Lakota Indians Unilaterally Break Treaties with U.S.

Fortunately, the Lakota don’t seem to have a lot of neocons, so there probably won’t be an outbreak of waterboarding. From Agence France-Presse:

The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.
“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.
A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.
Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free — provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.
The treaties signed with the United States are merely “worthless words on worthless paper,” the Lakota freedom activists say on their website.
The treaties have been “repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life,” the reborn freedom movement says.
Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.
“This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution,” which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

If the Lakota continue with the secession, what the hell does it mean? How will the Bush Administration react?

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6 Responses to Lakota Indians Unilaterally Break Treaties with U.S.

  1. digitalcuttlefish –
    Anon says:
    In a nutshell, this source claims that the news is just a press release by one Russell Means

    And who is the Russell Means? He is a long time Indian activist and sometimes Hollywood actor who does not officially represent any tribe, that’s who. It takes the local press to make this clear. The Rapid City Journal of Rapid City, South Dakota informs us that, “Means’ group is based in Porcupine on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation,” and that “it is not an agency or branch of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Means ran unsuccessfully for president of the tribe in 2006.”
    Yet in report after report, this Means character is presented as if he is “the Lakota Sioux” when, in truth, all he really is, is A Lakota Sioux — not a representative of all of them. He does not represent American Indians except as a tangential, activist. He has no authority to make this “declaration of Independence” from the U.S.A. for “the” Lakota or any other American Indian tribe for that matter.

    Another source: reports the reaction of one actual tribal representative:

    Avis Little Eagle says she understands the frustration that led Lakota activists to announce a plan to withdraw from the tribe’s treaties with the U.S. government.
    However, the vice chairwoman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council advocates holding the federal government to the provisions in those treaties, rather than withdrawing from them.
    “I see where they’re coming from,” she said of American Indian Movement leader Russell Means and other members of the Lakota Freedom Delegation who declared the Lakota people’s independence to the State Department last week in Washington, D.C.
    “But we, as elected officials, on a daily basis we refer to those treaties because to us they are living documents,” Little Eagle said Wednesday from the tribe’s headquarters in Fort Yates, N.D.

  2. Karl says:

    I can’t wait for someone to tell them: “If you don’t like America, go back where you came from.”

  3. Kevin says:

    for a good discussion of this issue see:
    Indians and Treaties

  4. stelios says:

    “so there probably won’t be an outbreak of waterboarding.”
    Not unless some are dragged to where the practice is flourishing. I hope the joke about “terrorist haven” remains a joke. We all used to hope the One Superpower won’t lose its marbles…

  5. Gabe says:

    Kevin, you can’t be serious for a good discussion in this site you linked, can you?
    Look on what some guy just wrote there:
    “Let’s face the cold hard truth here people; the American Indian are only here because of Satan. Lucifer knew Jesus meant for America to become His favorite Christian country so Lucifer directed the Indians to pre-steal this country just to mock God. All we Americans did in the last 400 years was take back what was rightfully ours to begin with. Sadly the American-Indians were petty minded about doing justice on this issue and there were some regrettable, but minor and understandable, incidents.
    Now I can accept the American-Indians were duped by Satan. We should allow them a chance to repent of their land thieving and heathen ways and help them become good Christian (Republican) Americans and that. However this Lakota thing is a step back to the bad old ways and we need to do some tough love quick for the Lakota’s sake.
    Remember, as Christians we have an obligation to help the Indians here.”

  6. Kevin says:

    “Kevin, you can’t be serious for a good discussion in this site you linked, can you?”
    I thought it was a good discussion. That dosen’t mean it meant a lot of sense….

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