Wow. Here is the story as it was forwarded to us by our friend (thanks Bok-dong!):
Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US
(AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors
Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the
United States, leaders said Wednesday.
"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 told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the
Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of
Washington for a news conference.
A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to
the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally
withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of
the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African
and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission
and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news
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 US citizenship,
The treaties signed with the United States are merely
"worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists say
on their website.
The treaties have been "repeatedly violated in order to
steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of
life," the reborn freedom movement says.
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
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
The US "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 US 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 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality
is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife,
according to the Lakota freedom movement's website."
Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots," said Young."
We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We are
here to continue the struggle for our children and grandchildren," she
said, predicting that the battle would not be won in her lifetime.
We'll definitely be watching this closely! Take care, pinky