In an interesting move, members of Lakota tribes have renounced treaties and are withdrawing from the United States.
“We are now a free country and independent of the United States of America,” “This is all completely legal.”
A Lakota delegation on Monday delivered a statement of “unilateral withdrawal” from the United States to the U.S. State Department in Washington.
The State Department did not respond.
Meanwhile, the delegation has delivered copies of the letter to the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa. “We’re asking for recognition,” Means said, adding that Ireland and East Timor are “very interested” in the declaration.
Other countries will get copies of the same declaration, which Means said also would be delivered to the United Nations and to state and county governments covered by treaties, including treaties signed in 1851 and 1868. “We’re willing to negotiate with any American political entity,” Means said.
The United States could face international pressure if it doesn’t agree to negotiate. “The United State of America is an outlaw nation, we now know. We’ve understood that as a people for 155 years.”
Means also said his group would file liens on property in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming that were illegally homesteaded.
Read more details at the “Lakota Freedom,” website:
Means said anyone could live in the Lakota Nation, tax free, as long as they renounced their U.S. citizenship. The nation would issue drivers licenses and passports, but each community would be independent. “It will be the epitome of individual liberty, with community control,” Means said.
To make his case, Means cited several articles of the U.S. Constitution, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and a recent nonbinding U.N. resolution on the rights of indigenous people.
He thinks there will be international pressure. “If the U.S. violates the law, the whole world will know it,” Means said.
Lakota tribes have long claimed that the U.S. government stole land guaranteed by treaties — especially in western South Dakota. “The Missouri River is ours, and so are the Black Hills,” Means said.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1980 awarded the tribes $122 million as compensation, but the court did not award land. The Lakota have refused the settlement. (As interest accrues, the unclaimed award is approaching $1 billion.)
I don't know what response the US Government will have. The Government is loathe to give up power. Oh! If the tables could be turned, I certainly support the tribes desire to break away from the outlaw nation the US has become.
*** Historic reference: Red Cloud was a war leader of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). One of the most capable Native American opponents the U. S. military ever faced, he led a successful conflict in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana.
In June 1865 Red Cloud's Sioux joined a coalition led by Woqini (Roman Nose) of the Cheyenne to attack a military post on the North Platte River. Believing they had taught the bluecoats to respect the treaty, they returned home only to learn in August of further encroachments. The U.S. Army was constructing forts along the Bozeman Trail straight through Lakota territory (modern-day Wyoming), from the South Platte River in Colorado to Montana's gold country. Red Cloud foresaw the eventual expulsion of the Lakota from their land.
In 1866, he began what has come to be known as Red Cloud's War, the most successful war an Indian nation ever waged against the U.S. military. He achieved several victories, resulting in a new Treaty of Fort Laramie by which the U.S. abandoned all forts on the Bozeman Trail and acknowledged Lakota possession of what is now the Western half of South Dakota, including the Black Hills, and much of Montana and Wyoming.
Uneasy relations between the expanding United States and the natives continued. In 1871, Red Cloud visited Washington D.C., and met with Commissioner of Indian Affairs Ely S. Parker and President Ulysses Grant. In 1871, the Red Cloud Agency was established on the Platte River, downstream from Fort Laramie. As outlined in the Treaty of 1868, the agency staff was responsible for issuing rations to the Lakota weekly as well as providing the annual annuity goods. In the fall of 1873, the agency was removed to the upper White River in northwestern Nebraska.
Red Cloud settled at the agency with his band by the fall of 1873. He soon became embroiled in a controversy with the new Indian agent, Dr. John J. Saville.
In 1874, General George Armstrong Custer led a reconnaissance mission into Sioux territory that reported gold in the Black Hills, a sacred area to the Indians. Formally, the Army tried to keep miners out but did not succeed; the threat of violence grew. Red Cloud, along with other leaders, rejected a treaty ceding the territory; he was unsuccessful in finding a peaceful solution, and did not take part in the Lakota war of 1876-1877 lead by T‘ašunka Witko (Crazy Horse) and Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull).
In the fall of 1877, the Red Cloud Agency was removed to the Missouri River and the following year, removed to the forks of the White River where it was renamed the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Red Cloud continued fighting for his people, even after being forced onto the reservation. In 1889 he opposed a treaty to sell more of the Sioux land; his steadfastness and that of Sitting Bull required the government agents to obtain the necessary signatures through subterfuges such as obtaining the signatures of children. He negotiated strongly with Indian agents such as Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, and opposed the Dawes Act.
Red Cloud became an important leader of the Lakota as they transitioned from the freedom of the plains to the confinement of the reservation system. He outlived the other major Sioux leaders of the Indian wars and died in 1909 at the age of 77 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he is buried. It is the Lakota of Pine Ridge Reservation, where Red Cloud is buried that are taking this action to Secede, and Declare Independence from the U.S.
Mitaku Oyasin! We are all related!
* Thanks to Common Dreams for running the story