on: January 26, 2008, 02:35:41 PM
From the online Lakotah Republic Forum
This is a response to an email sent to the webmaster from Pokey from the Rosebud Reservation. January 25, 2008
Response: Dear Pokey, Russell Means has asked me to respond to your letter. I will do my best. Some of the responses, particularly the ones with exclamation marks, are direct quotes from Russell. I have regrouped some of your points to address them together.
Best, Jerry Collette
Interim Attorney General Provisional Government
QUESTION: The Lakota leaders rejected the Lakotah Freedom Delegation's proposal. We are NOT part of what Russell Means is trying to do. There has been rejection statements in the news papers from our leaders.
Response: British colonial government leaders rejected the proposal by the American colonists to declare their independence. They were not part of what the signers of the Declaration of Independence were trying to do. There were rejection statements in the newspapers from the colonial governors appointed by the Crown.
QUESTION: Russell Means even read to us a letter of rejection form his own tribe. Russell read the letter from the Indian administrators (who have the full authority to administer US government Indian policies and nothing else) because their letter detailed gross treaty violations by the US.
Response: These “leaders” see the same problems as the freedom seekers do, but they still believe in the treaties. Do they still believe in the Tooth Fairy, too?
QUESTION: He didn't ask the Lakota people or our leaders about this before he started. It hasn't been brought to our Elders or any other of our people beforehand.
Response: In 1974, the first International TREATY Conference at Wakpala on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation in what is now called South Dakota was where the Declaration of Continuing Independence was created. (The full text of the Declaration is available at http://republicoflakotah.com/docs/declarationofcontinuingindependence.pdf) The conference was attended by numerous elders. These were not your ordinary elders; most of them were born to parents who had been born free, they had never been to schools, and they spoke little or no English. These elders gave Russell and the younger participants two mandates. The first mandate was to become recognized by the International Communities. On September 2007, when the United Nations passed the Declaration of Indigenous Rights, that mandate was fulfilled. The second mandate is to return to our original status as free and Independent Nations. On December 17, 2007, the Lakotah Freedom Delegation notified the Department of State of the United States of America, we are unilaterally withdrawing from all Treaties and Agreements entered into between the United States of America and Lakotah. Before going to Washington, Russell traveled all over the five state area meeting with key people over a seven month period. Russell is now in his sixty-ninth winter, and has been working on achieving better conditions for the Indian people for over forty years. He is an elder!
QUESTION: Smoky and I went to the meeting in St. Francis and we left about 3:00 because what he was saying just wouldn't work the way he thinks it would.
Response: You left before the best part. The closing ceremony was amazing.
QUESTION: Here's some questions you might ask him. 1. If we are no longer part of the US how will we support our people? We wouldn't be able to get US Grants anymore either. We are having a hard enough time now even with the government programs and grants! We don't have any kind of industry, all the government programs we have now will stop because they are part of the treaties and US government.
Response: The US government has done a tremendous job of training Lakotah people to be dependent. We are now in a transition period, during which those programs continue while we reestablish our independence. This was done in the Compacts of Free Association that the US government did when the former Trust Territories of the Pacific, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia, reestablished their sovereignty and freedom.
QUESTION: 2. Where will our communications systems come from ? We don't have any of our own companies. 9. Will we have to import all our food and goods which will make prices sky rocket way out of our ability to pay ? What will we do if > companies that have what we need don't want to have anything to do with us now that we have our own money system ?
Response: Companies will trade. That is what they do. Prices tend to be lower in countries with less regulations. For example, identical prescription drugs are as much as ninety percent cheaper in other countries as they are in the US. This is because the US has so many laws that the Lakotah people do not need. Industry is flocking to invest here since we have reasserted our sovereignty. Investors like free countries. Their money return is faster and greater. Check out the investment that happened in the eastern European countries after they became free from the Soviet Union! Other countries, like East Timor, etc., have had similar investment booms.
QUESTION: 3 What kind of money system will we have ? What do we have to back it up with ? No one is going to put their money in our banks, with out some kind of interest or returns, and say ok here do what you want to with it. Will our money be excepted every place we want to spend it ?
Response: We expect that there will be many money systems. Some people will still use US dollars. We also plan to have our own currency, which will be backed by gold and silver. We have people from all over the world interested in this because, unlike the US dollar and all other governments currencies, ours will be backed by real value, not just printed up whenever the central bankers decide, like the US dollar, etc.
QUESTION: 4. How will we defend ourselves ? We don't have any Peaceful in place nor weapons of any kind. You know everyone even the US will be at war with us trying to over throw our government. If they succeed we would really lose everything including the treaties. Sure these other countries would bring weapons and someone that knows how to use them and help us defend our country, they want a piece of the pie too.
Response: Who's kidding who here ? The US is not our enemy, and they have no reason to attack us. Costa Rica has no Peaceful . The US has brainwashed its people that it needs a global Peaceful presence and taxes them like mad to fund it. We will not follow such a folly. Everything we are doing is lawful and legal! We are following US laws and international laws. We will never have to expend anyone else's money so we can have an army. We do not need one!
