Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Lakota Indians Withdraw Treaties Signed With U.S. 150 Years Ago

Expand Messages
  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.html Lakota Indians Withdraw Treaties Signed With U.S. 150 Years Ago Thursday, December 20, 2007 WASHINGTON —
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2007
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.html

      Lakota Indians Withdraw Treaties Signed With U.S. 150
      Years Ago

      Thursday, December 20, 2007

      WASHINGTON — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world
      legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have
      withdrawn from treaties with the United States.

      "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,''
      long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.

      A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message
      to the State Department, and said they were
      unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed
      with the federal government of the U.S., some of them
      more than 150 years old.

      The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South
      African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue
      on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in
      the coming weeks and months.

      Lakota country includes parts of the states of
      Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and
      Wyoming.

      The new country would issue its own passports and
      driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -
      provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr
      Means said.

      The treaties signed with the U.S. were merely
      "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota
      freedom activists said.

      Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal,
      Means said.

      "This is according to the laws of the United States,
      specifically article six of the constitution,'' which
      states that treaties are the supreme law of the land,
      he said.

      "It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the
      Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and
      the rest of the international community in 1980. We
      are legally within our rights to be free and
      independent,'' said Means.

      The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in
      1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing
      independence — an overt play on the title of the
      United States' Declaration of Independence from
      England.

      Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it
      takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we
      wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a
      row,'' Means said.

      One duck moved into place in September, when the
      United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on
      the rights of indigenous peoples — despite opposition
      from the United States, which said it clashed with its
      own laws.

      "We have 33 treaties with the United States that they
      have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our
      water, our children,'' Phyllis Young, who helped
      organize the first international conference on
      indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news
      conference.

      The U.S. "annexation'' of native American land has
      resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota
      becoming mere "facsimiles of white people,'' said
      Means.

      Oppression at the hands of the U.S. government has
      taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of
      the shortest life expectancies - less than 44 years -
      in the world.

      Lakota teen suicides are 150 per cent above the norm
      for the U.S.; infant mortality is five times higher
      than the U.S. average; and unemployment is rife,
      according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.