MEDIA RELEASE: August 19, 2016 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547
State & Local Police Continue Traffic Checkpoints Friday to Stop Dakota Pipeline Blockade Support
Checkpoints Violate Lakota Nation Jurisdiction, International and Treaty Law
South Dakota – On Thursday, the Cante Tenza Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation received dozens of complaints from Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota tribal members reporting mass harassment at traffic checkpoints leaving the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, manned by State and local law enforcement. Police were stopping cars leaving Pine Ridge Reservation in mass and threatening tribal members who may be headed to support the Dakota Pipeline Blockade near Standing Rock Reservation.
Over 100 cars had been counted as being stopped, many of whom were simply going about grocery shopping and other daily business. Cars were being turned around if suspected of heading towards the Dakota Pipeline Blockade, while others were cited for minor infractions. It is unknown if any tribal members were arrested.
While some traffic checkpoints may have eased, tribal members are still reporting being stopped Friday morning. Upwards of 25 people have reported being stopped early Friday morning.
On Thursday afternoon, Strong Heart Headman Canupa Gluha Mani observed a traffic checkpoint just north of Pine Ridge Reservation of four South Dakota State Troopers that had seven cars pulled over to the roadside. Tribal members waived down Canupa Gluha Mani to report their distress.
When asked what law enforcement was doing, a trooper replied, “We have orders to turn them around or cite them.” Canupa Gluha Mani was then followed by a trooper who sped and swerved back and forth on the road behind Mani’s vehicle attempting to incite the warrior leader.
The Strong Heart Warrior Society condemns these traffic checkpoints and any interference of the rights of way of Lakota persons from traveling across their traditional lands for any purpose. South Dakota is Lakota territory under natural law, International Law and treaty law. The State of South Dakota and the United States Government are in violation of these legal covenants and mass stops of Native persons is criminalization without due process, racial profiling and illegal. These stops must end now.
Strong Heart is in contact with U.S. Congressional officials and the Department of Justice to register formal complaints and will be reporting the violations of Lakota person rights to the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights. The United States is a signatory to the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which is just one international agreement that guarantees Lakota travel and rights of way across their traditional territories.
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!