Thursday, March 18, 2010
Russell Means: UN Listening Session is US Smokescreen
Statement by Russell Means, Republic of Lakotah
on the Occasion of the United States State Department “Listening Session” in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 16 March 2010
Once again, the occupation government of the United States of America has trotted out its dogs and ponies to provide a smokescreen and diversion from its continuing crimes against the indigenous peoples and nations of the Western Hemisphere. The reason for today’s media spectacle is supposedly for the US State Department to “listen” to input from indigenous peoples and nations for inclusion in the U.S.’s report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, universal periodic review process.
As we can see, many indigenous people have been duped to participate, yet again, in a lying and duplicitous process of the United States. The United States has absolutely no interest or intention of admitting to the world its human rights record that is neither justifiable nor defensible. In particular, the record of the United States with regard to historical, and ongoing, violations of over 370 treaties that were negotiated and signed with indigenous nations must be, but will not be, addressed by the United States. Instead, as is its ongoing practice, the United States will use this session, and the one tomorrow on the territory of the Diné (Navajo) Nation, as its justification that indigenous peoples were “consulted,” and “listened to,” while the U.S. simultaneously lies to the world about its disgraceful human rights record.
The Republic of Lakotah will not legitimize this embarrassing process. Instead, we will submit our report directly to the UN Human Rights Council, not to be filtered or sanitized by the State Department. Let us be clear, our report will be scathing. The United States continues, on a daily basis to violate the terms of the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties with the Lakotah. Our report will indicate that the United States never intended to abide by the terms of the treaties, and has violated them consistently from the time of their signing to the present.
Our report will also cite the United States’ own language in acknowledging that “the treaties retain their full force and effect even today because they are the legal equivalent of treaties with foreign governments and have the force of federal law.” Periodic Report of the United States of America to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, April 23, 2007, paragraph 335. In light of the United States’ own admissions, in addition to reporting to the Human Rights Council on the egregious human rights record of the US towards indigenous peoples, the Republic of Lakotah will report to the Council and to the world, the exercise of its own rights under principles of international law. The United States has continually breached the treaties with the Lakotah, and international law allows the Lakotah to return to our status quo ante position prior to the signing of the treaties.
On March 30, 2010, the Republic of Lakotah will repeat its position to the United States, and will transmit its communication to the President of the United States and to the Secretary of State, demanding that the United States cease and desist it activities in Lakotah territory, and insisting that the United States withdraw its presence from our homeland.
Posted at Censored News http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
Garry Rowland – Tegheya Kte speaks about the history of treaties with the United States and the issues that eventually led to the establishing of the Republic of Lakotah in 2007.
Lakotah Unilateral Withdrawal from All Agreements and Treaties with the United States of America
We as the freedom loving Lakotah People are the predecessor sovereign of Dakota Territory as evidenced by the Treaties with the United States Government, including, but not limited to, the Treaty of 1851 and the Treaty of 1868 at Fort Laramie.
Lakotah, formally and unilaterally withdraws from all agreements and treaties imposed by the United States Government on the Lakotah People. Lakotah , and the population therein, have waited for at least 155 years for the United States of America to adhere to the provisions of the above referenced treaties. The continuing violations of these treaties’ terms have resulted in the near annihilation of our people physically, spiritually, and culturally. Lakotah rejects United States Termination By Appropriation policy from 1871 to the present.
In addition, the evidence of gross violations of the above referenced treaties are listed herein. Lakotah encourages the United States of America, through its Government, to enter into dialogue with Lakotah regarding the boundaries, the land and the resources therein. Please contact the Republic of Lakotah at (605) 867-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should the United States and its subordinate governments choose not to act in good faith concerning the rebirth of our nation, we hereby advise the United States Government that Lakotah will begin to administer liens against real estate transactions within the five state area of Lakotah.
Lakotah, through its government, appointed the following representatives to withdraw from all the treaties with the United States of America based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties entered into force in 1980 and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007:
Teghiya Kte Canupa
Heretofore known as Gary Rowland
Heretofore known as Duane Martin Sr.
