On September 17, 1851, the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie was properly agreed upon through Oyate Omniciye (N/DN/D/Lakota Language meaning Circle Meetings of The People) with the government of the United States. Oyate Omniciye included all adult females and males of each community who gathered to discuss and take action on the issue of the time – getting signatures on paper from the U.S. government legally and forever recognizing the territorial homelands of the N/DN/D/Lakota Nations and peoples. Indigenous interpreters fluent in both N/DN/D/Lakota and English were on hand to insure such legal document was understood by all parties signatory to it. Indigenous peoples understood that when the white man signed his name on paper, in black and white, it bound them to the agreement, just like still today when a person signs a bank loan or mortgage or any other legal document of agreement. Similarly, when an indigenous person states a promise verbally (gentleman’s agreement), this promise was and is then understood as sacred, without even a thought of violation.
The last true democracy existed through this ancient manner of Oyate Omniciye governing and the signing of the 1851 Treaty insured that the currently-occupied 1851 Treaty Lands, referred to today as “Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, still remain legally under ownership of the indigenous signatory 1851 Treaty Nations. The Treaty is not “broken”, as many misunderstand, but is daily violated. The 1851 Treaty guarantees that unless an official, legal declaration of war by U.S. congress is made, then the Treaty forever remains supreme. Article VI of the United States Constitution states, “Treaties made with Indian Nations shall be the supreme law of the land, with the judges in every state bound thereby.”
Today and for the past 150 years, trillions of dollars in land and mineral resources such as gold, timber, coal, and water was and is stolen from the indigenous 1851 “supreme law” Treaty Signatory Nations. This blatant theft makes America the filthiest, richest country on earth – with not even a single penny going to the Treaty Nation owners in land or mineral lease or rent, or depredation damage payments.
Violations of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie began in 1858 and 1868. A handful of men were labeled as “leaders, kings, dictators, presidents” or newly implemented Latin word “chiefs” by the U.S. government. Then maneuvers were undertaken to entice, trick, or force under duress signatures from these few men to give away lands belonging to the entire nation.
In 1858, a small group of men, expert “Itacan” talkers among their Ihanktunwan DaNakota people, were enticed to go to Washington, DC. Like expert Itacan arrow makers, drum makers, hunters, quill workers, the expert speakers were only a part of the community, not the kings, dictators, or leaders of the nation (as in Europe, the U.S., or other foreign nations). Once in Washington, the men were instructed that they must sign a document, which they refused, stating they did not have authority from Oyate Omniciye “General Council” to sign anything on behalf of the nation. In response, government officials assigned a military ship to take the men out into the ocean, where they threatened to throw them overboard to the sharks and sea monsters. “Go ahead” said the men, “We’re old now anyway, we lived good lives – do what you have to do to us, but we aren’t signing anything.” Frustrated, the government officials threatened to shoot them out of the cannons in to the water but again the men refused to cooperate. They then took the men to a military barracks and confined them to their rooms without food and water for two days where one by one they reluctantly signed the document under duress (that is illegal in world courts) giving away lands and resources worth trillions of dollars to Uncle Sam. A similar occurrence happened to the Lakota where a few “paper chiefs” were enticed to sign over, once again, trillions in lands and resources, all without Oyate Omniciye consent.
Over 50 thousand indigenous peoples camped out, with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse there as a young man and boy at the time, in what is now called western Nebraska along Horse Creek during the first few weeks of September in 1851, insuring a good Treaty was signed. Through proper U.S. channels, the Treaty commissioners returned to Washington, had the Senate vote and approve the Treaty, and sent it up to the president of the United States for his signature – all which was accomplished in precisely the legal manner for which a Treaty is to be authorized and made under U.S. Law.
Oyate Omniciye representatives of each of the indigenous communities located across the Great Plains – many located where the white man cities of today sit, Cheyenne, Billings, Rapid City, Bismarck, Aberdeen, Fargo, Watertown, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, and Yankton - came together to secure our futures and protect our homelands from total desecration by the westward advancing America.
In 1934, congress illegally passed a unilateral act of congress attempting to remove females from Indigenous Circle Governing, concocting and forcing the “Indian Reorganization Act (I.R.A.) tribal council act” on to most indigenous nations, except the Ihanktunwan “Yankton DaNakota” and a handful of others who vehemently opposed this illegal strategy.
It is now time to cast aside all the illegal “treaties, acts, and agreements” made unilaterally by the U.S. government, forced upon our relatives under duress, and all made in violated the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. This understanding and direct action is the first step back on the path back to self-sufficiency, sovereignty, nationhood, and freedom for the N/DN/D/Lakota Nation and Peoples.