Monday, May 20, 2013

Life and Death

Life and Death

Rez Ramblings May 20, 2013

Two Photographs depicting life among the Oglala Lakota people.  One is at the Higher Ground with a flower garden that rivals many gardens around the country, where life is evident.  The second photograph depicts death and an artist really brought a strong statement to what White Clay means to the Indian people.  In the past couple weeks two beer trucks were attacked and the state troopers plan more enforcement because the beer is being attacked.  There was also an incident of a driver of one of the trucks driving being threatened with a knife.  I do not really know what happened but this is what is happening in the town of White Clay.  Death is in the air as you travel through the four block town.  I read in one article the protestors were not even from the area.  I assure you that these people are from Pine Ridge but they may have a few friends from other places.  So you can see the death ahead in the second photo and it is early in the warm season.

The first photo was taken at the Higher Ground and Pine Ridge Gospel Fellowship.  The spring season is upon us at the flowers and plants are blooming as I write this short article.  The beauty that can be seen on the Pine Ridge is powerful and the death across the border can also be seen.  I have thought about the way we live our lives and how there is a lot of people who make money off death and destruction.  I am not opposed to people making a living but it is time we as a people formerly start to regulate the alcohol that comes upon on our Reservation. 

I actually catered a meal in White Clay over the past weekend and made a beef stew with my own frybread and it was pretty good.  There are ways to make money but we need to start by becoming responsible.  I am selling my own book “Rez Ramblings” available on Amazon and my own photos that I have been taking since last summer.  Self Determination is vital to our sovereignty but we need to take the steps to become full Oglala Tribal Members and that means we must regulate the sale of alcohol.  The stores may not close but they will not make tons of money on the backs of the Oglala.    

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sioux Nation Shopping Center

Breaking News: Sioux Nation Shopping Center is finished by August 4, 2013 due to Resolution by Oglala Sioux Tribe on May 9, 2013. The vote was 15 for the removal of contract and 1 not voting. Last year the store was closed due to sell rotten meat and that was the main reason for the pulling of the contract. Other reasons mentioned today were bad employment practices and food not found healthy for tribal members. 

Well I tried to work with the store but they did not trust me and now they are voted out basically as a bad white man clause. A detriment to the Oglala Sioux people. I heard people say they were bringing out of date meats from other stores and they did not properly promote Lakota people. They brought in non-Indian people to manage there departments. Well we will see what happens in the near future. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

State Troopers and Police Protecting Beer Sales

The first week of May saw a beer truck attacked literally, Rez Ramblings talked to the Sherriff of Sheridan County and was told two tires on a beer truck were stabbed.  No one knows who stabbed the tires but as you can see, the police are watching over the beer trucks.  State Troopers were on hand to watch over the beer delivery.  Once again we spoke to these troopers and asked if patrolling the highways were their only duties.  One trooper told Rez Ramblings their duty was to keep the Law.  Now that brings us to a point of confusion because the people on the streets are walking around with open containers.
I was nice to the officers and respectful because they do what they are told.  But the streets of White Clay are littered with beer cans and people are sleeping on the streets in the middle of the day or they are passed out.  So commerce is protected with at least five police cars and yet the town is lawless for the most part.  I have been keeping up to date with the American Indian Movement Grassroots and have heard from both sides.  The police do not have any idea what to do in White Clay.  And AIM Grassroots believe they must stay on the border to hurt commerce in the town of White Clay. 
I talked to a business owner and heard the town of White Clay and Rushville were hurt by the people protesting on the border.  They slowed money going to White Clay and Rushville because of their protesting. 
I have said it time and time again it is a difficult issue in White Clay because as you can see the police or on the side of beer sellers because it is money that is speaks.  The overtime and the man hours is hurting the State and County in Nebraska because they are having to work more hours in this little unincorporated town in Nebraska.   I have seen State, Tribal, and Federal workers try to solve the Indian Problem but no entity has been able to even come close solving the problem. 
Historically there was suppose to be buffer zone to keep alcohol sales away from the Reservation but it is right on the border.  I have stated other times the only way to solved the issue is to start selling alcohol on the Pine Ridge but this might not work either because it would depend on the tax and cost of products on the Reservation. 
I am a proponent of making our choices because that is what happens in Nations around the world.  We need to start making decisions for ourselves and not worry about State regulations because are meant to be a Sovereign, in order to do this we must seek to regulate the alcohol coming into Pine Ridge. Most of the beer bought in White Clay comes back across the border and the Tribal Police cannot keep up with the volume.  The court system in Pine Ridge is overrun with alcohol related crimes and most of the people in the prison/jail are incarcerated due to alcohol related crimes. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Land for Sale at Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee is the killing field of over three Lakota/Sioux Indians; it is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  May 1, 2013 is the deadline for James Czywczynski who has owned the land and another parcel of land to the North since the 1960s; he has stated he will give the Oglala Sioux Tribe to purchase his land for 4.9 million dollars.  It was appraised for 7 thousand for each parcels of land.  The picture above shows the land that is up for sale and it has sat for forty years without getting developed.  In 1973 the American Indian Movement came to the village and thought to take a stand for the Rights of American Indians.  We have seen people make money from this event and not Mr. Czwczynski would also like to take his shot and capitalizing from the death of Lakota.  The FBI Agent in Charge wrote a book about the events of Wounded Knee and his son is arguing with another writer who wrote about the death of Raymond Yellow Thunder in Gordon, Nebraska.  And now the guy wrote a book about Wounded Knee because it is vital to understanding American Indian History and you can make some money on the way.

I am not surprised as an American Indian by what is happening.  People have sought to find their fortunes ever since the European or English came to the shores of the Americas.  They sought Gold and traveled looking for gold and a fountain of youth.  Land has always been at the forefront of what the Europeans have fought and died over the last five hundred years.  Manifest Destiny was an idea found in first part of the 1800s by a newspaper man.  It basically said to take the land and wipe the Indians out because it was a God ordained for the White Man to rule the earth.  It is pure evil and it continues to be in the spirits of the people of South Dakota and Nebraska.  It seems they are tired of us being upset because of the stealing of our boundaries, which were set by the 1851 and 1868 treaties.  The White Man never wanted to keep his promises; his leaders want to wipe out the Indians so they could take the land.  Land, Land, and all the land is the desire that came from Manifest Destiny.  The ideology of Manifest Destiny came to the fullest when the 7th Cavalry came to Kill Indians.

Wounded Knee was home to the Oglala and a winter camp to the Lakota for years.  Big Foot was bringing his people to Red Cloud Agency which is Pine Ridge.  Big Foot was Miniconjou and they were stopped to the Northeast of Wounded Knee and were disarmed and were under a White Flag of Surrender but even that did not matter.  Tensions were high and Big Foot’s people were slaughtered and it makes me upset.  People like to say we should get over this event and move on but the facts are clear, the United States of America owes the Lakota people a life.  They need to keep their treaties and their word.  Our people are not welfare Indians, we are treaty people who are owed a life as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow. 
So If you are reading this and came to it by chance or you follow Rez Ramblings, I am happy you can understand the damage that was done by the United States and the Churches they sent to destroy a people.