Cante Tenza Okolakiciye – Strong Heart Warrior Society with the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council
MEDIA RELEASE: June 25, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange interviews
Traditional Lakota Delegation Moves to Evict Black Hills Rainbow Gathering on Anniversary of Little Big Horn Battle
Hill City – A delegation of the Traditional Lakota Oyate in collaboration with supportive Rainbow Family members will move to evict the Black Hills “Occupy Rainbow” Gathering on Thursday. This follows twelve days of intense action to encourage the Rainbow gathering to leave the unceded Lakota Territory.
The delegation represents the Lakota Grandmothers Khahtela Society, Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Cante Tenza Strong Heart Warrior Society, the United Urban Warrior Society, as well as many traditional and grassroots Lakota people supported by a solidarity group of Rainbow Family who are standing with the Lakota to peacefully aid their people in leaving the sacred mountains.
The eviction is for the failure of the Rainbow Family to follow traditional Lakota protocols and receive permission from the Lakota People for the gathering, the arrogant attitudes and hurtful actions of Rainbow people towards traditional and grassroots Lakota elders and societies, as well as the open sharing of drugs with Lakota youth.
Lakota Strong Heart headman Canupa Gluha Mani said, “We’ve given them every opportunity to leave our territory, and now it’s time to go!”
The eviction action comes on the 139th anniversary of the Battle for Greasy Grass or Little Big Horn where a combined force of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors led by Crazy Horse defeated the United States elite 7th Calvary led by General George Custer. This great victory by the Sioux and their allies deeply affected U.S. desires to create a peace treaty with the Great Sioux Nation and other Plains tribes leading to the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie which guaranteed the Black Hills to be Lakota lands without white settlement for perpetuity. International law also supports the Lakota’s Black Hills claim since the independent Lakota people have never relinquished nation status and have maintained their political, social, and cultural institutions in their territory since contact with white settlers.
The U.S. Forest Service, Park Service, and other agencies have blatantly disregarded the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council and traditional Lakota societies by not supporting Lakota cease and desist and no gathering orders in violation of Article XII of the 1868 treaty.
Following the strong response from Lakota warrior societies to the planned Rainbow Gathering, a group of Rainbow members have been working to support the Lakota wishes and support the no camping order and eviction.
The Rainbow solidarity group said in a June 22 statement: “We are concerned that the situation in the Black Hills of South Dakota and specifically the disrespectful actions of a few members of the Rainbow family who have self sanctioned this gathering and who have ignored the wishes of the majority of Rainbows and violated our consensus procedures in order to further their own, personal agendas and motives. We can see that this situation is creating an environment in South Dakota that is dangerous for our children, young adults and elders.”
The delegation will be peacefully asking the Rainbow gathering to vacate the land and “No Trespassing” signs will be posted to warn others coming in after the eviction. The Lakota vow to follow through with the eviction and will be monitoring the situation into the planned July gathering dates.