FWD: Statement from the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Thu Sep 6 11:48:17 MDT 2001

[ MS Word converted to text. Original available on request. Les ]

-----Original Message-----
From: ericlowl at netscape.net [mailto:ericlowl at netscape.net]
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 11:19 AM
To: jcraven at clark.edu
Subject: [FWD: Statement from the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council]

Dear Jim:

Please review the attached statement from the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty
Council regarding the World Conference Against Racism which in session now
in South Africa.  Isn't it interesting that none of the news coverage makes
any reference to this paragraph 27.  It would appear that we continue to be
viewed as non-entities.  If you have any questions contact me at
ericlowl at netscape.net or the American Indian Law Alliance.


Eric Listening Owl

From: American Indian Law Alliance <ailanyc at yahoo.com>
To: [snipped]
Subject: Statement from the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 20:48:25 -0700

Dear Indigenous Sisters and Brothers,

Greetings.  Please find attached a statement from the Teton Sioux
Nation Treaty Council regarding the World Conference Against Racism,
which we were asked to forward.

All the best,
American Indian Law Alliance

American Indian Law Alliance

Please send any replies to ailanyc at abest.com
Thank you.

========================== converted Word doc =====================

	Black Hills
	Teton Sioux Nation
        Tetuwan Oyate

Pine Ridge
Lower Brule
Cheyenne River
Standing Rock
Fort Peck
Crow Creek
Canadian Sioux

{The Tetuwan Oyate, Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council, is approved to
participate in the World Conference on Racism under the Special Rules
established by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
for the InterSessional Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 9 November 1995}

The Tetuwan Oyate Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council of the Lakota
Nation is concerned over the developments in Durban at the World
Conference on Racism.  Delegates of nation states and non-
governmental organizations are being forced to focus on a single
issue, to appease one or two states, when a world of oppressed peoples
is demanding consideration.  A few states whose limited interest lies
only in protecting their wealth and territory are overshadowing the
concerns of the world's peoples suffering under racist systems.

Our allies and delegates at the Conference on Racism have an important
and difficult task. We are asking that our people stand up against
world powers distracting from the issues of importance which the
Conference must consider.  It is impossible for us to report on
violations of international human rights standards, violations to
internationally binding treaties between Indigenous peoples and nation
states, and the oppressive institutions of governments based on racist
policies without discussing the United State's uncivilized
system. There seems to be no remedy except for our Lakota people to
speak up in the eyes of the world for justice in correcting corruption
controlled by greed.

The Tetuwan Oyate Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council stands on the
natural law given to our people.  The principles of natural law
conform to the rights and freedoms set forth in many international and
United Nations documents; rights to dignity, rights to
self-determination as peoples, rights to live free from oppression as
culturally and racially distinct peoples.

Racism takes many forms.  One form that has a particular impact upon
the work that we do is creation of illegal law and jurisdiction within
certain countries that have ignored our sacred treaties.  The ability
to make internationally binding treaties into something less is a
violation of the natural law, because our treaties were sealed with
prayer.  It is a form of racism, against nations of people based upon
centuries of institutionalized racism, originating with the Catholic
Church, the Papal Bulls and the Law of Nations and continuing today
with the Indian Reorganization Act, violation of sacred sites and
illegal occupancy of treaty territory.  It is political indoctrination
using assimilation to destroy a race of people.  It is time to end
this violation of natural law and human rights standards.  This type
of system is designed to divide our peoples, hurt our elders and
children and further violations must be justified in the eyes of the

The invasion of this incurable political disease has affected our
Lakota mentality and taken us farther and farther away from our
natural law.  Our grievances are now filed with the United Nations and
international forums in order to remind the world of the difference
between the United States' political system and the natural law under
which we must live if there is to be peace, justice and equality for
all peoples of the world.  In time immemorial the United States
government has tried every political tactic there is to starve and
weaken our human rights.  In the case of the Lakota nation, they have
asked us to accept the illegal taking of the Black Hills.  Since 1980,
without the cooperation of our traditional leadership and people, the
U.S. has been manipulating the Euro-American system of tribal councils
(which are nothing more than colonial extensions of the federal
system) offering claims award money without considering the
trespassing and the occupation of Lakota territory. The territory of
the Lakota nation is rich in natural wealth and the financial power of
the U.S. is taken out of the actual wealth of our Lakota country.  Yet
the political system ignores the firm foundation and generosity of our
Lakota Nation.

The Conference must address, in particular, United States human rights
violations against the Indigenous peoples of America.  The American
government condemns other nations while hiding its own tragic history
of domination, annihilation and warfare against a race of people.  The
United States seems to think that separate rules apply to it as
evidenced in their rejection of global warming protocols, biological
warfare agreements and their low level participation in this
conference.  They are only one nation among many and we cannot stand
for it.

Ignoring international treaties is a form of racism based on denial of
the collective rights of Indigenous peoples and the Lakota Nation. We
live in a sick and dying world and if the Conference on Racism only
concerns itself with racism against individuals, it will fail to
address the concerns of Indigenous peoples.  Therefore, the Teton
Sioux Nation Treaty Council supports the Indigenous Caucus assembled
at the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa in its
demand to remove paragraph 27 of the current draft government
declaration for the WCAR (which was adopted at the Third Preparatory
Committee meetings in August 2001) from the Declaration.  The text of
the paragraph is as follows:

     27. The use of the term "indigenous peoples" in the Declaration
     and Programme of Action of the World Conference against Racism,
     Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance cannot
     be construed as having any implications as to rights under
     international law.  Any reference to rights associated with the
     term "indigenous peoples" is in the context of ongoing
     multilateral negotiations on texts that specifically deal with
     such rights and is without prejudice to the outcome of those
     negotiations; (Adopted by the 3rd PrepCom)

International bodies must support the efforts of Indigenous peoples to
change international law so it is based on our own natural law, which
is consistent with the human rights standards of the United Nations.
The Conference on Racism is a key assembly in making these
changes. The objective of this Conference is to combat racism. The
language of this clause violates both the spirit and letter of
international standards and inclusion of Paragraph 27 would continue
racist government policies designed to destroy Indigenous nations and
the distinct cultures and contributions our peoples offer the world.

I am Tony Black Feather, spokesman for the Tetuwan Oyate (Lakota
Nation) at the United Nations, and our work is to bring hope to the
unfortunate ones who sleep under the bridges, sleep in the cars and
walk the valley of tears in our own land.  We ask the world to join
with us in this struggle.

Tony Black Feather, Spokesman, PO Box 48, Pine Ridge, SD 57770,

Kent Lebsock, American Indian Law Alliance, 4448 Jupiter St. NW,
Albuquerque, NM 87107 505-341-4230, 505-344-8366 fax,
klebsock at home.com for more information visit our website at

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