Media Release & Statement
For Immediate Release: September 9, 2016
Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani at 605-517-1547
Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society Statement on DAPL Injunction Decision and Nationhood, September 9, 2016
Lakota Territory – Since the beginning of the confrontation between the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate (People) of Standing Rock Reservation and Dakota Access Ltd. corporate personnel and security forces near the Standing Rock Reservation, the Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society has monitored the situation on the ground and maintained communication with the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate.
Today’s United States Federal Court ruling is of no consequence to the Independent Lakota Nation and all free Indigenous peoples. Lakota land defenders and their allies standing in independence maintain all rights guaranteed a free people under natural law, international law, and treaty law to maintain and expand, if desired, their habitation and defense of Lakota Territory under the following provisions:
- 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.
- The Indigenous peoples of the Northern Great Plains, and the Lakota Oyate in particular, have never relinquished nation status.
- The assertion of independent Lakota political, economic, and cultural identity has not ceased since contact with white settlers and the American state.
- 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 – has been continually maintained through our matriarchal system and other customary political and cultural institutions since contact.
- 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. Predictably, this construction has resulted in the destruction and desecration of Lakota cultural and historical sites, burials, and other sacred lands, threatening the health of land, water, air, people, and other living relatives within our territory.
- 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.
- All treaties between the United States Government and the Lakota Oyate have been abrogated by past and present United States actions including intentional deception and fraud, land theft, U.S. military incursion into sovereign Lakota territory without our consent, and systemic failure to honor treaty agreements. Under International and Treaty Law, treaties with the United States are therefore null and invalid, with all previous land claims reverting back to aboriginal title of the respective Indigenous nations. All Lakota Territory is therefore unceeded and has been recognized as an illegal taking within United States Federal Courts under the Black Hills Land Claim.
- United States federal indian policy as well as actions of State and local governments and their permitted corporations continue to engage in 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.
- 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.” We demand the United States Government repudiate this racist doctrine and its Federal Court decisions that violate the natural rights of freedom and human rights of Turtle Island’s Indigenous nations.
- The Lakota Oyate have the inherent human rights to resist oppression, genocide, and future colonization and form a 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, or accept their responsibility and accountability for the past and ongoing illegal and inhumane actions perpetrated by the United States of America on the Lakota Oyate.
- 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 colonial aggression against the Independent Lakota Nation and our allies in violation of Lakota natural rights, International law, and human decency.
- The Independent Lakota Oyate shall exercise it’s 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.
- 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!