Tag Archives: Lakota

Authorities End Investigation Into Death Of Sarah Lee Circle Bear

Photo courtesy Terrance Circle Bear Sr. On July 5, 24-year-old Sarah Lee Circle Bear of Clairmont, South Dakota, was found unconscious in a holding cell in Brown County Jail in Aberdeen. Circle Bear, a Lakota, was jailed on a bond violation.

Photo courtesy Terrance Circle Bear Sr. On July 5, 24-year-old Sarah Lee Circle Bear of Clairmont, South Dakota, was found unconscious in a holding cell in Brown County Jail in Aberdeen. Circle Bear, a Lakota, was jailed on a bond violation.

By Simon Moya-Smith / Indian Country Today

The South Dakota State Attorney General announced Tuesday that authorities have officially concluded their investigation into the death of a Sarah Lee Circle Bear, the 24-year-old Lakota mother of two boys who family claims was pregnant when she died in police custody in South Dakota last July.

In August, Attorney General Marty Jackley said, citing the toxicology report, Circle Bear, of Clairmont, died of a drug overdose after methamphetamine was found in her blood.

RELATED:Manning: Sarah Lee Circle Bear Died While in Police Custody; Family Seeks Justice

Circle Bear, who was arrested on a bond violation following a traffic accident on July 3, somehow smuggled the narcotic into the Brown County Jail in Aberdeen, South Dakota, states a press release sent to ICTMN by State Attorney spokeswoman Sara Rabern on Tuesday.

“After the review of jail surveillance video and numerous interviews, investigators found no evidence to indicate Circle Bear obtained methamphetamine while in custody at the Brown County Jail and the totality of evidence demonstrates she brought the controlled substance into the Brown County Jail in a way that was not detectable from regular and acceptable jail procedures,” the press release reads.

Authorities concluded that jailers were closely monitoring Circle Bear while she was in her cell, a finding that stands in stark contrast to a statement made by an inmate that jailers had allegedly ignored Circle Bear as she shouted for help as she suffered excruciating abdominal pain. The jailers allegedly told Circle Bear to “knock it off” and “quit faking.”

According to the press release, after a nearby inmate signaled for help, “[Circle Bear] was removed from cell block and taken to a holding cell where she was more closely monitored by jail staff for the next two hours, including checking her vital signs and consulted medical staff via telephone. At 10:37 a.m. Circle Bear was then found unresponsive and EMT services were called immediately.”

RELATED:Sarah Lee Circle Bear Was Pregnant When She Died in Police Custody, Family Says

Terrance Circle Bear Sr., Sarah Lee’s father, told ICTMN on Tuesday that he feels the Brown County Sheriff’s Office is withholding information.

“If she was more closely monitored why didn’t they take her to the hospital?” he asked.

Authorities also claim that three times authorities asked Circle Bear if she was under the influence of drugs. “Each time she denied,” the press release reads.

In August, ICTMN had requested the toxicology report on Circle Bear to confirm her pregnancy at the time of her death, but Rabern said it is against South Dakota state statute to release toxicology reports to the public.

Circle Bear’s two sons are currently living with their grandmother.

Read the entire press release: Release of Additional Findings on Death Investigation of Sarah Circle Bear at the Brown County Jail


Lakota Issue Notice of Complaint to Rainbow Family; Deny Black Hills Entry

Notice of Complaint to the Rainbow Family and the Rainbow Gathering denying them entry into the Sacred Black Hills.Featured Image -- 14126

Hill City – The Lakota Tetuwan Judiciary Council and the Cante Tenza Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Independent Lakota Nation have issued a Notice of Complaint to the Rainbow Family and the Rainbow Gathering denying them entry into the Sacred Black Hills.

Using Article I of the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie known as the “Bad Man Clause”, Lakota warriors will exercise sovereign jurisdiction over their traditional territory to remove any encampments and hold the Rainbow Family in custody until they can be handed over to United States officials for treatment.   Monetary damages will be sought.

The Cante Tenza Strong Heart Warriors and the Tetuwan Judicial Council are also pointing a finger at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Oglala Sioux Tribe Government who once again illegally refused to consult traditional elders before entering into negotiations with the Rainbow Family group.

