Outrage! Lakota Elders Denied Food by Oglala Sioux Tribe in Retaliation for Activism
Lakota Warriors Demand U.S. Congressional Reps Meet Treaty Obligations
Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547
Contact: Ana Oian Amets at 631-626-5842
Pine Ridge, SD and Washington DC – It’s hard to imagine the ongoing plight of grassroots traditional and language speaking elders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation getting worse – but it has. In retaliation for their recent public outrage against the ongoing unlawful and inhuman abuses they face at the hands of corrupt and uncaring Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) and Porcupine District officials, the Porcupine Elderly Meals Site has been temporarily, or permanently shut down denying elders critical meals. Porcupine District officials have also announced plans to take over the Elderly Meals site and replace it with the Community Assistance Program (CAP) office. CAP officials are among the main instigators abusing Lakota elders in Porcupine District.
One elder advocate (name withheld to protect against further retaliation) reported last night that elders are losing weight, and that the health gains made under the previous Elderly Meals director and cook, Mary Felicia, have been negated. It is well known that many of these elders are disabled and have health problems like diabetes and heart disease that require regular hot, healthy meals – especially during the winter months when temperatures are regularly below zero.
The denial of healthy meals is nothing less than conspiracy to commit murder by corrupt OST and District officials.
Elders are also angry at the continued abuse and lack of action by a dismissive United States Government that continually ignores treaty obligations and 638 Contract provisions that require their investigation and prosecution of illegal activity in tribal programs supported by U.S. tax dollars. More than 100 elders have signed the recent letter demanding investigation by Cynthia LaCounte, Director, Office for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Programs for the Department Health and Human Services Administration on Aging and Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
The Lakota Cante Tenza Warrior Society is currently in Washington DC meeting with U.S. Congressional representatives and other officials seeking accountability for their negligent lack of action leading to genocide of grassroots and traditional Lakota people. Despite the letter from the elders, U.S. Congressional representatives Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds, and Representative Kristi Noem are non-committal on taking action in violation of their fiduciary duties to oversee treaty obligations.
Cante Tenza (Strong Heart) headman Canupa Gluha Mani issued the following statement:
Within the time frame of the removal of Mrs. Mary Horse Felicia, three disabled elders have died. The youngest of the three – Gilbert Bad Wound- died of food poisoning. He is the latest death from the unhealthy medical caring of Native People through U.S. treaty obligations.
Strong Heart vows if another elder dies with any condition that was brought on by the fraudulent use and illegal expenditures of tax paying dollars at the hands of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Government, America is to blame for the conspiracy to commit murder at the hands of tax dollars.