To free the land, you must first free your mind...


This is a conceptual platform for the expression of ideas and issues initiating discussion and action. The communiqué's are my perceptions, opinions and vision about contemporary issues/causes, people I admire & respect, and my goals for the future. In 2012, I will begin to focus more on the Chahta People by sharing our past to plan for the future today!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Chahta Nation: the times are changing!

"The Choctaw people have walked the farthest into the world of the white man. They will have a long walk back to find who they are." Harry Hill, Chahta

On this day of celebrating dead Indians through a Thanksgiving feast, history has been more than successful in denying its origins to the populace. It seems that the romantic drawing of Indians peaceable partaking in their feasts is the truth of Thanksgiving. Just a small part, but it isn't the entire truth. Thanksgiving feasts were held after pilgrims raided and murdered Indian villages for their food store. Today it is an illusion of a Nation giving thanks for the good things in their lives who are anxiously awaiting the beginning of Black Friday sales. Have to find the best deals in preparation for xmas!

That and so many other examples illustrate how we can be conditioned to only believe what we have been told to believe. With that, our responsibility to seek and find the truth has disappeared. When some of us do ask questions or create actions to seek the truth, attempts to mislead or denigrate us takes place. Which is happening now, following the conviction of a former Choctaw Nation senior executive for bribery and corruption in federal court.

During the course of the trial testimony presented by the witnesses reverberated across the social media. Those revelations of lavish lifestyles only affirmed the whispers and allegations of similar unethical practices that have been occurring for years. Bribery and corruption is only a minute part of the stories shared by many Chahta citizens who have first hand knowledge of these excesses. Other allegations include:

nepotism, although no policy, law or constitutional provision guide this, unqualified employees have been given executive positions without qualifications, such as Jason Merida, for example. So how many employees actually secured their positions due to the relationship of a family member;

censorship in the Biskinik - (sarcastically referred to as the Bisquick for its fluffiness and whiteness) As much criticism that has persisted to now, no one has ever read about it in the Bisquick. Personally, I spoke with a executive assistant a few years ago about this, she looked shocked at my question and responded "Why would we want to do that?" I said "For transparency and accountability." She just scowled and shook her head walking away. I still feel that as long as our finances is funding a so-call "tribal paper" it should be balanced. One masthead for a paper said "It is a newspapers duty to tell the truth and raise hell", but I doubt that anyone has ever seen that in the Bisquick!

lack of transparency in financial, business, and employee practices - pictured below is from the 90's when they use to be transparent. The council conducts its business behind closed doors, and then meets in Tushkahoma just to go through the motions of voting. No one is permitted to speak from the audience unless all council members approve. In one instance, Ted Dosh was the opposing vote when he said that they have never done it that way. Except, this was not the truth. The council use to hear from the audience, and many times they were meeting late in the evening, missing supper. Employees feel they have no recourse to lodge complaints, even through procedures established because of repercussions if they do.




unfair election & representation practices - there are no campaign or finance reporting requirements. It was only through court testimony in the Merida trial that we learned Greg Pyle had transferred an estimated 1 million dollars held in 5 bank accounts to Gary Batton. When Pyle was asked if the bulk of the money came from vendors who had or were seeking contracts, Pyle was vague on the matter. As to representation, Chahta citizens who live outside the boundaries of the Chahta Nation are allowed to select at random any district they choose to be represented in. Which has skewed the election results. The people who live in those districts and see the need for a change in representation, are denied a fair election by absentee voters who are unaware of the problems in the respective districts, and vote for the incumbent they have read about in fluff pieces written by the Bisquick.

lack of accountability - the power of a nation must lie within its citizens, but what established procedures exists for the citizens to call upon those public servants elected into positions of trust at the time those circumstances arrive. We need a expedient form of a check and balance to have the people support an issue. We certainly cannot rely on the Bisquick, which is sent to every registered voter. And where do we meet? We cannot meet at our community centers, but candidates for public positions outside of the nation is granted access, yet we cannot meet there.

These issues demand a call for a constitutional convention to amend our constitution to repair the apparent defects. These amendments should not be left to a handful of people in the council, or the administration, but should be brought for debate and vote by all the people. We need to fix our constitution to block unethical practices that are allowed to exist just because there is no rule against it.

In matters affecting the people, it rests in our hands to stand up and speak up. In relation to the quote at the top by Chahta WWII Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, the late Harry Hill  Its time we all start doing a little walking, reading and researching our true history, not the myths we have been led to believe. It is how we will empower ourselves as a people!

Tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 29th, the Chahta veterans for Chahta Civil Rights is asking Chahta's to meet in Durant to sign a petition to have a public forum at the next council meeting in Tushkahoma. The time everyone is asked to convene in Durant is 4-6 PM at529 N. 16th Ave., across from the offices of the Choctaw Nation. If you are on Facebook, you can find their event page here: Chahta Veterans for Chahta Civil Rights: Petition the Council.

Eaglemanz: Chahta Nation, will do a live blogtalkradio broadcast from this location. Come and represent to have your voice heard!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Your Opportunity to Change the Lives Of Our People

Halito Chahta Family,
“I want to become the number one employer in Oklahoma and love for the Choctaw Nation to become world renown in the future, said Gary Batton”.
This is a quote from our new Miko.  I respectfully say, number one employer of whom?  World renown to whom?  Love for the Choctaw Nation by whom?  This can’t be directed to us, the Chahta people?  I don’t know about you, my brothers and sisters but I don’t want the world to “love” the Chahta.  I would rather have freedom to vote, freedom to run for election, freedom to work and prosper without henchmen to tear down signs, to intimidate and pay voters, to pistol whip candidates at our annual gathering. I want a workplace that doesn’t see the Chahta as stupid or threatening to those non-Chahta in power.  I want our Chahta people to be informed of the true goings on within our government, I want those Chahta who have left our land boundaries to have incentives to come home or at least know that their sisters and brothers welcome their input on tribal affairs.  I want candidates to not have to be wealthy to run for office.  I want our tribal paper to present both sides of the story and hold accountable our leaders.  We all know what I want.  I have written about it over and over.  I have also prayed to our Creator God for relief from the tyranny and embarrassment of our Chahta government.

Now, I once again respectfully request you read the following letter from attorney and Chahta tribal member, Kalyn Free requesting the desperately needed changes required to truly give our people the freedom we not only deserve but are entitled to as Chahta people. To find out how to sign this petition please see Ms. Free’s email address listed at the bottom of the last page.  It’s not requested as a favor it’s requested because for the first time in forty plus years you may actually have a say in the future leadership of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Please pay special attention to the “CC” at the bottom of the letter.
I hope this is the Miko who will change our decades long history of being one of the most oppressed and violently controlled tribes in the United States.  We will see…
CW

KALYN FREE
ATTORNEY AT LAW

May 1, 2014

Principal Chief Gary Batton Assistant Chief Jack Austin, Jr Speaker Delton Cox & Tribal Council
PO Box 1210 Durant, OK 74701

Dear Chief Batton, Assistant Chief Austin, Speaker Cox and Councilors:
This is an historic opportunity for the Choctaw Nation and our people. As we enter this unprecedented time in our nation’s history, my hope is for this new administration to be imbued with the wisdom, integrity and compassion of those who came before us. My prayer is that you, our elected and appointed leaders, will find it in your hearts to embrace the Choctaw people, to engage with us and to welcome participation in our government.

I listened intently to Chief Batton’s inaugural address and his closing words to always “do what is best for the Choctaw people” brought hope to my heart. This chief and council have the ability to right the wrongs of the past and to chart a new and promising course for the future of our great Nation.

During the course of my career, I have been particularly blessed to have traveled extensively throughout Indian Country, having visited almost every reservation in the lower 48. Literally hundreds of times over the years, when people learn that I am a proud citizen of the Choctaw Nation, I have heard remarks of “Oh yes, that’s the tribe that doesn’t have real elections”; “that’s the tribe that is ruled by a dictator”; “that’s the tribe that appoints their chiefs”; “that’s the tribe that won’t let their people participate in elections”; “that’s the tribe that won’t let candidates communicate with the voters.”

Most of Indian Country and engaged people in the state of Oklahoma are fully aware that the past two chiefs, both of whom ascended to office by virtue of appointment, Greg Pyle and Hollis Roberts, adamantly opposed fair elections and the release of contact information for Choctaw voters. In fact, since our removal to Oklahoma, we have only had one chief, C. David Gardner, elected by the people when he took the oath of office as Principal Chief.

Countless Choctaws are cautiously optimistic that Chief Batton and the Tribal Council will reverse this medieval position and release the voter lists so Choctaw citizens can be fully informed, communicate with one another, participate in the electoral process, have a true voice in tribal government and move our Nation forward.

