October 31, 2008

Means:  Lakotah = OST

Means Would Declare Reservation Disaster AreaAs Hurricane Ike beat up on Texas in mid-September, Russell Means watched as President Bush declared 29 Texas counties major disaster areas, making federal funds available for storm recovery.

Means hopes to use that same tool to bring federal and international aid to his own ailing people, the Oglala Lakota, if he's elected tribal president on Tuesday.

"This is far beyond a national disaster area," he said of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. "It's an international disaster area."

If federal aid can be spent on one of the richest cities of the world, Houston, why not one on of the poorest places in the world? Means asked.
Means is running for president of the OST, but he's already the leader of the Republic of Lakotah. What's up with that?Means, a former American Indian Movement leader, has a history of suggesting extreme solutions to Indian problems. This spring, he announced that he and a group of Native leaders planned to secede from the United States to form the independent Republic of Lakotah, a nation formed on the basis of the Treaty of 1851 and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

Means appears to be backing off from that plan.

He said this week it's not necessary to secede as the Oglala Sioux Tribe is already a sovereign nation, a fact he plans to force the U.S. government to respect if he's elected tribal president.
The OST was as sovereign last year as it is now. Yet Means felt the need to secede. The OST's sovereignty wasn't good enough for him then.

In fact, he called the OST tribal council a puppet government, or words to that effect. Yet now he wants to be the head puppet? What's up with that?"That's what my candidacy is all about is conquering genocide," he said. "This is the Republic of Lakotah. This is our land."So now the Republic of Lakotah is the same as the OST?! What happened to the Republic of Lakotah's declaration of sovereignty over parts of four states? And its people's refusal to obey US laws within its boundaries?

It's pretty clear what's going on. Means wanted to be in charge, so he declared himself the head of a fictitious nation. When he saw a chance to become the head of a real nation, he abandoned his Lakotah claims.

As many of us said, these claims were nothing more than a publicity stunt. They raised his profile enough so he could run for real. Indeed, that may have been the whole point of his Lakotah stunt.

No more Lakotah?

Now he seems to be saying that the Republic of Lakotah is the Oglala Sioux Tribe. That's funny, because he sure wasn't saying that before. His position in Means Declares Independence was:"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.Now that his "republic" has served its purpose, he can toss it into the dustbin of history. That is, he can magically merge the four-state Republic of Lakotah into the one-state OST. And he can declare that the OST now represents all the Oglala Sioux, including the citizens of Lakotah.

Renouncing the Republic of Lakotah became almost mandatory when Means decided to run for OST president. What was he going to tell OST voters? Surely not the following:

"I want to be president of the OST even though I've pledged my allegiance to the Republic of Lakotah and its government. If elected, I'll a) declare the OST an independent nation also; or b) work for the OST within the US federal system. You can be sure I'll have your best interests at heart even if I ditch you again as another publicity stunt."

Below:  The OST's Pine Ridge Reservation is the small dark-red block in the lower left of the orange block in the center of the yellow block representing the former Republic of Lakotah. If the Republic of Lakotah is equivalent to Pine Ridge and the OST, someone sure fooled this mapmaker.

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