Heretofore know as Russell Means
Mni yuha Najin Win
Heretofore known as Phyllis Young
Political and Diplomatic Relations with the United States of America
The first official contacts between Lakotah and the government of the United States of America began in earnest after the United States conducted a commercial transaction with France, commonly known as the Louisiana Purchase, in1803. Prior to that time, Lakotah exercised complete and unfettered freedom and independence in their territory. According to the fantasy of United States’ history, the Louisiana Purchase was a purported sale by France to the United States of 530 million acres (2.1 million sq.km.) for $15 million. Part of this sale included the territory of Lakotah who, of course never had knowledge of, nor gave consent to, the sale of their national territory.
The first treaty between the U.S. and any segment of Lakotah occurred in 1805, and various other treaties of “peace and friendship,” between Lakotah and the U.S. As citizens of the U.S. began to invade and encroach on the territory of Lakotah in increasing numbers, tensions and violence erupted. To prevent full-scale war, the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 was requested by the U.S., to allow a transportation route through Lakotah territory. The treaty did not impair the sovereignty or the independence of Lakotah. In fact, the treaty expressly recognized Lakotah as an independent nation, and the treaty respected “all national business” of Lakotah.
After repeated violations by the United States of the 1851 Treaty, warfare broke out between Lakotah and the U.S. Lakotah defeated the U.S. in the so-called “Red Cloud War,” leading to the U.S. to call for another treaty conference at Fort Laramie. The second treaty agreed for the U.S. to abandon the Bozeman Road, and the accompanying military forts that had been built along it, and promised to keep U.S. troops and settlers out of Lakotah territory. Almost immediately, the U.S. began violating terms of the treaty, allowing railroad and
mining interests to trespass and steal Lakotah resources and territory. In 1874, the infamous U.S. military commander, George Custer, led an invasion of the most sacred part of Lakotah territory, the Paha Sapa (Black Hills), prompting an invasion of gold seekers, and provoking another war between the U.S. and Lakotah. As a result of the war, Lakotah territory was illegally occupied by the U.S., and billions of dollars of natural resources have been stolen from the occupied territories of Lakotah.
The United States has engaged in multiple military, legal and political strategies for more than a century to deny Lakotah our right to freedom and self-determination. In 1876-77, in violations of the treaties that it had signed with Lakotah, the U.S. engaged in a sell-or-starve policy to coerce Lakotah to sell our national
homeland. Lakotah refused, and has consistently refused to the present time.
In 1871, the U.S. decided no longer to enter into treaties with indigenous nations, but the U.S. treaty-ending legislation made explicit that the new policy of the United States would in no way impair or limit those treaties already in force between indigenous nations and the U.S. Lakotah have consistently relied on the sanctity of the treaty between the U.S. and Lakotah.
As mentioned above, the United States has consistently violated the treaties between Lakotah and the U.S., resulting in the loss of life, resources, and territory for Lakotah. Although the United States was willing to take the benefit of its bargain (i.e., territory and natural resources) in signing treaties with Lakotah, it was almost immediately unwilling to respect the mutual bargain to the Lakotah. The U.S. began to use U.S. law and policy to attempt to diminish the political, economic and cultural freedom of Lakotah. After signing the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the U.S. allowed its military, and its civilian citizens to invade Lakotah territory to steal gold, silver and other natural resources. The U.S. unilaterally violated the 1868 Treaty throughout the 1870s and 1880s by coercing alterations in the Treaty onto Lakotah, without the required 2/3 agreement of Lakotah, as required in the Treaty.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the ongoing freedom and independence of Lakotah in the landmark case of Ex Parte Crow Dog (1883), two years later, the U.S. Congress attempted to steal Lakotah independence through the passage of the Major Crimes Act, that unilaterally extended U.S. criminal jurisdiction into Lakotah territory.
These actions were followed by more arrogant actions of the United States, culminating in the shocking Supreme Court Case of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903). Although Lone Wolf involved the Kiowa and Comanche Nations in what is now the State of Oklahoma, its impact adversely affected Lakotah. In Lone Wolf, the United States not only said that it could violate, change or abrogate treaties with Indian nations unilaterally, but it also said that the U.S. Congress possesses plenary (absolute) power to legislate in any way in indigenous affairs without the consent or consideration of indigenous nations.
By extension, Lone Wolf has been used to violate hundreds of treaties between the U.S. and indigenous peoples, including Lakotah. Through the operation of Lone Wolf, the U.S. stole the sacred Black Hills, allowed the mining of billions of dollars of gold from them, admitted that the Black Hills were taken in violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, and then offered to compensate Lakotah at 1874 land values. Lakotah have, to
this day, rejected the offer of payment, and continue to insist on the return of the Paha Sapa (Black Hills).
