BLACK HILLS SIOUX NATION TREATY COUNCIL
By Authority of the April 29, 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie
Between the Great Sioux Nation and the United States
RESOLUTION OF THE BLACK HILLS SIOUX NATION TREATY COUNCIL SUPPORTING OUR LAKOTA ELDERS IN OPPOSING THE PROPOSED KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE.
WHEREAS, on September 17, 1851, United States entered into binding peace treaty at Fort Laramie with the Oceti Sakowin (referred to as the “Sioux or Dahcotah Nation” in the treaty), and
WHEREAS, the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty recognized and acknowledged certain lands in modern day North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana as belonging to the Oceti Sakowin, and
WHEREAS, on April 29, 1868, the United States entered into a new binding peace treaty at Fort Laramie with the Brulé, Oglala, Miniconjou, Yanktonai, Hunkpapa, Blackfeet, Cuthead, Two Kettle, Sans Arcs, Santee, and Arapaho, and
WHEREAS, in Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the United States agreed that all lands west of the Missouri River and within present day South Dakota would be “set apart for the absolute undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians herein named,” and
WHEREAS, in Article 2 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the United States further agreed that, except for individuals designated in that Treaty, and except for federal officials authorized to enter upon Indian reservations by law, “no persons … shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory described in this article…,” and
WHEREAS, the Elders among the Lakota are beneficiaries of the Fort Laramie Treaties and as Lakota Elders they possess invaluable wisdom and strength to guide the Lakota Nations who are parties to these treaties, and
WHEREAS, our Elders have learned of the efforts of a foreign company called TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP (TransCanada) to invade our treaty lands with a life-threatening pipeline carrying toxic tar sands oil from aboriginal lands to the north through our own aboriginal homelands, and
WHEREAS, the strong opposition of our Elders to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline has been brought to our attention by Oyate Aketapi Win, known as Mrs. Marie (Brushbreaker) Randall, a proud member of the Sicangu Oyate, a life-long resident of Eagle Nest District in Wanblee, South Dakota, who has been blessed by the Creator to proudly raise her children and live here on Mother Earth for approximately ninety-two years, and
WHEREAS, with respect from her heart, mind, and soul, she assists her Lakota Nation to be respectful toward Mother Earth and preserve our beautiful native language, spirituality, treaties, and traditional life-ways, and
WHEREAS, Oyate Aketapi Win has stated:
Wolakota ki le lila tewahila, ate na ina taku ota onspe makiyapi, unci maka anka, wakanke, wacantognaka, wowacintanka na han, woksape, ki lena cantetinz ya gluha nanji unsepi, canke iyecelya econ wacami kte ye.
(I am proud to be a Lakota. My parents and ancestors taught me many things about nature. My oldest ancestors were brave, generous, wise, and respectful. I will try to be like them), and
WHEREAS, Oyate Aketapi Win and our other Lakota Elders are strongly opposed to the development of the Keystone XL pipeline which would desecrate Mother Earth, inhibit the replenishing flow of the sacred underground water, and disturb the sacred herbs for the Lakota medicine men to cure sicknesses among our people, and
WHEREAS, Oyate Aketapi Win and our other Lakota Elders are strongly concerned about the future of our takojas who would tremendously suffer from the effects of constructing and operating the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and
WHEREAS, the Oglala Sioux Tribe held a referendum vote and opposed any type of drilling for natural resources in the late 1970s because our Elders at that time had the wisdom and the foresight to protect Mother Earth and our water from the consequences of natural resource exploitation on our lands, and
WHEREAS, the Lakota people have never consented to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through our lands, and
WHEREAS, such malevolent use of Lakota Treaty Lands by TransCanada would violate the traditional law, the natural law, the traditional beliefs, and the sovereignty of the Great Sioux Nation,
WHEREAS, the safety and protection of our Mother Earth and her life-giving water are of the utmost importance to our Elders today, just as they were to our ancestors, and just as they will be to our future generations, NOW
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, hereby stand behind and voice our support for our Lakota Elders in their opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.