Kevin Abourezk: Means shifts sovereignty stance
"As 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."

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. "

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Means Would Declare Reservation Disaster Area (RezNet News 10/29)

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