An overview of violations follows:
• Homestead Acts
• Allotment Acts
• Citizenship Act forcing United States citizenship upon all American Indians
• Indian Reorganization Act a.k.a. Howard Wheeler Act (the first Apartheid Act)
• Forced relocation during the decades of the 1950’s over the 1960’s.
• Supreme Court decision disallowing our religions.
• Even though we are citizens of the United States of America, we are denied
protections of the United States Constitution while living on Indian reservations, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The operation of the United States in the nefarious ways outlined above are a violation, not only of the sovereignty and independence of Lakotah, not only of the solemn treaty signed between the U.S. and Lakotah, but it is a violation of the fundamental law of the United States itself. Article Six of the United States Constitution explicitly states that treaties signed by the United States are the supreme law of the land, and must be respected by every court and by every lawmaker, as such.
1. Treaties of Fort Laramie, 1851 and 1868
2. Article VI of United States Constitution
Article. VI. – Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this
Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under
the Confederation. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be
made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the
Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in
every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to
the Contrary notwithstanding. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and
the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers,
both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or
Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a
Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
3. Vienna Convention on Treaties 1969; specifically Article 49,
Article 60 Parts I and II
Article 49- Fraud
If a State has been induced to conclude a treaty by the fraudulent conduct govern questions not regulated by the provisions of the present Convention, Have agreed as follows:
PART I INTRODUCTION
Scope of the present Convention
The present Convention applies to treaties between States.
Use of terms
1. For the purposes of the present Convention:
(a) ‘treaty’ means an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation;
(b) ‘ratification’, ‘acceptance’, ‘approval’ and ‘accession’ mean in each case the international act so named whereby a State establishes on the international plane its consent to be bound by a treaty;
(c) ‘full powers’ means a document emanating from the competent authority of a State designating a person or persons to represent the State for negotiating, adopting or authenticating the text of a treaty, for expressing the consent of the State to be bound by a treaty, or for accomplishing any other act with respect
to a treaty;
(d) ‘reservation’ means a unilateral statement, however phrased or named, made by a State, when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a treaty, whereby it purports to exclude or to modify the legal effect of certain provisions of the treaty in their application to that State;
(e) ‘negotiating State’ means a State which took part in the drawing up and adoption of the text of the treaty;
(f) ‘contracting State’ means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty, whether or not the treaty has entered into force;
(g) ‘party’ means a State which has consented to be bound by the treaty and for which the treaty is in force;
(h) ‘third State’ means a State not a party to the treaty;
(i) ‘international organization’ means an intergovernmental organization.
Termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty as a consequence of its breach
1. A material breach of a bilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles the other to invoke the breach as aground for terminating the treaty or suspending its operation in whole or in part.
2. A material breach of a multilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles:
(a) the other parties by unanimous agreement to suspend the operation of the treaty in
whole or in part or to terminate it either:
(i) in the relations between themselves and the defaulting State, or
(ii) as between all the parties;
(b) a party specially affected by the breach to invoke it as a ground for suspending the
operation of the
treaty in whole or in part in the relations between itself and the defaulting State;
(c) any party other than the defaulting State to invoke the breach as a ground for suspending the operation
of the treaty in whole or in part with respect to itself if the treaty is of such a character that a material breach of its provisions by one party radically changes the position of every party with respect to the further performance of its obligations under the treaty.
3. A material breach of a treaty, for the purposes of this article, consists in:
(a) a repudiation of the treaty not sanctioned by the present Convention; or
(b) the violation of a provision essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose of the treaty.
4. The foregoing paragraphs are without prejudice to any provision in the treaty applicable in the event of a breach.
5. Paragraphs 1 to 3 do not apply to provisions relating to the protection of the human person contained in
treaties of a humanitarian character, in particular to provisions prohibiting any form of reprisals against persons protected by such treaties.
4. United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights 2007;
specifically Article 37
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honor and respect such treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements.
5. Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock (1903)
Note: Lakotah precludes all litigation and political intrusions not relevant to Lakotah.
