Grass Roots Oyate
January 16, 2000
Until we Win
Current Pine Ridge Weather
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2000
Red Cloud Building, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota:
A fresh blanket of snow has covered the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. However, it cannot cover up the long-term corruption that has plagued this tribal government for years. With the snowfall, came an uneasy calm around Pine Ridge Agency. Death threats continue to be made against the traditional people occupying the Red Cloud Building, the Tribe's administrative office.
The Grass Roots Oglala Lakota Oyate took peaceful control of the Red Cloud Building on January 16, 2000. The building remains on lockdown, with no tribal council members or the tribal treasurer being allowed in the building. Their sole purpose is to protect and maintain financial files, pending a full forensic audit of the indirect and general fund accounts that directly implicate the tribal officials. They are demanding the immediate, permanent removal of Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs as treasurer and several Tribal Council members for long-term corruption.
Each day that the people stay in this building, these corrupt officials violate another law in the constitution that they have sworn to uphold. We have confirmed that Jacobs has unsuccessfully attempted to tap into tribal employees' 401K retirement earnings. He obtained a tribal court order to get these monies. However, the 401K management company apprised him of federal laws prohibiting such an action and the court order was vacated immediately via the telephone. Jacobs is going to great lengths to protect himself and his own retirement plans, at the expense of the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
In recent days, the Tribal Treasurer and members of the Tribal Council have attempted to "buy" back the confidence of the tribal members with food, propane fuel, etc. The reservation is comprised of nine districts, which receive monthly allocations from the tribal headquarters. These allocations are to be used for such things as: propane heating fuel, firewood, food, medical emergencies, burial expenses, etc. For several months, the districts have only been receiving half of their regular allocation. According to Jacobs, the Tribe is in dire financial straits. When allocations were distributed last week, each district received their full allocation. The Grass Roots Oyate recognize this as a flimsy ploy to buy the people.
Due to Jacobs' dictator-like attitude, the President of the Tribe, Harold Salway solicited financial aid for propane fuel/firewood from the Prairie Island Dakota Reservation in Minnesota. The money that was donated was divided equally among the nine districts. Jacobs claims that he brought in the funds and the people should be appreciative to him only. Furthermore, Jacobs has publicly denounced our elders and the principles on which this occupation is based. He is reported as stating that Tribal President Salway orchestrated the takeover. Contrarily, Salway has only been let in the building on three occasions to address the people.
By closing down the day-to-day activities of the tribal government, the Grass Roots Oyate are threatening the extravagant livelihood of these politicians. Meanwhile, the Tribal Treasurer and members of the Tribal Council are threatening physical violence against the men, children, women and elderly that are occupying the building.
Today marks the 14th day of the people's occupation of the tribal administrative office of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge Agency, S.D. Sunday, January 30th, the Grass Roots Oyate are inviting all headsmen, chiefs, elderly men and women to attend a special ceremony for the Tokala Society (security) that has protected our building since the first day of occupation. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. followed by a meeting to prepare for the upcoming Tribal Council Meeting slotted to begin on January 31st.
For further information, please contact Floyd Hand, or Media Coordinator Dale Looks Twice at (605) 867-5303.
As with all my posts concerning the Occupation Peoples please forward to any and all interested parties in its entirety