This morning I received a media release from the Lakota Nation. Here is an excerpt:
Lakota Freedom delegate and Oglala Lakota Cante Tenza - Strongheart Warrior Society leader Canupa Gluha Mani (Duane Martin Sr.) issued the following statement after discussion with the Strongheart Grandmothers:
The whole Lakota declaration of withdrawal from the treaty is vested on the power of the Lakota people and our children.
When we undertook the process of announcing the withdrawal, the capacity was far greater than most people anticipated about an individual. But throughout our history, the people have never excluded anyone within our own lifeway and when it becomes a listener's view that its about one individual, one individual does not represent the Nation itself, the Nation represents the individual, and that is Lakota.
The withdrawal is for the people, the Elders, mothers, fathers, and the children.
Throughout our history and through the enforcement of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, Congress said they would oversee the provisions of 1868 (Fort Laramie Treaty), but they failed to do so. Some minor provisions were kept, but overall the treaty was not honored. Because if the treaty was honored, we would not have this colonial catastrophe of alcoholism, drug abuse and poverty and we wouldn't have the overall high incarceration rate of the male and female in the prison populations. This leads to our children being taking away by Social Services, which puts our children out of balance from learning the traditional lifeway.
When the children can reconnect with who they are, they come back to the process of knowing what is Lakota in the true point of view. In this true point of view, Lakota is about being free and left alone, so we can govern and save our own with the teachings of the Animal Nations.
(Reprinted with permission from Naomi Archer, Communications Liaison)
The struggle is for the freedom of a people who have been systematically slaughtered, subjugated, and extorted since America’s beginnings. They are now declaring that they will take it no longer. The Lakota hit rock bottom, and are coming up fighting.
I just got through interviewing Canupa Gluha Mani, who was instrumental in initiating this movement. Canupa Gluha Mani is an individual who believes that “a nation is never at its best when elders and children are not included.” He spoke to me in Lakota, which translated is: “In the future, when you stand, your people, do not forget about them.” We spoke about how America has forgotten about its elders and children, just as it has forgotten about the native population it subjugated and tried to destroy. The Lakota nation has not forgotten. Canupa Gluha Mani’s grandfather used to say, “ When you remove a people from the forest, the people of the forest become unknown. What becomes unknown, you want to destroy.” This profound truth has guided Canupa Gluha Mani throughout his life, and directs his path towards truth and fulfillment for his nation. This truth has also given him a unique understanding regarding why his people are “the only human race not allowed to sit on the council of nations. That is genocide,” he said. The American Indian has been subjected to a systematic pogrom of genocide ever since the white man set foot in America.
Canupa Gluha Mani also spoke about how the United States government has not kept its promises to the Indian people. "If you give an oath, stand in it" (Canupa Gluha Mani). These broken promises are the impetus for secession from the U.S. The treaties were not honored. Promises were broken.
He spoke about healing, and how this withdrawal from the United States is actually a step towards healing. This healing is not for the Lakota tribe only, but for all nations, and he told me that he hopes that this movement will be a blueprint for other Indian nations to follow. We spoke about Turtle Island:
The legend of Turtle Island as Told by WalkingBear:
Long ago when animals talked and people did not, all people lived on Turtle Island. Each, while different was the same.
The Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the people: You are to divide into groups and go off in different directions. Each group will go through the cycles of time apart from the others.
There will come a time when you will come back together, form the sacred circle and share what you've learned while apart, and there will be a time of cooperation, peace and prosperity.