Massive Sioux Indian Reservation Battles Snow with 3 Ploughs

February 10, 2010 by Russell Means Freedom  
Filed under Featured, News

By Denis Campbell

As we have seen in the blizzards in Washington and New York 100s of crews of snowploughs and front-end loaders work feverishly to open roads, airports and railway tracks. But, what if you lived in the Cheyenne Sioux Indian Reservation of South Dakota and there were only three snowploughs to clear an area nearly the size of Connecticut?

Most of the reservation is covered with rural 2-lane asphalt and dirt roads that even this meagre snow removal equipment cannot reach because of the drifts. Their only hope is for the temperature to rise above freezing.

If 8,000 telephone poles snapped in Potomac, Westchester, or Greenwich, crews would work 24/7 to restore power. Yet many in the Cheyenne Sioux Reservation have been without power or heat for more than five days. They daily brave temperatures and wind chills of -19◦.

“Many people have died, not only of exposure but of complications from sugar diabetes,” said Russell Means, Chairman of the Lakota Republic. “Diabetes is an epidemic on Indian Reservations,” he continued “and in rural areas of Sioux country the reservations are very isolated.”

We take for granted that the snowploughs will be there to clear our roadways, yet those living on the reservation died because they could not get out of their driveway to transport loved ones to kidney dialysis centres. Heart attacks and exposure claimed even those with cars to transport loved ones, because the snow trapped them in their homes. And forget 911, it does not exist. Nearly everyone is without heat or electricity. Russell Means’ daughter called from her home 200-miles away asking to borrow a generator, but it was stolen.

When asked what the most pressing immediate needs were, his reply was: “come out, come on out, the whole Congress should come and check. We definitely need the funds, The Bureau of Indian Affairs needs the funds, the tribes need the funds just for snow removal and emergency equipment. THAT WOULD SAVE LIVES. Then we need adequate healthcare.”

Generous Americans sent millions to Haiti, New Orleans and Texas when disasters struck sending shockwaves through the media. Yet here is an ongoing, some would say daily, tragedy that affect millions of Americans. They live under the control of a broken federal agency, The Bureau of Indian Affairs, with 85% unemployment, record levels of alcoholism, Type 2 diabetes and unspeakable poverty.

As Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s Countdown said, “this tragedy is 450 miles from Minneapolis.” Russell Means described it more aptly as “genocide of the Indian people.”

It certainly is, at minimum, gross neglect that entire tribes across massive state-sized territories have people freezing inside their paper thin walled and ill-equipped homes, dying from both exposure and CO2 asphyxiation from bad propane heaters.


Massive Sioux Indian Reservation Battles Snow with 3 Ploughs
Posted on 10 February 2010 by Denis Campbell

Denis Campbell is the American Editor of UK Progressive. He is a political and business pundit contributor to both BBC television and radio. Denis specializes in translating the American electoral and governing process for UK and EU audiences and vice versa, contributing regularly on UK elections and issues to the Huffington Post. He has contributed to newspapers and magazines around the globe. In his “spare” time, he is managing director of Target Point Ltd focused on social media, communication strategy, leveraging technology, corporate change and building world class selling organisations. Denis has lived in the EU since 1998.

Weekend Update #24: Witness

August 3, 2009 by admin1  
Filed under Commentaries, Featured

Russell Means discusses how the lens through which America views its Indigenous people, shows how America views the world. From English-only laws and Christian righteousness to the perpetual state of war since its creation, the United States citizens continue to show a lack of respect for their relatives visions. Russell Means offers advice to the people of America in this edition of Weekend Update.

Weekend Update #24: Witness from Russell Means on Vimeo.