QUESTION: 5. What utilities will we have ? Where will they come from ? How will we pay for it ? 6. What do we have as far as postal services? 7. Passports, visa's, paying duty ? Mission, S.D. isn't part of the Rez. Will we need a passport and visa to go shopping and pay duty on the goods we buy there ? Will they accept our form of money and will we have to pay extra like Canada and other countries do ? Will we have to have a visa to go to Antelope, Winner, Valentine ? We'd have to go through Mission to go to these places. Will friends and families that don't live here have to go through all this to come visit us ? My grand-daughter and great-grand daughter live in Mission. We live in Rosebud 10 miles from Mission. 10. What about all the medical and other people providing services we need that aren't Indian ? Will they have to have passports, visa's and work permits ? What about their friends and family that want to come visit them from outside of our country but live with in the U S ? 11. What would become of all the money that was paid into Social Security. I know the SS wouldn't give it all back to the people that > paid into it all during their working years.
Response: Transitions for all these kinds of things have been done before elsewhere. There are experts who know how to do this, and they will help us, too. Already we have doctors, lawyers, engineers of all types, skilled workers, teachers, etc, etc. etc., emailing us wanting to come to a free country! When you are truly free, you don't have time to complain!
QUESTION: 8. Will we still have tribal presidents or will we have one > president to run our country like the other countries do ? Would we have a president or a dictator ? If we couldn't vote on a president, we'd have a dictator wouldn't we. 12. What laws will we have ? Who will determine what they are ? Who will enforce them ? 13. What foreign policies will we have ? Who will determined what they are ? Will the people have anything to say about it.
Response: We are only the provisional government; we are serving as midwives for the rebirth of the Lakotah as a free people. The Lakotah people will decide on their own form of government. Remember, we are not starting from scratch. Before the white man came, Indians governed themselves freely for thousands of years. The white man used the Indian model to create the United States Constitution.
QUESTION: 14. Exactly where would our country be located ? Would it be all the 5 states or just one ? And which one would it be if it was just one ? The map you see represents the 1851 treaty boundaries, but our traditional lands go beyond that. The exact boundaries are yet to be determined. We are not waiving any claims to our traditional lands. 15. No taxes? If we don't have to pay taxes who will pay for all the stuff that the taxes pay for now, like roads, schools, jails, our government workers, and all the other things it pays for ? We can't spin gold out of straw.
Response: We expect that there will be local taxes, but not national ones. The local governments will support the national government. We are not expecting to have huge governments. Free people do not need them. They do not work, anyway. We have seen that.
QUESTION: If we was to be part of this he would have to come up with some better ideas on how things was to be done and take it to the people and find out if that's what everyone wants. 16. Why wasn't this brought to a vote by the people ? No one has the right to speak for all of us with out our consent. Even our tribal presidents don't have the right to give the ok with out asking us how we feel about something like this and giving us a chance to vote on it. I am an enrolled member and I'm an Elder but no one said any thing to me, the first I heard of this is when someone from Ohio asked me about it in an E-Mail. All the Elders I asked about it said they didn't hear anything about it either.
RESPONSE: We came to a treaty meeting on Rosebud (at St. Francis) before we went to DC. Then, we had the meeting at Rosebud after we came back, part of which you even attended. We are having more meetings; we just had one at Standing Rock last weekend, we are having one at Yankton this weekend, and we are scheduling one for Rapid City. We will also be posting more info on the website as things develop.
QUESTION: Even our tribal President didn't know.
Response: We did not ask the permission of the US authorities disguised as tribal leaders. They like the existing system. They are in power, and they get to keep that power by begging to Washington for crumbs for our people. Then, eighty-three cents of every dollar they get from Washington goes to administration, and seventeen cents ends up passing through the reservation briefly on its way back to the white man's corporations.
QUESTION: Please excuse all the questions but these are all issues that would have to be addressed in a satisfactory way before we would even consider being our own separate country in the middle of the U S. They will all be addressed during the transition period. The United States has not left yet. If Russell Means really wanted to do something worth while, why don't he petition the US Government to honor the treaties instead of trying to start a war that every one knows we will lose and our country would be taken over with out any treaties or anything else and we would be a lot worse off than we are right now.
Response: Russell has been working for over forty years to get the US to honor its treaties. There will be no war with the US. Do you really believe the US people will allow their government to bomb us? We can count on things getting worse if we continue under US domination.
QUESTION: Every one here on the Rosebud Reservation tell me Russell is just trying to fill his pockets at the expense of our people.
Response: Out of his concern for his people, Russell is paying a lot of his own money to do this. However, a rising tide does raise all the ships in the harbor. With freedom and economic prosperity in Lakotah, we will all do better. Does anybody expect our situation to improve much under the current system? You know that everything has gotten worse during your lifetime. Wake up and smell the coffee!
QUESTION: Sooner or later every one will know he's just making a fool of himself, well if it was just himself I would just laugh along with every one else but he's making the Lakotah look like fools right along with himself! Russell admits that he was foolish to believe in the treaties for as long as he did, but does not fault the Lakotah people who still believe in them. By the way some one needs to teach Russell how to spell Lakota, there's no "h" at the end of Lakota !
Response: You are free to spell it the white man's way if you prefer.