Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status

Lakota people

I’ve been working so hard the past couple of weeks that I don’t know what the local talk is about this – none of my phone calls this morning found anyone I needed at their offices or home.  My brother-in-law is at a conference in Rapid City and will be home Sunday, so I should be able to learn some from him then if not before.

Will update then.  Meanwhile. . . .

“I want to emphasize, we do not represent the collaborators, the Vichy Indians and those tribal governments set up by the United States of America to ensure our poverty, to ensure the theft of our land and resources,” Means said, comparing elected tribal governments to Nazi collaborators in France during World War II.

Rodney Bordeaux, chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said his community has no desire to join the breakaway nation. Means and his group, which call themselves the Lakota Freedom Delegation, have never officially pitched their views to the Rosebud community, Bordeaux said.

“Our position on that is we need to uphold the treaties, and we’re constantly reminding Congress of that message,” Bordeaux said. “We’re pushing to maintain and to keep the treaties there because they’re the basis of our relationship with the federal government.”

Comments at the Argus Leader

Comments at Rapid City Journal


Press Release



DECEMBER 20, 2007

9:02 AM

CONTACT: Lakota Freedom

Naomi Archer, Communications Liaison

(828) 230-1404 or

Threaten Land Liens, Contested Real Estate Over Five State Area in U.S.West; Dakota Territory Reverts back to Lakota Control According to U.S., International Law.

WASHINGTON, DC – December 20 – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.

“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!”

“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.”

The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.

“In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock.

Property ownership in the five state area of Lakota now takes center stage. Parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as predecessor sovereign [historic owner]. Lakota representatives say if the United States does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property.

Young added, “The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people”.

Following Monday’s withdrawal at the State Department, the four Lakota Itacan representatives have been meeting with foreign embassy officials in order to hasten their official return to the Family of Nations.

Lakota’s efforts are gaining traction as Bolivia, home to Indigenous President Evo Morales, shared they are “very, very interested in the Lakota case” while Venezuela received the Lakota delegation with “respect and solidarity.”

“Our meetings have been fruitful and we hope to work with these countries for better relations,” explained Garry Rowland. “As a nation, we have equal status within the national community.”

Education, energy and justice now take top priority in emerging Lakota. “Cultural immersion education is crucial as a next step to protect our language, culture and sovereignty,” said Means. “Energy independence using solar, wind, geothermal, and sugar beets enables Lakota to protect our freedom and provide electricity and heating to our people.”

The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average. 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%.

“After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative,” emphasized Duane Martin Sr. “The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway.”

We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have traveled to Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at


More Info:

Lakota Freedom

  • Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status Wednesday in Washington D.C. following Monday’s

    withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government MORE…

  • Justified?  Withdrawal originates from standing mandate carefully thought out by traditional chiefs and thousands of representatives at Treaty Councils SEE THE TREATY COUNCIL DOCUMENT…
  • Lakota delivers introductory Portfolio Packet to State Department and foreign embassies  READ THE PACKET…

  • Press Conference Photos (held at Plymouth Congregational Church, Washington, DC)…SEE THE GALLERY…  

More. . .

Lakota group pushes for new nation (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 12/20)

Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US (AP 12/20)

Lakota group declares sovereign nation status (The Rapid City Journal 12/20)


  1. The Lakota Freedom Delegation is continuing the work that we were asked to do by the traditional chiefs and treaty councils over many years.

    Emerging from the Wounded Knee Occupation in 1973, the International Indian Treaty Council drew together more than 5000 delegates representing 98 Indian tribes and Nations from North and South America. This manifesto, representing the wisdom of thousands of people, their Ancestors, and the Great Mystery explicity supports the rights of Indigenous
    Nations to live free and to take whatever actions necessary for sovereignty.

    Download the complete .

    For more than a year and a half prior to this December announcement, Lakota delegates have been meeting with the traditional treaty councils of Lakota to build critical mass for this action.

    In the face of the colonial apartheid conditions imposed on Lakota people, the withdrawal from the U.S. Treaties is necessary. These conditions have been devastating:

    • Lakota men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, lowest of any country  in the World (excluding AIDS)  including Haiti.
    • Lakota death rate is the highest in the United States.
    • The Lakota infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. Average.
    • More than half the Reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease.  
    • The Tuberculosis rate on Lakota reservations is approx 800% higher than the U.S national average.
    • Alcoholism affects 8 in 10 families.
    • Median income is approximately  $2,600 to  $3,500 per year.
    • 1/3 of the homes lack basic clean water and sewage while 40% lack electricty.
    • 60% of housing is infected with potentially fatal black molds.
    • 97% of our Lakota people live below the poverty line.
    • Unemployment rates on our reservations is 85% or higher.
    • Federal Commodity Food Program provides high sugar foods that kill Native people through diabetes and heart disease.
    • Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
    • Our Lakota language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction.

    After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative. That alternative is
    to bring freedom back into existence by taking it back – back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway.
    Canupa Gluha Mani

  2. How will this new nation survive? Well, their one advantage is they have almost nothing left to lose: The Lakota’s men have a frighteningly short lifespan: forty-four years. Teen suicide, infant mortality and unemployment are all very high.

    And on one hand, they certainly have every right to want nothing more to do with the U.S. (Wonkette has some details about recent mistreatment). On the other, it doesn’t seem likely this is all going to go smoothly . Somehow we think the U.S. might have a little something to say about this secession plan, especially given the fact that the Indians are inviting regular old Americans to renounce U.S. citizenship and live in their community tax-free.

  3. Well, the Lakota Indians have fucking had it. The people that brought us such leaders as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse announced today that they are withdrawing from their treaties with the US of A and are becoming an independent nation on account of all 33 of those treaties being totally ignored by the government they signed them with 150 years ago. Maybe it has something to do with the decades-worth of royalties on the oil extracted from their land the Dept. of the Interior refuses pay them. Just a wild guess.

  4. Political activist Russell Means, a founder of the American Indian Movement, says he and other members of Lakota tribes have renounced treaties and are withdrawing from the United States.


    Means said a Lakota delegation on Monday delivered a statement of “unilateral withdrawal” from the United States to the U.S. State Department in Washington.

    The State Department did not respond. “That’ll take some time,” Means said.

    Meanwhile, the delegation has delivered copies of the letter to the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa. “We’re asking for recognition,” Means said, adding that Ireland and East Timor are “very interested” in the declaration.


    Means also said his group would file liens on property in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming that were illegally homesteaded.

    The Web site for the declaration, “Lakota Freedom,” briefly crashed Thursday as wire services picked up the story and the server was overwhelmed, Means said.

  5. …I think we’d all like to hear your personal perspective on this action. And, moreover, what kind of actual support it has among rank-and-file Lakota, and among the elders.

    I’ve been saying things at a few blogs yesterday and today, but I have a bias against Russell Means and I, of course, have no standing among Lakota. What’s the scuttlebutt? Do people think this is a good idea? If they see it as just a publicity stunt, is it a good publicity stunt or a bad one?

    I’d love to see your take here … but also at Daily Kos if you’d could. Your voice is much needed in this matter when the rest of us can only guess.

  6. They had their big meeting and celebration here on Rosebud saturday but very few showed up for it. It says here Russ has been working with the Treaty Councils looking for support but I haven’t seen that happening around here. So far on the Lakota reservations it just looks like another in a long line on Russ Means self-agrandizing publicity stunts. Noise for white people we call it.

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