Declaration on Lakota Nationhood and the Dakota Access Pipeline Conflict to the United Nations and the International Community
November 1, 2016 | Original: English
To Officers of the United Nations and Friends of Lakota in the International Community:
SINCE THE BEGINNING of the pipeline conflict between the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate (People) of Standing Rock Reservation and Dakota Access Ltd. (DAPL), the Independent Lakota Nation has closely monitored the situation through regular communication with the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate, via our designated observers on the ground, and other reports.
We call the attention of the United Nations and the International Community to the egregious violations of International human rights and International Law that are occurring within our aboriginal territory:
- The United States Government along with U.S. state and local governments continue to illegally occupy our unceeded, aboriginal lands by force, and permit private land owners (squatters) and corporations to destroy our sacred land base for the purpose of monetary greed in detriment to the Lakota Oyate and the freedom and health of land, water, air, people, and other Life.
- The illegal occupation of our territory and the resulting destruction and desecration of Lakota cultural and historical sites, burials, and other sacred lands caused by Dakota Access Ltd. corporate personnel has been defended by private mercenaries, United States local, state and Federal law enforcement officers, and overseen by the threatening presence of United States National Guard military troops. Our airspace is also continuously violated by over flights of Federal and state planes and/or drones for the purposes of constant surveillance and to create fear.
- Lakota people and non-Lakota supporters have been criminalized, arrested, incarcerated in small cages, abusively strip-searched to create shame, and violently removed from Lakota territory by local, state, and Federal law enforcement while the United States Government remains silent and consenting to this violence.
- The actions of the United States Government and its permitted Corporations in conjunction with abetting private land owners and complicit Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Governments are in violation of our inherent sovereignty and natural rights as a free and Independent Lakota Nation, and are a shameful and knowing continuation of genocidal policies and practices of the United States Government towards the Lakota Oyate and Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island that began long ago.
- We remind the United Nations and the International Community that, “Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights4 and international human rights law.” In addition, the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples clearly articulates the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. Whether the United States or any other nation state agrees to abide by these provisions is irrelevant. These inherent rights have been agreed upon by the International Community and should be defended by the United Nations in whatever manner possible.
Therefore, the Independent Lakota Nation representing the free and unyielding grassroots Lakota Oyate of the northern great plains of Turtle Island, reassert our natural human right to resist tyranny and oppression in all forms, and formally declare the following provisions to the United Nations and International Community as an independent nation of free people:
- 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 was present long before the presence of european settlers, and has not ceased since contact with european 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 (BIA) – 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.
- 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 resulting in breach of treaty terms and conditions including but not limited to, a) Conspiracy to defraud; b) Forgery; c) Land theft; d) Manifest violation through U.S. military incursion into sovereign Lakota territory without our consent; and, e) Systemic failure to honor treaty agreements resulting in conditions of life resulting in the destruction of the Lakota People. Under the Preamble to the Law of Treaties, Article 45-63 of the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties, treaties between the Independent Lakota Nation and the United States are terminated with all previous land claims reverting back to aboriginal title of the respective Indigenous nations. The Independent Lakota Nation reasserts our rights to free and unfettered access and use of any and all areas within the territorial boundaries of the Lakota Independent Nation State without prejudice or interference by another foreign jurisdiction including the United States or its state governments.
- The Independent Lakota Nation does not surrender our sovereign jurisdiction and aboriginal title over our traditional lands. Furthermore, officials of tribal governments created by the United States Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA) or modeled after U.S. IRA government structures do not speak for the grassroots Oyate as we have our own political institutions based in our matriarchal system that was created long before the presence of european colonists on Turtle Island. The enforced dominance of IRA tribal government authorities by the United States Government is knowingly resulting in the systematic invisibility and oppression of traditional Lakota people as well as our cultural, social, and political institutions that make up our traditional forms of government. This politically motivated dominance and recognition of U.S. IRA tribal authorities over customary, independent Indigenous governments is a form of genocide.
- The U.S. Federal Government through Federal Indian Policy as applied through actions of Federal, state, and local governments and their permitted corporations constitute 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” subverting our own political and judicial institutions. Therefore, United States Courts cannot provide fair remedy or relief for Lakota Oyate or any other Indigenous people. We demand the United States Government revoke 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 right to resist oppression, genocide, and future colonization in our desire to be free, and to form 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 their responsibility for the past and ongoing illegal and inhumane actions perpetrated by the United States of America on the Lakota Oyate.
- We do not recognize United States or state permits to gather, pray, or otherwise demonstrate our cultural, social, and political institutions on our own aboriginal lands. This includes the permit given by the United States Government Army Corps of Engineers to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Government for the Sacred Stone protest encampment and/or Red Warrior encampment against the Dakota Access pipeline for assembly on traditional Lakota territory. Lakota persons and their supporters maintain their rights of way across Lakota territory and all adjacent territory without interference for the purposes of travel and other social, cultural, or political activities.
- Federal, state, and local law enforcement do not hold jurisdictional right to enforcement activities on traditional Lakota territory and do so only through the illegal threat of colonial, military force (through the United States National Guard) on Lakota people and our supporters. The forced removal of Lakota and other Indigenous persons and our supporters from Lakota territory for the purposes of arrest, incarceration, and other forms of punishment are illegal incursions into Lakota territory to protect the theft of Lakota land and resources without our free, prior, or informed consent via our customary government. These actions violate International Law and Human Rights provisions that promote and protect the rights of people and nations to their own self-determination and freedom.
- 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 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 its 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!
To develop relations with the Independent Lakota Nation , please contact Canupa Gluha Mani at 1-605-517-1547. Messages can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.