U.S. Senators Agree to Pine Ridge Reservation Meeting to Investigate Wide scale Corruption in BIA Oglala Sioux Tribe
MEDIA RELEASE: March 22, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Photos follow press release below.
Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, United States Congress members from South Dakota agreed to a meeting with grassroots Lakota people on Pine Ridge Reservation in the next 90 days to investigate long standing complaints of mass corruption and abuses within the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funded Oglala Sioux Tribe Government (OST).
Wednesday’s meeting, initiated by the Strong Heart Warrior Society on behalf of the Independent Lakota Nation and grassroots Lakota elders, highlighted the latest evidence of corruption, money laundering, and abuse against the Lakota people within OST law enforcement and court system as well as the lack of explanation how $64 million in RAMAH Settlement money has been spent by the tribal government.
“The Independent Lakota Nation sent Strong Heart to deal with issues pertaining to Pine Ridge on the grounds of law enforcement and the Judiciary abusing their authority and the OST Tribal Council unable to account for previous money that was spent during the RAMAH distribution,” explained headman Canupa Gluha Mani.
Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, as well as U.S. Representative Kristi Noem attended Wednesday’s meeting. Senators Thune and Rounds accepted the official complaint from Strong Heart headman Canupa Gluha Mani.
For years, promises have been made by United States Congress members and agency officials to investigate the mass corruption and abuses within the Oglala Sioux Tribe Government.
A year ago, Strong Heart spent nearly 60 days in Washington DC seeking accountability from Congress members and agency directors for OST abuse against grassroots Lakota elders within their elderly meals and other social service programs.
Canupa Gluha Mani added, “There is theft, misappropriation, and abuse against the Lakota people by the OST tribal government at every level and in every agency.”
Strong Heart wishes to thank Jacqueline Juffer in Mike Rounds office for a tremendous job as well as warrior members Jabril and Cleo who attended and initiated meetings on behalf of people in Flint MI struggling for clean water. Thanks also to Big Dog for his courage.
“This was a great accomplishment today by the Independent Lakota Nation and the Strong Heart Warrior Society,” Mani said.
The OST was created and illegally imposed on the Lakota Nation in 1934 and is funded by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) through various appropriations and 638 Contract agreements. Additional money flows through the tribes through court settlements like RAMAH. But often there is little accountability for how these funds are used resulting in a continuation of corruption and abuse that furthers the poverty conditions on Pine Ridge and other reservations.
The Cante Tenza Okolakiciye or Strong Heart Warrior Society is a traditional Lakota warrior society as well as a modern day human rights movement to assert Lakota independence and enforce Indigenous rights for the Lakota and other Indigenous people of Turtle Island.