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Pine Ridge

Occupation Peoples

Grass Roots Oyate

January 16, 2000

Until we Win

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GRASS ROOTS OGLALA LAKOTA OYATE

http://members.tripod.com/GrassRootsOyate

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

Media Contracts: Floyd Hand or Dale Looks Twice (Media Coordinator) @ (605) 867-5303

MAY 12, 2000

RED CLOUD BUILDING, PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, SD:

TRIBAL COUNCIL ATTEMPTS TO QUASH RELEASE OF AUDIT REPORT!

With the recently completed audit of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s 1999 Indirect Cost Fund on its way to the BIA regional office in Aberdeen, members of the Tribal Council are pleading with BIA officials to suppress the report from public distribution.

In an executive session of the Tribe’s Finance Committee yesterday, BIA Superintendent Robert Ecoffey explained to the committee that the audit findings must and will be made available to tribal members. Committee members, comprised of Tribal Council representatives, are gravely concerned about the latest audit findings, as the Indirect Cost Fund pertains to federal program monies that are funneled to the Tribe for specific uses. Misappropriation of these funds carries a felony charge. Grass Roots Oyate spokespeople are convinced that this audit report with be as incriminating as the General Fund audit.

In an illegal session of the Tribal Council last week held in Rapid City, council representatives rebuked BIA appointed auditor Jaime Arobba for releasing the 1999 General Fund audit to the general public. Arobba assured the Council that he followed procedure by giving the report to his client, the BIA, and upon review, it was the BIA that released the report to tribal members. For years, tribal government officials have kept closed books at the Red Cloud Building, leaving tribal members to wonder where their money is being spent. With what resembles a third world country, tribal members are confident that the funds are not being spent on them.

Friends In Low Places…

In a document obtained by the Grass Roots Oyate, White House staff members, high-ranking influential Senators, and a team of attorneys have been meeting secretly with the accused tribal government officials. While White House officials and Senate members refuse to recognize the Oyate’s efforts for justice and government reform, they are conducting weekly meetings with Tribal Treasurer Wesley C. Jacobs and members of the Tribal Council in an attempt to protect President Clinton’s promise of millions of dollars in federal funding through the "New Market Initiatives/Empowerment Zone Program". Obviously, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, whose home state is South Dakota, has much to lose if tribal members are successful at blocking the Empowerment Zone project.

Same Animal, Different Stripes…

Without garnering majority support from their constituents, Tribal Council members took it upon themselves to accept the Empowerment Zone project. Tribal elders are not blinded by the short-term benefits of this offer. They believe in the philosophy that, "there is no such thing as free lunch". Historically, the U.S. has shown to be interested solely in the land that the Oglala Lakota people have cared for. Grass Roots Oyate spokesmen say the Empowerment Zone is the equivalent to the infamous "Trojan Horse". They may appear to want to help the indigenous peoples, but over the long term, elders believe that much of their treaty land will be comprised and fall under state jurisdiction. Senator Daschle has proven that he has no regard for the active 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty that the U.S. made with the Great Sioux Nation. He has been widely criticized for his Mitigation Act bill, which effectively transferred over 100,000 acres of treaty land to the state of South Dakota. U.S. officials are promising jobs and a better future, but at what cost to the Oglala Lakota people?

Under the guidelines of the 1868 Treaty at Fort Laramie, the Grass Roots Oyate have proclaimed their sovereign immunity and have maintained peaceful control of the Red Cloud Building since January 16th. Their quest has gained international attention and forced the United States government to dust off and re-learn century-old treaties that are still recognized as the supreme law of this country.

As with all my emails concerning the Occupation Peoples please forward to any and all interested parties in its entirety

Wadv
Wild Horse

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