This action highlights the complete breakdown of government with…

View original post 116 more words

The Ghost Dance and 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre

Sitting Bull 1884. Sitting Bull was shot and killed when police tried to arrest him outside his house on the Standing Rock reservation on December 15, 1890. Palmquist & Jurgens, photographer. (Denver Public Library; Western History Collection)

Sitting Bull 1884. Sitting Bull was shot and killed when police tried to arrest him outside his house on the Standing Rock reservation on December 15, 1890.

By Black Powder | Red Power Media

On Dec 15, 1890, After many years of successfully resisting white efforts to destroy him and the Lakota people, the great Lakota chief and holy man Sitting Bull is killed by Indian police at the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota.

One of the most famous Native Americans of the 19th century, Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake) was a fierce enemy of Anglo-Americans from a young age. After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull and his followers fled to Canada for four years.

Faced with mass starvation among his people, Sitting Bull finally returned to the United States and surrendered in 1883. Sitting Bull was assigned to the Standing Rock reservation in present-day South Dakota, where he maintained considerable power despite the best efforts of the Indian bureau agents to undermine his influence.

When a spiritual movement known as the Ghost Dance began to grow in popularity among the Lakota in 1890, Indian agents feared it might lead to an Native American uprising.

Wrongly believing that Sitting Bull was the driving force behind the Ghost Dance, agent James McLaughlin sent Indian police to arrest the chief at his small cabin on the Grand River.

The Indian police rousted the naked chief from his bed at 6:00 in the morning, hoping to spirit him away before his warriors and neighbors knew what had happened.

When the fifty-nine-year-old chief refused to go quietly, a crowd gathered and a few of the young men threatened the Indian police. Someone fired a shot that hit one of the Indian police; they retaliated by shooting Sitting Bull in the chest and head. The great chief was killed instantly.

Before the ensuing gunfight ended, twelve other Native Americans were dead and three were wounded.

The man who had nobly resisted the encroachment of whites and their culture for nearly three decades was buried in a far corner of the post cemetery at Fort Yates. In 1953, Sitting Bull’s Lakota family exhumed what were believed to be his remains, reburying them near Mobridge, South Dakota near his birthplace.

The Ghost Dance

The Ghost Dance

The Ghost Dance had been brought to the Lakota through the teachings of a Paiute medicine man known as Wovoka. It taught that the buffalo herds would soon return and the Lakota would return to their days of power. The Lakota had seen much death among their people and one of the most intriguing aspects of the Ghost Dance was that the participants would see their departed loved ones once more.

The Ghost Dance belief was not one of violence, but of pacifism. And yet, the newspapers of the day quickly took it upon themselves to condemn this spiritual practice labeling it as that of zealot’s intent upon killing all of the white people.

It was said that the Lakota would wear special Ghost Dance shirts as seen by Black Elk in a vision and the shirts had the power to repel bullets.

Chief Big Foot, who succeeded Sitting Bull, and some 350 of his followers would next became the victims of the white man’s fear of this new “religion.”

In late December 1890, Big Foot, advised his people to flee the reservation, for the south, in the Badland’s region of South Dakota.

Discussions among tribal leaders, including a Ghost Dance Ceremony, ensued, after which they made their escape from the reservation.

They successfully eluded capture for five days, but were slowed by a number of their tribe who had contracted pneumonia. They were soon apprehended by U.S. troops of the 7th Cavalry, under Col. James W. Forsythe.

On the morning of December 29th, along the banks of Wounded Knee Creek, the U.S. troops went to disarm the Lakota. After a council with the fleeing Native Americans, Forsythe demanded they go to the village and bring their guns. They stated they had no guns.

They soon returned with two old pieces, long used, no doubt, as toys by the children, but forming no part of the splendid Winchesters owned by the warriors.

All the Lakota were then assembled, and told their guns must be surrendered. Their expressions were sullen and some attitudes were defiant. It was clear not all would not give up the guns.

One warrior, Black Coyote, refused to surrender his rifle, and in attempting to disarm him a scuffle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry’s opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, not just with rifles, but with canon as well.

The Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking soldiers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.

