Posts Tagged ‘Theresa Two Bulls’

Here’s the story in full from today’s Rapid City (S.D.) Journal on the controversy surrounding the Hoka Hey Challenge (See previous post here):

Widespread skepticism over a purported charity motorcycle race from Florida to Alaska has prompted Oglala Sioux Tribe officials to release a written statement distancing the tribe from the race’s organizers.

OST President Theresa Two Bulls said in a written release Monday titled “Hokay Hey! A Challenge or a Scam?” that tribal leadership has been overwhelmed with phone calls and e-mails from individuals concerning the race.

Organizers of the event, which started June 20 in Key West, Fla., and concluded July 4 in Homer, Alaska, have said the winner was to receive $500,000. According to the OST’s news release, a spokesperson for Hoka Hey indicated that prize money had been donated by the Lakota and would be awarded during the Sturgis motorcycle rally in August.

“The Oglala Sioux Tribe was not contacted by the organizers of the event and are not aware of the existence of a half million dollars for the prize. Nor is the Tribe aware of any Lakota band donating such an amount for this event,” the release states.

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An automobile decorated to honor Clarence Wolf Guts drives into the Black Hills National Cemetery on Tuesday. (Ryan Soderlin/Rapid City Journal)

An automobile decorated to honor Clarence Wolf Guts drives into the Black Hills National Cemetery on Tuesday. (Ryan Soderlin/Rapid City Journal)

A procession of 30 vehicles accompanied 86-year-old World War II veteran Clarence Wolf Guts to the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D., here the last Oglala Lakota code talker in the nation was buried.

“I knew he was an important man to people because of his activities in the Army, but I didn’t know this many people had so much respect for him,” said Don Doyle, Wolf Guts’ only son. “I’m very proud of him, and I’m very grateful to them coming all the way here to pay respects to my father.”

Tyler Jerke of the Rapid City, S.D., Journal described yesterday’s ceremonies, a blend of traditional Lakota and military pomp, here:

    The casket of Clarence Wolf Guts is carried into the Committal Shelter during services at the Black Hills National Cemetery on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Wolf Guts was the last living Oglala Lakota code talker. (Ryan Soderlin/Rapid City Journal)

    The casket of Clarence Wolf Guts is carried into the Committal Shelter during services at the Black Hills National Cemetery on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Wolf Guts was the last living Oglala Lakota code talker. (Ryan Soderlin/Rapid City Journal)

    A line of American flags held by Patriot Guard Riders, volunteer veterans from North and South Dakota, waved above Wolf Guts’ casket as it entered the rotunda followed by his family. The sound of a bugle echoed throughout the cemetery as taps was played by a member of The Retired Enlisted Association of Rapid City.

    Gov. Mike Rounds had asked that flags in the state be flown at half-staff Tuesday to honor Wolf Guts. Wolf Guts was one of 11 Lakota, Nakota and Dakota code talkers from South Dakota who aided the war effort by transmitting communications in their native language, which the Germans and the Japanese could not translate.

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls first met Wolf Guts after the tribal council honored him for his contributions. She said the passing of Wolf Guts is sad but the nation has to remember what he represented and what he did for the country.

“It’s because of people like him that we get to live in peace, and people should remember that and honor them with respect,” said Theresa Two Bulls, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Both the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Indian reservations named this week Clarence Wolf Guts week.

A hawk flew overhead during the ceremonies.

“I was sad at first, but when I saw that the spirit came out. It was a very good sign,” Doyle told Jerke. “When we all saw that, we knew he was OK.”

Gwen Florio

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  A small dead fish floats on a pool of oil at Bay Long off the coast of Louisiana. Native American tribes along the Gulf depend on fish and other bounty from its waters for their largely subsistence lifestyle. (AP/Charlie Riedel)

A small dead fish floats on a pool of oil at Bay Long off the coast of Louisiana. Native American tribes along the Gulf depend on fish and other bounty from its waters for their largely subsistence lifestyle. (AP/Charlie Riedel)

Here’s the entire story from the Associated Press:

Theresa Two Bulls

Theresa Two Bulls

PIERRE – The president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe has asked the National Congress of American Indians to hold a meeting in New Orleans to discuss how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has affected Native Americans in the area.

Teresa Two Bulls sent a letter this week to Jefferson Keel, president of the national organization. The letter says the executive committee of the National Congress of American Indians should hold an emergency meeting with Native Americans in the Gulf region.

Two Bulls says the meeting could help determine how tribes across the nation could help Native Americans and wildlife affected by the oil spill.

She is president of the tribe in southwestern South Dakota and secretary of the national organization.

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Wounded Knee

Today’s Rapid City Journal has this piece by Jim Kent of Hot Springs, S.D. Here it is in full:

The only thing worse than poor communication is no communication. That’s what happened on the Pine Ridge Reservation this weekend at Wounded Knee – where, perhaps, the greatest miscommunication and, unquestionably, one of the greatest tragedies in American history occurred.

As Saturday’s noon hour approached, so did three Colorado Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters. Their destination – Wounded Knee.

