This story hits home.
It may change your world.
It does mine.
The Lakota Sioux nation is well represented in Nebraska where I live. On December 18, it served notice to the US, asserting itself as a sovereign nation. They will issue their own passports and drivers license and there will be no income tax for those who renounce their US citizenship. Lakota land spans 5 states (NE, SD, ND, WY, MT).
"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," said Russell Means, a longtime Indian rights activist.
The Lakota Sioux claim that none of the treaties have been fulfilled with the US. And they continue to fare poorly because of current policies. They believe that it’s time for them to self govern.
Why these actions? Here are the reasons directly from their website:
"In the face of the colonial apartheid conditions imposed on Lakota people, the withdrawal from the U.S. Treaties is necessary. These conditions have been devastating:
- Lakota men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, lowest of any country in the World (excluding AIDS) including Haiti.
- Lakota death rate is the highest in the United States.
- The Lakota infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. Average.
- More than half the Reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease.
- The Tuberculosis rate on Lakota reservations is approx 800% higher than the U.S national average.
- Alcoholism affects 8 in 10 families.
- Median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year.
- 1/3 of the homes lack basic clean water and sewage while 40% lack electricity.
- 60% of housing is infected with potentially fatal black molds.
- 97% of our Lakota people live below the poverty line.
- Unemployment rates on our reservations is 85% or higher.
- Federal Commodity Food Program provides high sugar foods that kill Native people through diabetes and heart disease.
- Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
- Our Lakota language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction.
After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative. That alternative is to bring freedom back into existence by taking it back – back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway. Canupa Gluha Mani "
Those Statistics Are WORSE Than Many 3rd World Countries!
Devastating indeed. And we’re talking about AMERICA. I think they make a compelling argument. This type of poverty should not exist in the US. The death rate speaks loudly for something being truly wrong here. Life expectancy of 44 years – that is unheard of in America. So I can see their point, that they’re fed up and not going to take it anymore. They see their only option is to take matter into their own hand and try to self govern as the current government backed plan is driving them to extinction.
However ceding from the Union is another thing – it has never been done before…not that it hasn’t been threatened.
More details on their plan will be forthcoming soon; it will be released on the anniversary of the Wounded Knee, which should be in February. I just hope this event will not be an omen of another Feb 27, 1973 event. We do not want or need any military movement on our own soil, especially not foreign troops (UN Peacekeepers). The country could not handle that right now…and it would most certainly start a wave of civil unrest.
But there is a lot of money being made in parts of the areas they claim. Part of the Lakota land is the Black Hills of South Dakota where Black Hills gold is mined, as are other ores. It’s a great area for tourism. Plus we can’t forget the casinos that went in big time after Dances With Wolves. Some of them may fall on their claim. So, we know some of those folks have a vested interest in having business continue as usual.
We’ll see. I love where I live…where my neighbors are cowboys, Indians, ranchers and farmers. I’d hate to see that change soon…or for it turn into hostile territory, like the Pine Ridge area was in the 1973 Wounded Knee incident.
You can read the official document that was presented on their site, as well as their portfolio of supporting documents. They’re also available as PDFs.
I’d be interested in knowing what you think!