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Pine Ridge

Occupation Peoples

Grass Roots Oyate

January 16, 2000

Until we Win

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

May 31, 2000

Red Cloud Building, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota:


The Lakota people revere the sacredness of the "medicine wheel". It represents the unification of the four nationalities: red, black, yellow, and white. Symbolism met up with reality when Floyd Hand, an Oglala Lakota Headsman, met with Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) earlier this week near Atlanta.

In the late 1960’s, Mr. Al-Amin was known as H. Rap Brown, Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party, and on the FBI’s most-wanted list. Today, he is a devoted Muslim and the Imam (spiritual leader) of a large and powerful international Muslim community centered in Atlanta, GA.

Mr. Al-Amin offered to support the Grass Roots Oyate in their cause for justice and sovereignty. He cited that they share a common bond – the struggle against the oppressive "mainstream society system". In his most recent book, "Revolution By The Book", Mr. Al-Amin examines Western society’s lack of morals, ethics, and most of all, spirituality.

Mr. Hand shared stories of the crisis on the Pine Ridge Reservation and how the U.S. Government is attempting to quash its misdeeds here. Mr. Al-Amin was not surprised by the Grass Roots’ accusations of a government cover-up and encouraged Mr. Hand and the Grass Roots Oyate to continue their peaceful occupation until justice prevails. He further stated, "…they may have taken your land and your freedom, but they cannot take what they cannot see – your prayers!" Mr. Al-Amin offered to assist the delegation of treaty elders that are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. June 25-26 to meet with President Clinton and Secretary Babbit to negotiate on a nation-to-nation basis.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree…

Meanwhile, the Grass Roots are still awaiting a copy of the Tribe’s 1999 Indirect Cost Fund audit, which was completed earlier this month. With the recent exposure of the BIA Superintendent Robert Ecoffey’s involvement in illegal land transactions, Regional BIA Director, Cora Jones, may have good reason to suppress the latest findings. She has repeatedly refused to release the report to the public. Citing that it is only in draft form, she informed Mr. Hand in a telephone conversation that she didn’t know if or when it would be made public. She further stated that she does not intend to give it to the Grass Roots Oyate, because she does not recognize them or the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty signed with the U.S. Mr. Hand reminded her that the treaty does supercede the 1934 Howard Wheeler Act form of governance currently in place at Pine Ridge. Mr. Hand and others have labeled Jones as an "apple", a slang term in Indian country for an Indian with Caucasian values – "red on the outside, white on the inside". Ms. Jones could not be reached for further information, as she is on vacation.

Grass Roots spokespeople have opened discussions with other nations throughout the international community that are interested in assisting the Oglala Lakota with their governmental reform process. Whether some of these nations may or may not have ideal relationships with the U.S. is irrelevant, the Oglala Lakota have declared their sovereignty and intend on establishing a foothold in the international arena.

After 136 days in the peaceful occupation of the Red Cloud Building, the Grass Roots Oyate remains unified and have not wavered from their original demands. Among the nine demands: the permanent removal of Tribal Treasurer, Wesley "Chuck" Jacobs; an immediate referendum election; five-year, full forensic financial audit; and tribal and BIA land office audits.

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

Wild Horse


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