Some tribal councilors and the Choctaw Nation Registration department have told me that the Election Board “does not meet until shortly before an election is called.” In other tribal governments, the requests below would be made to the election board or commission. However, Article IX Section 5 of our Constitution fully empowers the Council to prescribe election procedures and regulations. Given the unique nature and composition of the Election Board, coupled with the Tribal Council’s history on these issues and the timing restraints, I am requesting this information and cooperation from the Chief and Tribal Council.

Article XVI of the Choctaw Constitution sets forth specific procedures for our citizens to propose legislation through the Initiative and Referendum process. Section 1 of this Article mandates stringent timelines on the filing of petitions and the timing of special elections, which must be called if the petition is filed more than a year before the next chief s election.

Article XVIII Section 1 of the Constitution mandates that amendments to our Constitution may be proposed by the Tribal Council or by the filing of a petition signed by the requisite 30 percent of the voters who voted in the last chief s election, which was the 1999 election.

In order to propose legislation or amendments to the constitution a citizen must know certain factual information that is not publicly available and which only the Nation maintains records of.

Thus, I am requesting the following information:

1. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over
2. Total Number of registered voters
3. Total Number of Choctaws in each county in Oklahoma
4. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over in each county in Oklahoma
5. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over in each state
6. Total Number of registered voters in each state
7. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over with valid addresses
8. Total Number of Choctaws aged 18 and over with invalid addresses
9. Total Number of registered voters with valid addresses

10. Total Number of registered voters with invalid addresses
11. Total Number of voters who voted in the 1999 chief s election
12. Tabulated results of the 1999 chief s election; specifically, the total votes received by each candidate
13. Total votes received in each precinct by each candidate in the 1999 chief s election
14. Total votes received by each candidate by absentee ballot in the 1999 chief s election
15. If absentee ballots were segregated in the 1999 chief s election, I am requesting the total absentee votes received by each candidate by voters residing within the Choctaw Nation
16. Tabulated results of the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011tribal council elections 17. The names of all candidates who appeared on the ballot in the elections
referenced in #16 above and the results for each candidate by precinct and the number of absentee ballots cast for each candidate
18. A list of voters who voted by absentee in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
19. A list of voters, including names and addresses, who voted by absentee in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
20. A list of voters who voted in person in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
21. A list of voters, including names and addresses, who voted in person in the 1999 chief s election and/or any of the subsequent tribal council elections, which include 2003, 2007 and 2011
22. A list of registered voters, including names and addresses, eligible to vote in tribal elections; please segregate this list by valid and invalid addresses
23. Total number of households the Biskinik is delivered to; it has been rumored that this number is 80,243
24. A list of all Choctaws who receive the Biskinik
25. A list of all Choctaws with complete mailing address who receive the Biskinik
26. Election Procedures or Ordinance that the Tribal Council contends are effective and will govern a special election and/or the 2015 chief and tribal council elections.

 

If the Tribal Council maintains that the Election Ordinance, referenced in # 26 above and currently displayed on the Nation’s website, is in effect and controlling, please provide documentary evidence that this Election Ordinance was approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If there is a different set of election procedures, other than those currently on the Nation’s website, that the Council contends will govern special elections and the 2015 chief and tribal council elections, please provide those.

Article V, Section 1 of the Election Ordinance, which appears on the Nation’s website, purports to fully empower the Election Board with the authority to determine the date of the 2015 election, subject to approval by the chief and tribal council. Assuming only for this limited purpose that the referenced Election Ordinance is valid, please advise as to the month and year the Election Board and/or the Tribal Council intends to hold the next chief and council elections.

While I have faith that a majority of the Tribal Council will ultimately do the right thing and enact a new Election Ordinance that provides for full and open participation by all Choctaws, I recognize that this will take some time. Thus, during the interim, I am requesting a list of names of all Choctaws who have voted in every election including and since 1999. The Election Ordinance provides at Article VIII, Sections 1and 2 that any candidate who has filed for office, upon request, will be provided a list of the registered voters in each district. The incumbent tribal councilors, some of which have served more than two and three decades, have each had multiple opportunities to acquire and refine said lists. Thus, immediately releasing only the voters’ names to allow the citizenry to participate in the Initiative, Referendum and Petition process is only a small first step in allowing Choctaws to exercise our constitutional rights.

Because the Election Board is not available, I am asking the Chief and/or Council to designate an office or person(s) that I can communicate with and that can assemble the information I have requested. Clearly, there are certain parts of my request that should not be controversial and I am hopeful that I can get responses to these requests quickly. The requests that I believe can be quickly responded to are: ## 1- 14, 16, 17, and 23.