Most local residents had heard about their arrival via the moccasin trail – which now includes the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook. Due to the history behind the massacre, as well as the military occupation of the area by federal forces in 1973, the Wounded Knee community was livid.

I fully understand the seriousness of the history involved. Twenty-five years ago, I sent a medal I’d received in the Marine Corps to the White House in protest of the Medals of Honor awarded to the 7th Cavalry after the massacre.

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Heidi Bell Gease of the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal wrote a good summary of incident this past weekend in which protesters rebuffed three Colorado National Guard helicopters trying to land at Wounded Knee. In this story, in its entirety below, Gease lays it all out:

Oglala Sioux Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls apologized to tribal members Monday for giving permission for three Colorado Army National Guard helicopters to land near the Wounded Knee Massacre site Saturday as part of an educational program.

“I did not intend to be disrespectful,” she said during an Oglala Sioux Tribal Council meeting in Pine Ridge. “I just wanted to open the door, to start communication, and I apologize that there’s a lack of communication.”

But descendants of massacre victims and survivors, many of whom protested the Black Hawk helicopters’ arrival Saturday, said the way the visit was handled was “disrespectful and appalling.”

“That’s a sacred site,” said Phyllis Hollow Horn, president of the Wounded Knee community. “Blood was spilled there by our relatives, by the United States 7th Cavalry.”

That was the story Guardsmen came to hear. According to a news release from Two Bulls’ office, the Colorado National Guard requested permission about two weeks ago to visit Wounded Knee. At the site, massacre descendant Marie Fox Belly was to tell the Guardsmen how U.S. soldiers killed nearly 300 Native Americans there on Dec. 29, 1890.

“The opportunity to hear the true stories from the descendants of the Wounded Knee Massacre would enable the National Guard members to realize the consequences of weak leadership,” the news release states.

Two Bulls said she informed Wounded Knee District tribal council representatives Garfield Little Dog and Philip Jumping Eagle of the visit but received no response. She also informed the local Community Action Program (CAP) office and spoke on KILI radio about the Guard’s visit.

Somehow, though, Wounded Knee residents didn’t get the message until Friday or Saturday. For them, seeing three Black Hawk helicopters descending over the mass grave site where their ancestors lie buried touched off deep-seated fears and emotions.

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Here’s the full story from the Associated Press about the incident at Wounded Knee on Saturday:

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) — The Oglala Sioux Tribe president says protests that occurred when three helicopters tried to land at the Wounded Knee massacre site on Saturday were the result of miscommunication.

Theresa Two Bulls on Monday apologized for the mix-up. She says the helicopters were bearing members of the Colorado National Guard who were coming for an educational presentation by local historians.

An estimated 300 American Indians were killed by the U.S. Cavalry in the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre.

Some tribal members became upset Saturday when the helicopters tried to land, saying the site is sacred.

The protesters did not know why the helicopters were there. Two Bulls says the miscommunication sparked rumors on the reservation, including rumors of weapons of mass destruction. But she says the Guard had permission to be there.

Also, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader has this story, which includes the following detail:

Oglala Sioux tribal officials had agreed to allow the guardsmen to land at Wounded Knee site to hear an educational and historical presentation on the massacre.

    Marie Fox Belly, great-granddaughter of Wounded Knee massacre survivor Dewey Beard, said the presentation she was going to make to the guardsmen was meant to help them learn about the massacre and ensure such things never happened again. …

    “It was meant for a healing process,” she said.

Gwen Florio

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Family and friends gather  in 2007 at the memorial for Sara Rose Boltz, who died in a car wreck southeast of Whiteclay near a popular drinking spot for teens. (Lincoln Journal Star/William Lauer)

Family and friends gather in 2007 at the memorial for Sara Rose Boltz, who died in a car wreck southeast of Whiteclay near a popular drinking spot for teens. (Lincoln Journal Star/William Lauer)

That’s the solution proposed during a panel discussion today on Whiteclay, the notorious beer-store town on the Nebraska-South Dakota border.

The tinyy town sells an estimated 4 million cans of beer annually, most of it to residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation across the border in South Dakota. The reservation is dry, but is plagued by alcoholism.

This year, the Nebraska Legislature has been examining ways to alleviate the problems caused by Whiteclay. And today, the forum at Bellevue University also addressed the issue. Kevin Abourezk of the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, covered the meeting.

“If you want to do something about Whiteclay, put a factory in Whiteclay,” said Lance Morgan, president and CEO of Hochunk Inc. “Create a different environment where people don’t run to get away from the problem.”

As Abourezk reports here:

    Morgan offered the story of his own tribe’s economic successes as a blueprint for possible success at Pine Ridge. With a new school, new hospital and new housing, the Winnebago people have managed to create jobs and hope, he said.

    “What we’ve been able to do is create economic prosperity, or a measure of it,” he said. “The real problem to me is poverty. If we can figure out a way to deal with it, I think we may have a way to deal with the situation.”

The forum also featured The discussion featured Omaha Creighton Prep High School President Tom Merkel and Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls, who attended video conferencing, and others.

