THE LAKOTA PEOPLE AND THE BLACK HILLS: A SITUATION SUMMARY FOR THE RAINBOW FAMILY
This educational document was requested by members of the Rainbow Family to share among those who are not understanding of the situation in the Black Hills and with the Lakota Oyate.
THE LAKOTA HAVE JURISDICTION
The matriarchal Tetuwan Lakota Oyate have never relinquished nation status. The assertion of sovereign Lakota political, economic, and cultural identity within our territory has been continually maintained through our matriarchal system and other customary political and cultural institutions like treaty and judicial councils, elder societies, and warrior societies. This is the real Lakota.
The Lakota People have the right to assert independent status and sovereign jurisdiction over our territory under International Law such as the 1961 and 1969 Vienna Convention on Treaties, 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in U.S. law under Article VI of the United States Constitution.
If the Rainbow Family does not honor Lakota sovereignty then they are endorsing U.S. colonization of Lakota territory and genocide of our people.
THE BLACK HILLS IS LAKOTA TERRITORY
Despite the intentional killing of free Lakota people, the forced movement of our people onto agency lands (reservations), and, a sell-or-starve policy by the United States Government, the sacred Black Hills has never been ceded by the Lakota People. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the Black Hills had been illegally stolen from the Lakota. The Black Hills is not U.S. National Forest, park land, public land, or America. The Black Hills is Lakota territory!
The Rainbow Family has no special right, entitlement, or privilege to gather in the Black Hills.
THE OGLALA SIOUX TRIBE IS A U.S. PUPPET GOVERNMENT
The Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) Government system was created by the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) and was illegally forced upon our people by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is controlled by non-traditional mixed-blood indians and is culturally incompatable with traditional matriarchal, family-based Lakota culture.
The OST is ruled through corruption, embezzlement, fraud, and nepotism. Beginning in the early 1970s, the OST has been used to attack and eliminate full-blood, traditional, and grassroots Lakota people. This corruption and violence precipitated the 1973 Wounded Knee Takeover and continues today.
Rainbow Family collaboration with the Oglala Sioux Tribe is the same as working with the U.S. Government to destory authentic Lakota sovereignty and culture.
THE DRUG TRADE IS DESTROYING OUR WAY OF LIFE
The genocidal conditions of life created by the U.S. Government and the OST have created an epidemic of drugs and alcohol use among our people. The situation is so critical that elders must often chain their refrigerators shut so that their food will not be stolen and exchanged for drugs or alcohol. Hopelessness fuels a teen suicide rate over 150% times the U.S. average.
Drug and alcohol gang members openly work within OST to embezzle money from U.S. contracts that are desperately needed for the poor Lakota people to fund housing, food, and medical care. This money funds their drug trade and is used to bribe tribal council members, BIA officials, and law enforcement into protecting this corrupt system.
When Lakota people courageously speak out against this corrupt system, they face retaliation and are blacklisted from OST government services necessary for life including housing, healthy food, winter propane, and funds for critical medical proceedures like dialysis. Elders in their 70s, 80s, and 90s are threatened with assault, false imprisonment, and even murder. They face constant mental anguish for seeking a better life for their Lakota people.
Inside sources tell us the decision to hold a gathering in the Black Hills is being fueled by financial motives of at least one large pot grower in the Rainbow Family. This is a direct assault on Lakota people.
A NATION SPEAKS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
Unscrupulous or ignorant people among the Rainbow Family may find a group or individual that will say or do what they like. These individuals may offer ceremony, claim to share Indigenous ‘wisdom’, or give permission for activities and ceremonies when they do not have the Lakota people’s authority to do so. This often results in cultural confusion, cultural appropriation and theft, and real Lakota issues and voices being silenced. Only listening to the voices you want to hear dishonors Lakota cultural protocols, creates division, and hurts Lakota people further. The Lakota have a saying, “An individual does not speak for a nation – the nation speaks for the individual.”
Elders and leaders from traditional Lakota governing societies have clearly told the Rainbow Family they are not welcome in the Black Hills. We urge the Rainbow Family to leave the Black Hills now and denounce those that stay! Stand in solidarity with the traditional Lakota people!