If the requested information is available in an electronic format, please provide it in the same format. For example, lists of citizens and voters are maintained in a digital format and thus are requested in this medium. Other documents, such as election results may be maintained in “hard copies” or pdfs. To the extent possible that these documents can be scanned and sent electronically, I am requesting this be done.
I will gladly pay for any research, scanning, copying or labor costs associated with fulfilling this request. I will be happy to travel to Durant and review records from our previous elections that are publicly available and make my own copies or designate for your staff which documents I wish to copy. If you have any questions about my request or wish to discuss this matter, please call me at 918.916.0716 or email me at kalyn@kalynfree.com.

In closing, Chief Batton I believed you when you said you want to do “what is best for the Choctaw people” and thus pray that you will lead by example and support the Council in their efforts to have a transparent and fair election process. My hope is that each of you will listen to your hearts, your people and pray on these things. If I may ever be of service to each of you or the Choctaw people, please call on me.

Yakoke,
(Kalyn Free)

cc: DOI Solicitor General Hilary Tompkins
      Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn
      BIA Area Director Bob Impson

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Liberation Day: Wounded Knee 1973



Bobby Onco (1950 - 2014) Wounded Knee 1973


Forty-one years ago tonight, the Elders said NO MORE! Thus began the siege at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Many of us know the history, we know the people who were there and we know that this was the moment necessity brought the people to. The occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC in Nov. 1972 was the fuse being lit to an explosive and deadly confrontation between Native people and the federal forces of the United States Government. It was a time when America realized that John Wayne had failed to kill us all in his Hollywood movies!
I was 12 years old when the Trail of Broken Treaties converged on DC, and when they went under cover of night and secured Wounded Knee, just a few weeks after the Custer Courthouse riot.  The narrative is best told by Carter Camp, who joined the ancestors a few months ago and is being honored this evening in Manderson, Pine Ridge Reservation:

Ah-ho, My Relations,
I ask you to remember that our reasons for going to Wounded Knee still exist and that means the need for struggle and resistance also still exist. Our land and sacred sites are threatened as never before. Even our sacred Mother herself is faced with unnatural warming caused by extreme greed.
In some areas of conflict between our people and those we signed treaties with, it is best to negotiate or "work within the system." But, because our struggle is one of survival, there are also times when a warrior must stand fast even at the risk of one's life. I believed that in 1973 when I was 30 and I believe it today at 70. But to me Wounded Knee '73 was really not about the fight, it was about the strong statement that our traditional way of living in this world is not about to disappear and our people are not a "vanishing race" as wasicu (white) education would have you believe. As time has passed and I see so many of our young people taking part in a traditional way of living and believing, I know our fight was worth it and those we lost for our movement died worthy deaths. [...]
Today is heavy with prayer and reminiscence for me. Not only are those who walk for the Yellowstone Buffalo reaching their destination, today is the anniversary of the night when, at the direction of the Oglala Chiefs, I went with a special squad of warriors to liberate Wounded Knee in advance of the main AIM caravan.
For security reasons the people had been told everyone was going to a meeting/wacipi in Porcupine, the road goes through Wounded Knee. When the People arrived at the Trading Post we had already set up a perimeter, taken 11 hostages, run the BIA cops out of town, cut most phone lines, and begun 73 days of the best, most free time of my life. The honor of being chosen to go first still lives strong in my heart.
That night we had no idea what fate awaited us. It was a cold night with not much moonlight,  I clearly remember the nervous anticipation I felt as we drove the back way from Oglala into Wounded Knee. The Chiefs had tasked me with a mission and we were sworn to succeed, of that I was sure, but I couldn't help wondering if we were prepared. The FBI, BIA and marshalls had fortified Pine Ridge with machine-gun bunkers and armored personnel carriers with M-60s. They had unleashed the GOON squad [Dick Wilson's Guardians of the Oglala Nation] on the people and a reign of terror had begun. We knew we had to fight, but we could not fight onwasicu terms. We were lightly armed and dependent on the weapons and ammo inside the Wounded Knee trading post, I worried that we would not get to them before the shooting started.
As we stared silently into the darkness driving into the hamlet, I tried to foresee what opposition we would encounter and how to neutralize it. We were approaching a sacred place and each of us knew it. We could feel it deep inside. As a warrior leading warriors I humbly prayed to Wakonda for the lives of all and the wisdom to do things right. Never before or since have I offered my tobacco with such a plea or put on my feathers with such purpose. It was the birth of the Independent Oglala Nation.
Things went well for us that night, we accomplished our task without loss of life. Then, in the cold darkness as we waited for Dennis and Russ to bring in the caravan (or for the fight to start), I stood on the bank of the shallow ravine where our people had been murdered by the 7th Cavalry [in 1890]. There I prayed for the defenseless ones, torn apart by Hotchkiss cannons and trampled under hooves of steel by drunken wasicu. I could feel the touch of their spirits as I eased quietly into the gully and stood silently, waiting for my future, touching my past.
Finally, I bent over and picked a sprig of sage — whose ancestors in 1890 had been nourished by the blood of Red babies, ripped from their mothers' dying grasp and bayoneted by the evil ones. As I washed myself with that sacred herb, I became cold in my determination and cleansed of fear. I looked for Big Foot and YellowBird in the darkness and I said aloud:
"We are back, my relations, we are home."

