The Lakota Campaign for Independence is an ongoing effort by a free and independent Lakota Oyate (people) to assert sovereign powers and jurisdiction within our traditional territory, and bilaterally with other nations, free of interference by the United States Government, state governments, or any other foreign entities.
This effort continues more than 165 years of resistance to colonial settlement on Lakota territory – land never ceded by our people but unlawfully stolen and degraded through United States military and political aggression in violation of our natural rights and International Law.
Independent Lakota Nation: Preserving our Past, Present, & future
- 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, the continent known as North America, including territory in the 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 sovereign 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs – has been continually maintained through our matriarchal system and other customary political and cultural institutions since contact.
- The Lakota People have the right to assert independent status and sovereign jurisdiction 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.
- The inhuman and genocidal conditions of life that exist on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and on other Lakota reservations are without ethical defense and in violation of the 1948 International Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and International human rights law. The corrupt IRA tribal government system is a main factor in the ongoing destruction of the Lakota people, a condition clearly known and fueled by the United States Government. Such acts are eliminating the Lakota as a distinct people with natural and unceeded rights to sovereign territory as well as political, economic, and cultural self-determination.
- The Black Hills has never been ceded by the Lakota People. Habitation of the sacred Black Hills by Lakota People for our free and uninterrupted use must be respected. Federal and State governments as well as non-Lakota persons, corporations, and institutions occupy our territory in open violation of International Law and United States Treaty law.
- The continuance and establishment of political, economic, and cultural institutions for an Independent Lakota Nation within our parochitorial territory, including the Black Hills, is necessary to ensure the preservation of Lakota language, culture, and lifeway for the past, present and future generations of our people.
- Renewal and assertion of sovereign, customary political, economic and social systems or institutions is ongoing including the rights to independent Lakota nationality and membership; freedom of movement to fully participate in the political, economic, and cultural life of Indigenous peoples; unobstructed access to sacred sites and ceremonial grounds; and, the hunting, fishing, and harvesting of traditional foods and medicines.
- Support of the Lakota People in our efforts to assert political, economic, and cultural self-determination free from Federal or State interference is morally obligatory and consistent with International law. This is a first step in addressing the long history of ethnic cleansing and systemic injustice against the Lakota and other Indigenous people.
- Through our ongoing advocacy for an Independent Lakota Nation and preserving a real future for the Lakota people, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recognized our efforts and is monitoring the situation closely.
Wowakan He Glihuniyalo!
Our Sacred Way of Life Comes Home!