Families Freezing in Nation’s Poorest County

February 27, 2009 by Russell Means Freedom  
Filed under News

Families Freezing in Nation’s Poorest County:

PUBLIC UTILITIES “CUT” ON CROW CREEK RESERVATION

(Fort Thompson, SD) Electric company caught “pulling meters” (CLICK TO VIEW THE VIDEO) in the poorest community in the nation, leaving America’s most vulnerable people without power in the dead of winter. Predatory electric companies continue to conduct these atrocious practices amid growing public outcry and damning national media scrutiny. Headlines in newspapers across the country highlight unnecessary tragedies as arctic winter months reveal the electric company’s controversial conduct of shutting off the community’s power, despite the rest of South Dakota having Seasonal Termination Protection Regulations.[1]

CORRECTION: “Central Power Electric Cooperative, Inc” is the wholesale provider, not the retail provider that has been illegally disconnecting the meters on Crow Creek Reservation. The real culprits are at the “Central Electric Cooperative:” We apologize for any confusion caused by this error and our happy to oblige the request of Loren Noess - General Manager of CENTRAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE to post his information here for your convenience. See his e-mail request below.

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NoessLoren Noess - General Manager

Text of Mr. Noess’ e-mail with:

To Whom it may concern:

Please change the address of Central you have on your web site. Also if you do some research on this video it was played last June on Utube [sic] and we know they were at Crow Creek last March of 2008 doing taping This video we believe is a year old. Our employees are on this video. They are doing their and should not be explosed[sic].

Please refer to the attached letter that I emailed to Eric Klein yesterday and also sent by mail.

I have sent copies of this letter to all 3 Congressional Leaders in Washington and the South Dakota PUC. The 3 Offices in Washington indicated they haven’t received any calls from the Reservation about disconnects. As you’ll read in our letter we haven’t disconnected any[sic] for the months of Dec. Jan and Feb.

Any questions please give me a call.

Loren Noess

General Manager

PO Box 850

1420 North Main

Mitchell, SD 57301

605-996-7516

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Contact Information

Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm
E-mail: cec@centralec.coop
Phone: 605.996.7516
Toll Free in SD: 800.477.2892
Fax: 605.996.0869

Office Locations:

Headquarters Office:
PO Box 850
1420 North Main Street
Mitchell, SD 57301 USA

Plankinton Branch Office:
PO Box 130
102 South Main Street
Plankinton, SD 57301 USA

Putting LIVES on the Line:

This winter, the Crow Creek Indian Reservation is experiencing record-low temperatures reaching fifty below zero. Hundreds of families living in government housing have had their electric meters removed by Central Electric Cooperative, the local electric cooperative. When these power meters are pulled the residents are left without power; the propane heaters do not run; pipes freeze; and there is no water for cooking, drinking, bathing or flushing toilets. Many of these households have family members whose lives depend upon electronic medical equipment such as defibrillators.

Ironically these families are paying some of the highest electricity rates in the country even though they live adjacent to the Big Bend Hydro-Electric Dam on the Missouri river. These homes are poorly insulated causing electric bills in excess of $300.00 in the coldest months.

Median income in the region is approximately $5,000 a year (typical of the thirteen Lakotah (Sioux) Reservations in the “Great Sioux Nation” as defined in the Treaties of 1851 and 1868 with the US Government).

“I’ve been to disaster areas around the world including Sri Lanka after the tsunami, hurricane Katrina, and after the Iowa floods, but, I have never witnessed such blatant disregard for human life as I have here in my own country on the Crow Creek reservation,” stated Eric Klein, Founder and CEO of Compassion into Action Network – Direct Outcome Organization (CAN-DO). “Especially now, with the new administration focusing on the development of America’s infrastructure, we need to focus our energies and resources immediately to address this critical situation where such infrastructure is being blatantly misutilized.”

Appalled by the abuse and neglect, one US Marine and Crow Creek resident took action to publicize the exploitation. Using a hand-held video recorder, he documented local power companies physically cutting electricity lines and removing meters in the peak of winter.

Watch the footage at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wIVgpMK5-Jo&feature=channel

Utilizing their proven approach to providing lasting solutions with full accountability, efficiency and results, CAN-DO is addressing the operation at the Crow Creek Indian Reservation on the local level to raise the nation’s awareness of the urgent human right abuses taking place in the South Dakota region.

“We are calling for a collaborative effort by ethical individuals, organizations, schools and political leaders to assure that this damage is reversed,” said Klein. “Together, we can contribute to real change here at home.”

View the complete Crow Creek plan at www.can-do.org. Join in the ‘Call to Action.’