The government hated that Native people found the perseverance to stand up for their rights and lashed back with corrupt criminal investigations and divisive tactics through the US Attorney Generals office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Examples were made of several Native people who dared to speak up, but the movement had already started and advances have been made, which is eloquently stated by Janet McCloud:
Before the organization of the American Indian Movement in the 1970s, Indian reservations and urban Indian communities were pockets of poverty.
In some areas there was no employment for any Indians; average unemployment was 80%.
The infant mortality rate was one of the highest in the world, and diseases attributable to starvation and severe malnutrition were epidemic.
The average life span for all Indians was 42 years.
Large extended families lived in one room shacks and in abandoned, wrecked cars. Most Native Americans depended upon their two feet for transportation.
Health care for Indians would more properly be called health brutality. Indians were often used as human guinea pigs for abominable experiments.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs had total control over all Indians, their land, rights and resources, and it was open season for all exploiters. For a minimum fee the BIA had a green light to do any type of damage to Indians or take everything that Indians owned.
No rights were respected or defended — not human, treaty, civil, constitutional or an Indian's right arm.
AIM sacrifices The struggle of the American Indian Movement to create positive social changes for their people is well known, but not the sacrifices they made.
Some of these unsung warriors made the supreme sacrifice; they lie in unmarked, untended graves across the land. Many others sit forgotten in dingy prison cells. Yet all Indians benefit from these sacrifices.
There were and are other organized resistance groups of Indian people, like the Red Power movement of young college educated Indians who created a movement philosophy, and the fishing rights activists of the Northwest who organized an effective resistance to protect the aboriginal rights of Indian people. But the American Indian Movement was unique, for it was nationally organized and internationally known.
AIM's brave and daring efforts to uplift the lives of their people, to challenge a powerfully hostile enemy, and to promote a better social order for all Indian people, inspired not only their own people but the oppressed and downtrodden of the world. AIM became heroes for the North Vietnamese, the IRA of Ireland, the peasants of southern France, the aboriginal peoples of Australia and Africa. The entire world knew and admired AIM.
The greatest beneficiaries of the American Indian Movement are the tribal council leaders, who are quick to seize the opportunities created by the movement, and to claim unwarranted credit for the positive social changes won for Indian people. Tribal officials often hate and renounce AIM, and the BIA and FBI can always call on the worst of these tribal leaders to slander the AIM leadership.
Today, the beneficiaries of the movement live in new homes, drive cars, live longer, have better health, are better educated, have good-paying jobs, and much more. But AIM leaders are recipients of vicious, slanderous poison from the ungrateful and jealous-hearted.
Few will acknowledge that real change only began to take place across this land after the tremendous sacrifices of the young warriors of the American Indian people.
Where are the tribal leaders who take the credit for all the positive changes in Indian country? Back in Washington, D.C. fighting for more program monies, smoke shops and gambling or liquor licenses.
The American Indian Movement supports the efforts of all the tribal leaders and programs that genuinely promote the health, education and welfare of Indian people. Neither AIM nor any other organized resistance movement of Indian people begrudges one benefit their people receive; they rejoice at all improvements, for this was what they fought for. But the warriors never grabbed the benefits for themselves, and the few who did were never true movement people.
That is how you tell the difference between leaders and opportunists.
Bureaucrats and sorcerers. The tribal leaders and others who denounce AIM justify their base actions by pointing out the human weaknesses of individual AIM leaders or warriors, with never a glance at their own. Individuals, unfortunately, do have weaknesses. But the survival of Indian Nations and sovereignty does not rest upon the shoulders of anyone man or woman, no matter how strong.
Indian people are in real need of effective social service programs. Four hundred years of abuse at the hands of European immigrants have left deep scars on Indians. It will take many years and many more dollars to improve the lifestyle of Indian people. Yet racists expect change overnight and clamor for an end to tax dollars spent to rectify the atrocities committed against Indian people.