The 7th Cavalry killed mostly women, children and elders, some were part of a peaceful group heading toward Pine Ridge village to help allay fears over the Ghost Dance movement.

They also killed some of their own fellow soldiers.

When the carnage was finally over, the Lakota had suffered 250 dead. 146 of these dead were buried in one mass grave.

The soldiers had lost 25 men.

The U.S. troops had brutally put an end to the Ghost Dance movement.

The “battle” was well covered by the host of reporters and the story was circulated world-wide, complete with gory pictures.

The Massacre at Wounded Knee, as the battle is known, became, and remains, the symbol of the inhumanity of the U.S. government’s policy toward Native Americans.

View of the slain body of Chief Big Foot, Native American, Miniconjou Lakota Sioux, propped up in the snow on the Wounded Knee battleground, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. U. S. soldiers, civilian burial party members, and a stovepipe from an army tent show in background.

View of the slain body of Chief Big Foot, propped up in the snow on the Wounded Knee battleground, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.

The Final Indian War In America Is About To Begin

Dale Looks Twice, left, and Acorn High Hawk lead the procession out of Manderson to the Wounded Knee massacre gravesite.

Dale Looks Twice, left, and Acorn High Hawk lead the procession out of Manderson to the Wounded Knee massacre gravesite.

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) / HuffPost

South Dakota’s Republican leadership of John Thune and Kristi Noem always march lockstep with the other Republican robots. Neither of them care that South Dakota’s largest minority, the people of the Great Sioux Nation, diametrically oppose the Pipeline and they also fail to understand the determination of the Indian people to stop it.

The House vote was 252-161 favoring the bill. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) who is trying to take the senate seat from Democrat Mary Landrieu, They are headed for a senate runoff on December 6 and Landrieu has expressed a strong support of the bill in hopes of holding her senate seat.

Two hundred twenty-one Republicans supported the bill which made the Republican support unanimous while 31 Democrats joined the Republicans. One hundred sixty-one Democrats rejected the bill.

Progressive newsman and commentator for MSNBC, Ed Schultz, traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota this year to meet with the Indian opponents of the Pipeline. Firsthand he witnessed the absolute determination of the Indian nations to stop construction of the Pipeline.

He witnessed their determination and reported on it. Except for Schultz the national media shows no interest and apparently has no knowledge of how the Indian people feel about the Pipeline nor do they comprehend that they will go to their deaths stopping it. What is wrong with the national media when it comes to Indians?

As an example of the national media’s apathy, the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota have turned their backs on the $1.5 billion dollars offered to them for settling the Black Hills Claim and although they are among the poorest of all Americans, the national media does not consider this news.

Why do they protest the XL Pipeline? Because the lands the Pipeline will cross are Sacred Treaty Lands and to violate these lands by digging ditches for the pipelines is blasphemes to the beliefs of the Native Americans. Violating the human and religious rights of a people in order to create jobs and low cost fuel is the worst form of capitalism. Will the Pipeline bring down the cost of fuel and create thousands of jobs?

President Barack Obama has blocked the construction of the Pipeline for six years and he said, “I have constantly pushed back against the idea the somehow the Keystone Pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices. Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. That doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

In the meantime Senator Landrieu conceded that it is unlikely that the Senate and the House will have the two-thirds majority needed to override an Obama veto.

Wizipan Little Elk of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a coalition of tribal leaders from across the Northern Plains and the United States have pulled no punches on how they intend to fight the Pipeline to the death if that is the only way to stop it.

South Dakota’s elected leadership has totally ignored the protests of the largest minority residing in their state. They have also totally underestimated and misunderstood the inherent determination of the Indian people. This is a huge mistake that will have national implications and it is taking place right under their Republican noses.

What is even worse South Dakota’s media has also buried its collective heads in the sand even though Native Sun News has been reporting on the Keystone XL Pipeline since 2006. Award-winning Health and Environment Editor for Native Sun News, Talli Nauman, has been at the journalistic forefront of this environmental disaster about to happen from day one and she has been rewarded by the South Dakota Newspaper Association with many awards for her yearly series of articles on this most important topic. Until this issue became a political football, the rest of South Dakota’s media had been silent.

