STRONGHOLD, S.D. -- United Nations Representative Tony Black Feather says the invasion and occupation of Iraq follows the same pattern as the seizure of Lakota and Indian lands in America. "This is the same history. We are watching history repeat itself again and again. It is mass murder for oil and resources," Black Feather said. "We sympathize with the people of Iraq. The United States is trying to put the Iraqi people under the same reservation and trust system that they have used against our people."
Black Feather, spokesman for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council and United Nations delegate for traditional Lakota, released his statement to the United Nations and shared it here on Stronghold Table. Black Feather met with the Tokala Warrior Society, gathered to protect the graves of the Ghost Dancers from the planned fossil excavation of the National Park Service in the Badlands on Oglala Sioux land.
Black Feather said the war in Iraq reflects the history of the Lakota people. "In the fall of 1875, the United States government issued an ultimatum to a nation of people that stood in the way of their advancement across the North American continent. "The Lakota people were given a few weeks to leave their own country and return to a reservation established by the Americas or be considered 'hostiles' subject to forced removal." The Lakota refused and the result was war, including the charge of the 7th Cavalry under the command of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his ultimate defeat on June 25, 1876.
Black Feather said George W. Bush issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his sons to go into exile or face military conflict. Shortly later, the assault and invasion began by troops. "Again the 7th Calvary advanced on a people living on their own terms in their own territory." He said Lakota and other American Indians understand the mind-set of the destruction of Iraq, and the rebuilding of Iraq for the profit of corporations.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq is the latest chapter in the colonization process. As CNN medicated Americans with a sanitized view of the war, placing a fresh spin on any criticism of the war, Black Feather said Americans are easily deceived when terms like "democracy" and "human rights" are tossed out. Meanwhile, American interests profit from the land, resources, gold or oil. For Lakota, it began 153 years ago. "Our territory was to be 'liberated' by the Americans when gold was discovered in the Black Hills." The occupation has continued and the efforts to eject the "infidels" has also continued as treaties and international law are violated, he said.
The Tetuwan Oyate, Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council, founded in 1894, four years after the 7th Calvary took its revenge for the loss of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Sickly elders, women and children were massacred at Wounded Knee. "For a century the United States has used every weapon in its massive arsenal to ensure that the rights of the Lakota Nation are abrogated and that our people are held in servitude."
The scenes appearing on television from Iraq are all too familiar. "As American troops open fire on vehicles filled with families escaping the horrors of the invasion of their territory, our genetic memories recall the massacres in our own country." Black Feather said the threat to true human rights, self-determination and sovereignty can not be tolerated at any level. No nation-state, despite its superior economic or military power, can be permitted to control the lives of the world's people. "Historically, tactics of divide, starve and conquer have been used against our people so we understand the use of embargoes and pressure from within and without."
True nation sovereignty is the right of the Iraqi and Lakota, he said in his statement to the United Nations. It was released here as Lakota gathered to discuss sovereign home rule, a true democracy based on the wishes of the people. "Victory can be had if the world stands united against tyranny," Black Feather said. Black Feather urged the nations of the world to rise up against the tyranny and imperialism of the United States. "The real target of the war is to make United States supremacy prevail in a strategic oil-rich region and to protect Israel's regional superiority and its monopoly over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East," he said. "Historically, tactics of divide, starve and conquer have been used against our people so we understand the agenda of the Middle East."
By Brenda Norrell Independent journalist Please also see: Lakota United Nations Representative: "The World Must Rise Up Against America's Tyranny", by Brenda Norrell http://www.unobserver.com/index.php?pagina=layout4.php&id=842&blz=1
Please also see the American Indian Movement website on A.I.M. and Wounded Knee Documents: http://www.aics.org/WK/
Memories of Wounded Knee
By Brenda Norrell