LAWS OF SOUTH DAKOTA TITLE 49

PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS

49-34A-2. Service required of utilities. Every public utility shall furnish adequate, efficient, and reasonable service.

49-34A-6. Rates to be reasonable and just – Regulation by commission. Every rate made, demanded or received by any public utility shall be just and reasonable. Every unjust or unreasonable rate shall be prohibited. The Public Utilities Commission is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to regulate all rates, fees and charges for the public utility service of all public utilities, including penalty for late payments, to the end that the public shall pay only just and reasonable rates for service rendered.

Source: SL 1975, ch 283, § 16.

THE LIE PROPAGATED BY THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe:

“Every night, the sun slips quietly away behind the bluffs of the Missouri River. These bluffs flank the western edge of the Crow Creek Reservation in central South Dakota. Located one mile south of tribal headquarters at Fort Thompson is Lake Sharpe, one of South Dakota’s Great Lakes. Water recreation abounds on the 80-mile reservoir created by the Big Bend Dam. Visitors enjoy boating, fishing and swimming as well as picnicking and camping along the water’s edge. The tribe’s wildlife department offers guided fishing and hunting trips. It also maintains a buffalo herd that often grazes north of Fort Thompson. ” http://www.travelsd.com/ourhistory/sioux/tribes/crowcreek.asp

THE TRUTH

… thousands of hectares of Indian land have been lost to dams. In North Dakota, a quarter of the Fort Berthold Reservation, shared by the Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa peoples of the upper Missouri, for example, was flooded as a result of a staircase of dams (the Missouri River Development Project (MRDP), built during the 1950s and 1960s. The land lost included the best and most valuable and productive land on the reservation – the bottom lands along the river where most people lived.105 Five different Sioux reservations also lost land. Again, the impact was quite severe: the dams destroyed nearly 90 per cent of the tribes’ timberland, 75 per cent of the wild game, and the best agricultural lands.106

Ultimately, the Missouri dams cost the indigenous nations of the Missouri Valley an estimated 142,000 hectares of their best land – including a number of burial and other sacred sites – as well as further impoverishment and severe cultural and emotional trauma. A guarantee, used to rationalise the plan in the first place, that some 87,000 hectares of Indian land would be irrigated was simply scrapped as the project neared completion. As researcher Bernard Shanks puts it: “MRDP replaced the subsistence economy of the Missouri River Indians . . . with a welfare economy . . . As a result of the project, the Indians bore a disproportionate share of the social
cost of water development, while having no share in the benefits.”.107

104 Pittja 1994:54.
105 Guerrero 1992.
106 United States v David Sohappy, Snr et al., 477 US 906 (1986), cert. denied. Cited in Guerrero 1992.
107 Guerrero 1992.

About CAN-DO:

Founded by Eric Klein, CAN-DO has set a new standard for humanitarianism and is changing the face of philanthropy. It quickly has become an organization people can trust and depend upon to “get it done” fast and effectively. It is a 501c3, relief organization dedicated to working on the local level to provide lasting solutions, with full accountability, efficiency, and results.
Video footage, photographs and the web site offer documentation of the organization’s efforts at every phase. CAN-DO supporters take pride in watching their generosity directly affect the lives of those in need through the organization’s VirtualVolunteer.TV.

CAN-DO’s successful missions to bring immediate and direct relief to areas in need have captured the attention of renowned philanthropists including Oprah Winfrey and former president Bill Clinton. The organization was recently awarded the Global Compassion Award at the United Nations for its global impact, unparalleled transparency and accountability. For further information, please visit www.can-do.org or email Eric Klein at ek@can-do.org.

About the Republic of Lakotah:

We are the freedom loving Lakotah from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under.

We are continuing the work that we were asked to do by the traditional chiefs and treaty councils at the first Indian Treaty Council meeting at Standing Rock Sioux Indian Country in 1974.

During the week of December 17-19, 2007, we traveled to Washington DC and withdrew 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.

We do not represent those BIA or IRA governments beholden to the colonial apartheid system, or those “hang around the fort” Indians who are unwilling to claim their freedom.

For further information, please visit www.republicoflakotah.com or call 605-867-1111.

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