On November 4th, the Untied States will elect a new president... but the date is also the date the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation will elect a new President of the Tribe.
What is most noteable is that Russell Means won the top of the ticket in the Primary, recieving 933 votes over Theresa Two Bulls, a sitting state senator, who received 804 votes. Means will be placed on the top of the ticket, and has the momentum to win the top seat in the tribe - as the current president finished a distant third to the first two, garnishing only 721 votes - indicating a change in direction for the poorest people within the borders of the United States.
Means' Freedom Party represents a change for the Sioux, a change that is over 100 years in the making.
The Sioux used to be a great nation of people, living in their horse culture from Omaha Nebraska to Billings Montana. The United States signed treaties recognizing their national borders in the Fort Laramie Treaties, promising no settlement in their lands for their protection of the railways passing through to the west coast. The Sioux respected the terms of the treaty, which were offered by the United States - and so did the United States, until gold was found in the Sioux Nation's Black Hills. Prospectors flocked to the hills to mine, in violation of the treaties of Laramie, and the United States sent the army to defend white settlers and prospectors from attacks by Sioux defending their territory and minerals. These conflicts led to a series of battles both in courts and on the battlefield - including Custer's last stand, and culminating in the Wounded Knee Masacre of 1890. The genocide against the Sioux continues to this day by the forced boundaries of their nation within the boundaries of their reservations, refusing private land ownership and the means for economic development - as reservation lands are "held in trust" by the federal government, denying individual ownership.
However the courts may have decided against the tribes during the indian wars of the late 19th century, there was an interesting article in the US Constitution which they consistently overlooked - Article 6, declaring all Treaties as Supreme Law of the Land. Regardless of the expansionist agenda of the United States, and the legal course which they attempted to take, Article 6 declares that the United States MUST observe the terms of the treaties signed at Laramie. Under this law, the Sioux were wrongfulyl invaded and are wrongfully imprisoned on these reservations.
Russell Means made this case on behalf of his people and delivered terms to the United States Government - who refused to acknowledge because Means was not a representative of the tribe, as a council member or any elected official.
If Russell Means wins in one week, The United States Government is going to find themselves in a legal battle over land rights, mineral rights and reparations, and the rise of a free and legal nation within her own borders - the Republic of Lakota.
A Republic of Lakota, under the leadership of Means, will work to eliminate taxes (creating a tax haven for US business investors), create funds for the government from solar and wind farming - a government centered energy endeavor eliminating the need for taxes and providing beneficial services to the United States, stimulate education and job creation within the tribal members to increase wealth and health, and provide other general functions of the government. They will cast aside the idea of "Reservation" and the reservation mentality which has plagued generations of Sioux since their ancestors were murdered in greed - causing a society of poverty, addiction, disease, and suicide.
If the Sioux are ever to rebound and survive as a people, they need to be free. There needs to be a fundamental change in the operations of the reservation, a move towards progress for an independent and thriving people.
Means notes that the only people not represented at the table of nations are the American Natives. They are, and continue to be a second class citizen of the United States, regarded as less... there is an accepted racism when discussing Native Americans, and a general disregard for their legal authority and constitutional treaties. It is time for Americans to take a second look at the history, the legality, and the future of American Natives.