakota Warrior Society Declares “Elder Abuse State of Emergency” on Pine Ridge Reservation

Lakota Warrior Society Declares Elder Abuse State of Emergency on Pine Ridge Reservation

Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547
Contact: Ana Oian Amets at 631-626-5842

Pine Ridge, SD and Washington DC – The Lakota Cante Tenza or Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation has declared an Elder Abuse State of Emergency for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in response to the crisis of abuse and neglect of grassroots Lakota elders by the Oglala Sioux Tribe Government (OST) on Pine Ridge. Many of the elders facing the brunt of abuse are the living professors of Lakota language and cultural knowledge, putting the cultural survival of the Lakota people at grave risk.

“We are issuing an Elder Abuse State of Emergency because the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Federal Government have failed to uphold and enforce the protections of the Older Citizens Act better known as the Older Americans Act of 1965, said Canupa Gluha Mani, headman for the Cante Tenza warrior society. “By willfully failing to protect against clear evidence of elder abuse, both the Federal Government and the tribal government are conspiring the commit murder against Lakota elders.”

Elder abuse on Pine Ridge by OST officials includes:

  • Systemic neglect
  • Verbal abuse and physical abuse
  • Harassment
  • Criminalization of elders
  • Threats of police force
  • Threats of forced removal to state facility
  • Theft of U.S. trust monies/settlements
  • Theft of funds from elder programs
  • Political retaliation/blacklisting of elders
  • Abuses of the Elderly Meals Program
  • Violation of Indian Preference laws
  • Failure to prosecute OST ethics violations
  • Failure to prosecute violations of OST laws against elder abuse
  • Systematic denial of customary elder input (customary Lakota practices) into government programs and activities that impact the Lakota Oyate (people).

The elder abuse crisis is most visible in OST programs that are supposed to serve grassroots elders, and towards elders labeled as “troublemakers” by corrupt OST officials. but too often are used for fraud and political manipulation by corrupt OST officials. This system of abuse has been allowed to continue by U.S. Health and Human Services agency bureaucrats and U.S. Congressional representatives who have turned a blind eye to the use of U.S. tax dollars to fund illegal and inhuman abuses of Pine Ridge elders.

Cante Tenza’s Friday declaration is intended to bring awareness and action to the elder abuse crisis which has been going on for years. Many of these same elders were forced to occupy the Porcupine Elderly Meals building in Porcupine Community of Pine Ridge for 34 days in 2011 as an act of prayerful protest against the conditions they face.

“Lakota elders are being impacted daily by the abuse of dietary needs and preferences within the Elderly Meals program,” Canupa Gluha Mani said.

In preparation for the Elder Abuse State of Emergency declaration, Cante Tenza delivered a letter from Pine Ridge Porcupine District elders to U.S. officials followed by the release of two powerful graphic tools to raise awareness on the elder abuse crisis – The Elder Abuse Power and Control Wheel and The Cycle of Elder Abuse Flowchart. A screening of the groundbreaking Lakota documentary film Red Cry was also held.

Canupa Gluha Mani added, “The Free and Independent Lakota Nation, the Strong Heart Warrior Society, with assistance from the Lakota Solidarity Project will make sure the United Nations and International Community see how the heinous behavior still affects Indigenous people in Indian Country at the hands of the United States and its puppet tribal governments. ”


The Independent Lakota Nation represents the free and independent grassroots Lakota Oyate (people) who continue more than 165 years of resistance to colonial settlement on Lakota territory – land that has never been ceded by our people. We claim our sovereign powers and jurisdiction within our traditional free of interference by the United States Government, state governments, or any other foreign entities. Wowakan He Glihuniyalo: Our Sacred Way of Life Comes Home!