While Two Bulls said the reservation’s alcohol ban needs to be strictly enforced, Stew Magnuson, author of “”The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder,” a book that deals in part with Whiteclay, described prohibition at Pine Ridge as a “complete failure,” because it only leads to bootlegging.

Gwen Florio

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Elouise Cobell poses, center, with her legal team in the law offices of Kilpatrick & Stockton in Washington. Left to right are Bill Dorris, Cobell, Keith Harper, Dennis Gingold and Geoffrey Rempel. The Obama administration says it will spend more than $3 billion to settle a long-running and contentious lawsuit over royalties owed to American Indians.  Gerald Herbert/AP

Elouise Cobell poses, center, with her legal team in the law offices of Kilpatrick & Stockton in Washington, Tuesday. Left to right are Bill Dorris, Cobell, Keith Harper, Dennis Gingold and Geoffrey Rempel. The Obama administration says it will spend more than $3 billion to settle a long-running and contentious lawsuit over royalties owed to American Indians. Gerald Herbert/AP

Here’s the entire story from the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal:

A deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Interior will discuss the Cobell settlement with the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 20, in Rapid City.

Deputy Secretary David Hayes will be one of several guest speakers on the proposed $3.4 billion settlement in the Cobell v. Salazar legal case that addresses alleged mishandling of Indian trust land accounts by the federal government. They will address the chairmen and answer questions from the public from 9 a.m. to noon in the Sylvan meeting room at the Ramkota Convention Center on Saturday.

A panel discussion will include lawyers for the Cobell legal team, Keith Harper and Dennis M. Gingold. Majel M. Russell, an attorney from Billings, Mont., will also present on Cobell.

At noon, Hayes will join the tribal chairmen in a closed executive session.

The Cobell presentation is part of a two-day GPTCA meeting being held today and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oglala Sioux Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls serves as president of the GPTCA

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(Editor’s Note: Today is a day for light posting as I spend most of it traveling. Please check back this evening for postings of the day’s events.)

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Elouise Cobell, whose name heads the historic Cobell v. Salazar class action case, has been touring the Dakotas this week to answer questions about last fall’s settlement of more than $3 billion in the case. The money is to compensate tens of thousands of Indian people for federal mismanagement of royalty payments due on their lands. The amount, while one of the largest ever in such a case, still falls far short of the roughly $50 billion some estimate is more accurate, and not everyone is happy with the settlement. Here‘s the entire Rapid City (S.D.) Journal story, by Mary Garrigan, on one of Cobell’s sessions this week:

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls

Tribes in western South Dakota are re-evaluating a $3.4 billion settlement proposed in a class action just days after Elouise Cobell toured the state to explain it.

Cobell finalized the proposed settlement in December 2009 after a 14-year legal battle on behalf of more than 300,000 Native American trust land owners. She alleged the Interior Department bungled the accounting on thousands of individual Native trust accounts for more than 100 years.

But as the U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the settlement, which Congress must approve and fund by an April 16 deadline, critics began cropping up on Capitol Hill and on reservations in South Dakota.

After a March 8 public meeting in Kyle, where Cobell and two of the attorneys in the 14-year-old lawsuit answered questions about the settlement, Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls said Wednesday that “there are a lot of questions” about the settlement throughout her reservation, and she canceled a trip to Washington, D.C., to speak in favor of it.

“I declined to testify at the March 10 hearing. I need to hear from my tribe first. I can’t go there to say yes or no on the settlement,” Two Bulls said during a radio address Wednesday to the tribe, broadcast live on KILI radio.

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Even though Congress has twice delayed approval of more than $3 billion settlement mandated in an Indian trust case (see previous post here), the lead plaintiff in the case is forging forward.
Elouise Cobell, who fought for more than a decade on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Native people owed money because of federal mismanagement of royalties from the use of their lands, will be in South Dakota next week to answer questions about the case.

As the Rapid City Journal reports, here:

Elouise Cobell (Billings Gazette)

Elouise Cobell will take questions about the case on various reservations next week. (Billings Gazette)

    The House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee plans a March 10 hearing on the Cobell settlement, which comes amid growing complaints that the settlement was reached without adequate input from tribal governments. Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls is slated to testify at the congressional committee hearing.

    Cobell’s tour of South Dakota reservations begins on Pine Ridge Reservation with an informational meeting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Oglala Lakota College center in Kyle. According to a tentative schedule, it continues with a 1 p.m. meeting Monday at Sinte Gleska University in Mission on the Rosebud Reservation. She will attend a meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Eagle Butte High School Auditorium and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, N.D., on Standing Rock Reservation.

    Two Bulls will host a public meeting about the negotiated settlement at 10 a.m. Monday at the Little Wound School in Kyle, but it is unclear if Cobell will attend.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe has yet to take a position on the settlement. But Myron Pourier of the tribe’s Fifth Member’s Office says he personally opposes it.

“I feel like we’re settling for pennies on a dollar again,” he tells the Journal. “We need to bring it back to the drawing board.”

In addition to her speaking tour, Cobell answers questions about the case online every week in her Ask Elouise column. You can access it directly here, or look for a summary and links weekly on Buffalo Post.

Gwen Florio

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