The Keystone XL Pipeline that is being pushed by TransCanada may well be the beginning of the final war between the United States government and the Indian Nations. A word of caution to TransCanada and the U.S. Government: please do not disregard the determination of the Indian people when they say they will fight this Pipeline to their deaths if need be. They mean it!

When asked if he truly thought that a handful of Indians could stop the construction of the Pipeline, Little Elk simply said, “Try us!”

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe stands its ground against the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline ‪#‎NoKXL‬ ‪#‎StandTheLine‬

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe stands its ground against the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline ‪#‎NoKXL‬ ‪#‎StandTheLine‬

(Note: This column will appear before the Senate votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The House has already approved the construction of the Pipeline)

Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the editor and publisher of Native Sun News.

Source: www.indianz.com/News/2014/015666.asp

The Lakota Vow To Die Rather Than Let The KXL Pipeline Pass

Remembrance: Members of the American Indian Movement stand near the Wounded Knee Massacre Monument

Remembrance: Members of the American Indian Movement stand near the Wounded Knee Massacre Monument

By: ALBERT BENDER / People’s World

The Oglala Lakota and activists of the American Indian Movement have taken a vow that the only way the KXL Pipeline will pass through South Dakota is if they are dead or in prison. This vow was taken back on Feb. 27, Liberation Day, an event to commemorate the infamous 1890 massacre of Native people by U.S. soldiers.

A four-directions walk is held each year which ends at Wounded Knee to honor the murdered innocents and the Lakotas’ honored and continued history of resistance.

This year’s commemoration was to face a new threat in the form of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Oglala Lakota Nation is actively organizing to oppose the construction of the pipeline. The 1,700 mile-long pipeline would transport a whopping 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from western Canada through South Dakota and points south before emptying its toxic product in refineries on the Texas coast. These oil pipelines have a history of disastrous leaks.

The proposed Keystone Pipeline would cross at two points with a pipeline that is the main water source for the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation and also for the neighboring Sicangu Rosebud Reservation.

The first Keystone Pipeline which stretches from Alberta, western Canada, to Illinois spilled 12 times in just its first year of operation. The company that constructs the pipelines, TransCanada, had predicted that its pipelines would only sustain spills once every seven years. Quite, frankly, any spill is too much. The Lakota, in conjunction other native nations along the proposed pipeline route have sworn to engage in direct action to halt the heinous pipeline of death.

The native nations of the Dakotas have already seen the deadly effects of the “pipelines of death” on the native communities of western Canada. A frightening example, is Fort McMurray, a First Nations reserve in northern Alberta, Canada whose health is being destroyed as the meat from the bush is now contaminated. Also, arsenic levels, resulting from the pipelines in the Fort McMurray communities are 453 times above the acceptable risk level. In Fort Chipewyan, Alberta and other Native reserves, cholangiocarcinoma, a very rare form of cancer of the bile duct is now appearing. Also, appearing are colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers.

In January, 2010 there was a 3,000 gallon spill of Alberta tar sands oil near Pembina, North Dakota. As is so often the case with these spills , there is still no official report on the cause of the spill. Pipelines usually weaken at the weld points and there are many such points on the tar sands pipelines.

Tar sands are ecologically considered the most destructive oil production projects on earth.

Everything about the tar sands pipelines is considered inimical to human existence. For example, one barrel of tar sands oil requires between 2 and 4.5 barrels of water and produces two barrels of toxic waste and one barrel of oil. That water becomes mixed with toxic sludge and is stored in huge tailings ponds many of which can be seen even from space with the naked eye. Canadian tar sands is licensed to use more water than Alberta’s two major cities, Calgary and Edmonton combined.

Reportedly, in the U.S., a final decision on the pipeline is due to be made by President Obama sometime in 2014. Native nations are prepared to give their all to stop the project, while hoping that the president will not approve the deadly pipeline.

The Lakota are also working with other tribes in organizing Moccasins on the Ground, a direct action movement to prepare people for massive actions if Keystone receives approval. Many have already received training in opposition tactics.

All things considered, it is small wonder that the Lakota are willing to risk death or imprisonment to stop Keystone.


Photo: Popular Resistance