Lakotah plan civil disobedience fishing near Rapid City
Lakotah Plan Civil Disobedience Fishing Event on August 25, 2008All members of the tribes to the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty have the right to fish within the 1851 Treaty territory, which includes all of South Dakota from the east bank of the Missouri River.
By Republic of Lakotah
LAKOTAH REPUBLIC -- In the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Russell Means, the Chief Facilitator of the Republic of Lakotah, is organizing a group of Lakotah Indians to enter Sheridan Lake Recreation Area near Rapid City, South Dakota, refuse to pay the admission fee, and fish without paying the license fee.
Means claims that Lakotah retained the right to fish and pass in the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty territory and that those rights continue today and backed by Article VI of the Constitution of the united states of America.
The event, which is being billed as the Lakotah Freedom Fishing Day, is about much more than the admission fee or the fishing license fee; it is about getting the South Dakota and United States governments to follow their own laws.
Means said, "After having been an occupied nation for over 150 years, we have asked the United States government to leave our country. Meanwhile, until the United States Government leaves Lakotah territory we will take every opportunity to insist it follow its own laws and that its states do the same."
Lakotah have given notice to Larry Long, the Attorney General of South Dakota, of its plans for this event. (A copy of the notice is online at: http://republicoflakotah.com/...) Means said he has not heard from Long yet and does not know if the state plans on allowing the Indians to fish and pass or if the park rangers will issue citations or arrest any of the Lakotah fishermen. Means plans to call in federal marshalls to enforce the treaty rights.
Means said, "According to the Civil Right Act, federal marshalls should arrest any state official who tries to stop Lakotah from entering the park and fishing.
However, if the United States ignores its own laws to deny Lakotah rights, it will certainly not be the first time."
This historic event is planned for Monday, August 25th, at 1:00 p.m.
Notice of Intent to Fish
August 12, 2008
Mr. Larry Long
State of South Dakota
1302 E. Hwy 14,
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Dear Mr. Long:
The Republic of Lakotah is planning a "Lakotah Freedom Fishing Day" on Monday, August 25, 2008, at Sheridan Lake Area in the Black Hills. I am giving you advance notice of this event so that you will have sufficient time to do your legal research and, ideally, you and I can come to an understanding that will work best for everybody. As you may know, all members of the tribes to the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty have the right to fish within the 1851 Treaty territory (which includes all of South Dakota from the east bank of the Missouri River). The relevant language from Article 5 of the 1851 Treaty reads: "It is, however, understood that, in making this recognition and acknowledgement, the aforesaid Indian nations ... do not surrender the privilege of hunting, fishing, or passing over any of the tracts of country heretofore described."Some may assert that the 1851 Treaty was superseded by the 1868 Treaty. They are mistaken.
Article 17 the 1868 Treaty states: "It is hereby expressly understood and agreed by and between the respective parties to this treaty that the execution of this treaty and its ratification by the United States Senate shall have the effect, and shall be construed as abrogating and annulling all treaties and agreements heretofore entered into between the respective parties hereto, so far as such treaties and agreements obligate the United States to furnish and provide money, clothing, or other articles of property to such Indians and bands of Indians as become parties to this treaty, but no further."
Accordingly, under the treaties and Article 6 of the Constitution of the united states of America, Lakotah, and all Indians in tribes of the 1851 Treaty have the right to:
Enter the park with no fee, andFish with no licenseCatch as many fish as neededUnited States v. Winans, 198 US 371 (1905), and Tulee v. Washington, 315 U.S. 681 (1942), are two of the many cases which support this right to fish.
If you are considering countering by contending that, since Lakotah has withdrawn from the treaties, that it now has no further treaty rights, we would be glad to join you in that position.
However, that would also mean that: The Indians have the right to enter the park and fish with no interference from your agents; andAll agents of the State of South Dakota operating in Republic of Lakotah territory are trespassing.
We are planning on inviting the press.
Members of the press can either film:Indians being allowed to exercise their rights, or Your agents arresting Indians who are exercising their rights, followed by federal marshals arresting your agents for violating those rights.Also, if you do not instruct your agents to permit the entrance and fishing, there will be more press coverage when we sue your agents under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 and you under § 1986.
Either way, it should be a great event. Please let me know, soon, how you intend to instruct your agents to deal with this. Please feel free to call me at 605-867-1025 to discuss this. If I do not hear from you, I will give you a call. I expect that you will also be hearing from the press. I look forward to a peaceful resolution on this.
Chief Facilitator Provisional Government Republic of Lakotah
P.O. Box 429
Porcupine, Lakotah 57772
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