Indian people with dedication and expertise are generally considered a threat by despotic tribal leaders. If they do not silently walk the sacred "program guidelines," they soon find themselves standing in long unemployment lines. The potentially good social service programs are constipated with bureaucratic red tape from D.C., which protects tribal leaders in all their outrageous acts against their people; the FBI and BIA are quick to come to the defense of the tribal bureaucrats.
And who protects the Indian people now that the FBI has almost destroyed the American Indian Movement? Nobody. Do tribal leaders who claim the credit for AIM's labors and sacrifices rush to protect and defend Indian people against the onslaughts they face today? If you call them for assistance or help, do they answer your calls? Do you get past their secretaries? Only rarely.
Our future as a distinct people in control of our destiny rests upon the strength of our collective unity and common purpose.
Indian people can disagree till doomsday about which defensive strategy is best, or whether we should even resist. If we continue to disagree on politics, policy and philosophy, and enter into destructive personality clashes, we will lose all. Our enemies never rest. They are ever unified around the purpose of achieving our total destruction.
A backlash is striking with deadly force, and without much opposition, at the most defenseless segments of Indian people. Our children in public schools are ganged up upon and beaten. Thousands are political prisoners in non-Indian foster homes. Indian women are being sterilized at an unprecedented rate. Racist courts overpopulate the prisons with Indian youth, where they are psychologically and physically brutalized and beaten, with no one to protect or defend them.
The American people themselves do not call the shots in this land. Policy and politicians are set and run by an international cartel of financiers, who constantly intrigue and plot for greater profit and control over the world's resources and human labor. Even the educational systems are set up to meet their needs for a never-ending supply of cheap, easy to control industrial slaves, cannon fodder and consumers. This master cult of financial sorcerers uses people as playthings and pits us one against another. We all end up the losers.
Remember our warriors. The war against Indian people and Nations is far from over. Indian people from Akwesasmi sit starving and freezing in ditches trying to protect their traditional chiefs and leaders from U.S.-puppet Indian leaders and the New York SWAT teams. The sacred Black Hills of the Sioux Nations are set to be exploited by uranium interests in 1980. Indian people from the Southwest are dying from low-level radiation poisoning. Indian children were still placed in foster homes in the International Year of the Child, and Indian clan-families are disappearing.
We need our warriors, and where are they? Dead in unmarked graves; in prisons; in hiding, pursued relentlessly by the FBI; or paroled to one county in one state, unable to travel or forbidden to talk for or about their people lest they be imprisoned again.
How many Indian people whose lives have improved remember our dead or imprisoned warriors?
Dead warriors
Tina Trudell and family
Anna Mae Aquash
Dallas Thundershield
Buddy Lamont
Pedro Bissonette
Hilda Red Bear
Richard Oakes
Raymond Yellow Thunder
Wesley Bad Heart Bull
Philip Celeay
Frank Clearwater
Clarence Cross
Maurice LeDeaux
Angelo Martinez
Joe Stuntz
Jimmy Little
Frank Condon
Byron DeSersa
George Gap
Hobart Horse
Sandra Wounded Foot, Jr.
Calvin George
Nelson Small Legs, Jr.
John Waubanascum
Arlin Pamanet
Baby Girl Yellow Bird
Jancita Eagle Deer
Robert Rosares
Tom Bad Cob, Sr.
Jeanette Bissonette
Richard Lee Lamont
Charley Killsree
Terry Williams
Filmore Stands
David Dobbs
Leon Gaze
Lloyd Broncheau
Political prisoners, Dec. 1979
Leonard Peltier
Rocque Duenas
Ted Means
Russell Means
Dennis Banks
Vance Yellowhand
Mary Settler
It is time Indian people, the beneficiaries of the American Indian Movement, took some time to count their blessings, to give credit where credit is due, to send a card and a few dollars for legal defense to the imprisoned warriors. An investment in them is an investment in the future.
Don't forget them. We may never see their like again.

I pray and feel confidant that this spirit will arise as the need calls for it. I only hope that we all remember the success'es as well as the excess'es of those times. It is a lesson for us to learn from and continue to grow so that one day, we may not observe a Liberation Day, but an Independence Day of our own.
This Sunday, March 2nd, join me on my show Eaglemanz: Chahta Nation as  we visit with some of the veterans of Wounded Knee.