Treaty of Fort Laramie 1868
Lakotah Sioux Chief Red Cloud, fed up with the US policy of “treaties” to approve their agenda without living up to their end of the bargain, famously stated: “I have listened patiently to the promises of the Great Father, but his memory is short. I am now done with him. This is all I have to say”
In 1866, the Sioux, under Red Cloud, promised resistance to US soldiers and miners in the Powder River Country of Wyoming, after failed negotiations by the US attempting to establish forts and settlements for gold mining in the area. The Sioux were fast to remember the US’ failure to respect the previous Laramie Treaty of 1851, and the force of 1300 men brought to the Council tipped the US’ hand that the current treaty had the intent of fortifying the Powder River area for permanent annexation by the United States.
The US fought against the Sioux in the Powder River Country for two years, who were attacking wood trains, supply lines, and over-running attack parties on a few occasions. In 1868, the US decided it was not feasible to run a railroad through the areas in conflict, and instead moved the transcontinental railroad south. In doing so, they reconvened another Council at Fort Laramie – this time Red Cloud refused to join the council until the forts in the Powder River Country were abandoned, which they were late in 1868… The US admitted defeat in the invasion of sovereign Sioux territory. The council led to the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, which established lasting peace on the “honour of the United States”, boundaries of a Sioux nation state – described as the Great Sioux reservation, which set aside the Western half of current day South Dakota, with hunting grounds as shown in the map (the area currently claimed by Republic of Lakotah) – the full text is below.
The treaty allowed for citizenship, should certain Sioux decide to settle into agriculture – but allowed for the stipulation of continued sovereignty of Sioux land, including the Black Hills, with no settlement by whites. This treaty clearly defines land that belongs to a culture, a people, the Sioux. Based on the stipulations set forth by this treaty, the Sioux would operate their lands without interference by the United States Government – a sovereign nation (which all states originate as).
By 1872, President Grant was getting pressure to illegally harvest timber from the Black Hills for increased demand due to Western Settlements, and by 1873 word of Gold Reserves spread throughout the US, sparking an illegal gold rush in the Black Hills. The Custer Expedition was sent to protect the Black Hills from gold miners, until an order (as noted in the 1980 SCOTUS account of the events) from Grant to remove military protection in order to enrage the Indians into war – which the Sioux were ready to fight, stating that their removal would be only at their annihilation… an eerily prophetic claim. The US’ attempts at persuading the Sioux to cede more land failed time and again – leading to the breaking of the treaty (unofficially) – or as the US put it “to whoop them [Sioux] into submission”. This led to the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877, including Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand), and ending with the murder of Crazy Horse by the US.
In 1877, according to the 1980 SCOTUS, further land was taken by the Sioux in violation of the treaties – land including the Black Hills.
The final Sioux resistance occurred in 1890, when Congress broke the remaining Sioux Reservation to approximately the reservations in existence today. The further theft of the land sparked the Wounded Knee Massacre, the last major conflict between the Oglala Sioux and the US.
Based on the treaties signed, and the recognition of sovereign land ownership by the 1980 SCOTUS, there is a clear legal standing to sue for the return of, at least, the land specified as the Great Sioux Reservation – excluding the unceded hunting grounds. The Lakotah, in refusing the payment for land taken illegally under claim of eminent domain (as historically rejected by SCOTUS 1980), may have the standing to sue the US government for the western portion of South Dakota – in which they can live under sovereign powers.
Subsequent posts will emphasize the importance of the Republic of Lakotah, and why every Sioux and freedom loving libertarian should support this endeavor.
FORT LARAMIE TREATY
APRIL 29, 1868
TREATY WITH THE SIOUX– BRUL
Conservative Issues, Conservative Guy
Crimes Against Humanity on US Soil?
Posted: 10 Dec 2008 10:40 AM CST
Forget US government bail-outs, presidential appointments, scandalous Illinois politicians, the stock market, or US consumer indexes… just for a moment… and contemplate this thought: The United States has grossly failed in Native American Policies.
A fate which in America means worse than being a black slave of old, being a Native of America. It is an identity that, even today, draws the ire of most Americans. Indians, especially those living on the US concentration camps, called reservations, are labeled as drunks, people who need to be “Americanized”, or who have otherwise been cast aside to be warehoused on the reservations. It is the great tragedy of US history – and of US current!
