Monday, April 22, 2013

"Going Extinct Is Genocide": Lakota Elders Tour to Raise Awareness About Struggle

Victoria Law
April 22, 2012.

Lakota elders, activists and non-indigenous supporters march through 
New York's Times Square to the United Nations, April 9, 2013.
(Photo: Victoria Law)
On Tuesday, April 9, Lakota elders, activists and nonindigenous supporters marched through the streets of Manhattan to the United Nations, where they attempted to present a petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Entitled the Official Lakota Oyate Complaint of Genocide Based on the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the petition listed the numerous injustices faced by the Lakota people. (Oyate is a Sioux word for "people" or "nation.")

At the UN, security officers informed them that they would not be able to enter the building and present the complaint to the Secretary General. Instead, the security officers offered to take it to Ban's office, but refused to give the Lakota documentation verifying that their complaint had been received.

Outside the UN, Charmaine White Face, a Lakota grandmother and great-grandmother, addressed the 60 people who had marched with her. "We come here as a nation. If they won't let us take our message to them, how disrespectful is that to a nation?"

The action is part of the 13-city Truth Tour by Lakota elders and activists to draw attention to the situation of the Lakota, mobilize solidarity networks to benefit Lakota elders, and renew the Lakotas' traditional matriarchal leadership on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation and across the Lakota nation. Between April 1 and 16, they traveled to Minneapolis, Chicago and other points east and west.
Read the rest here.


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