In late November, I reported on a declaration of emergency coming out of the Lakotah areas of SD, after the state’s US government declared emergency for the entire state, but did not send aid to the most impoverished and most harshly affected areas of the state – the Lakotah Reservations, namely Pine Ridge. Similarly, others’ reports of this internal call for aid resulted in relief to the area, and the accounting for many of the missing or stranded elderly Sioux. The lack of state response is another echo of failed policies with regards to the Native Peoples.
I had to ask myself the question – What is the root cause of the failed policies in the US with regards to the Native American people? So to start, I would like to propose a question to my readers – generically, how do you view native Americans? I say generically, because when I say Indian or Native American, is your first thought a reservation Indian, an Indian in picturesque head-dress, rich with culture, or in poverty as a part of the anti-culture?
I view native people, and their culture, very favorably. Just as I believe that Europeans and other old-worlders are unique because they embrace their own regional cultures and traditions, Americans have a unique identity in the ability to embrace not just their European (or other) culture, but to also embrace the culture of the natives on whose land they now call their home. For instance, over the last 20 years, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest has seen a resurgence in embracing the cultures of the pacific coastal natives. It is celebrated in a culture that has become uniquely “northwest”, and has opened a celebration of the once persecuted tribes, teaching history and culture to children – both on and off reservation. It has become a unique regional identity. Such an openness in the Northwest has allowed tribes to openly teach their traditions, culture, and language – doing so, for the first time since settlement, with pride and basic human dignity.
The same can largely be said for the Navajo – whose culture is openly embraced by locals and those throughout the region – most notably for their art and beautiful traditional jewelry.
Unfortunately, the embrace of the Native Cultures stops there… In fact, in regards to the Sioux, there is still a policy of racial persecution, extermination of culture and language, and the disregard for basic human dignity… the very definition of Crimes Against Humanity. In public international law, a crime against humanity is an act of persecution or any large-scale atrocity against a body of people, and is the highest level of criminal offense.
The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum states that crimes against humanity “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings.
They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.
The Sioux were the main target/adversary of the US’ “Indian War” in the plains – a policy of invasion, occupation, murder, and forced imprisonment aimed at exterminating the Indian Culture, and the Sioux resistance to foreign persons destroying their food source, stealing their rightfully owned precious metals and other natural resources, and directly violating treaties signed with the US (Laramie 1851, 1868). The Sioux fought the US because they had broken their treaties… The US fought for the idea of Manifest Destiny. Such acts are considered Crimes Against Humanity by the ICC:
For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Of course the common answer is that the Indians are free to live on or leave the reservations – and their poverty is of their own free will – therefore the Persecution is self imposed.
This is the very mindset that reinforces continued crimes against human dignity! And it is the thought of many or most Americans – as is reflected in our policies.
The very existence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is a teeter on the brink of Apartheid – considering the fact that Indian Nations are free and sovereign, but are regulated by the US government. It is an agency which disallows the ability for Native Tribes to encourage ownership and private property economic growth on the reservations – as lands are held “in trust” for the tribe… forced socialism, forced poverty for those on the reservation.
In UNITED STATES v. SIOUX NATION OF INDIANS, 448 U.S. 371 (1980), The SCOTUS determined that the US government had wrongly taken Sioux land through acts of Congress after the 1868 Laramie Treaty, and in violation of such treaty, demanding just compensation for the land taken under Amendment 5 of the US Constitution. The Sioux refused, and continue to refuse payment for the lands – demanding, instead, for the return of lands protected by the treaty with the United States – outlining a free and independent nation for the Sioux.
Under a Free and Independent nation, Sioux would be free to operate independently from US regulations and taxation (though they are currently free from taxation – businesses within Sioux Lands would be freed from US Corporate Taxes) creating tax havens similar to Switzerland, Private Property and land ownership would be regulated by the tribe and not held in “limbo trust” by the US government – this would allow entrepreneurship to take root, not limiting their ability to casinos and liquor. The opportunities are endless, and the Republic of Lakotah movement is working to advocate for the free market investment in such a free and independent nation, as promised by the treaties (and acknowledged by the courts).
Where some argue that reservations should be eradicated, land placed on the free market, and Indian assimilation finally be complete (Kevin Tracy), I argue that the US live up to the treaties, respecting the sovereignty of the Native peoples (especially the Sioux which have held to not accepting a dime of payment for their land, furthering the case that they hold in that their land was illegally taken) – in doing so, the United States would be ending a centuries old violation of crimes against humanity, and finally making good with the original inhabitants of this great land.