Good News!  Uranium Company ordered to vacate Lakota lands in South Dakota.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kent Lebsock []
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 6:34 AM
To: Kent Lebsock
Subject: Lakota Land Victory


(From Owe Aku International Human Rights and Justice Program, New York City)
As explained in the following article, Owe Aku, a grass roots Lakota
organization, just utilized the principle of free, prior and informed
consent as set forth in the recently passed United Nations Declaration on
the Rights of the World's Indigenous Peoples.  Plaintiffs, including Owe Aku
and the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, argued that a third-party
corporation could not come to the reservation for the purpose of uranium
exploration without following established procedure and without providing
adequate information thereby violating the principle of "free, prior and
informed consent" as set forth in the Declaration on Indigenous rights.
Does this mean that the Declaration may now be used as defacto precedence in
Oglala Lakota tribal court?

Two weeks ago, members of Owe Aku's leadership team were in New York
presenting a documentary film called Standing Silent Nation on their
struggle to develop industrial hemp on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota
reservation.  The New York trip was right in the middle of the uranium court
case.  Nonetheless they took the time to bring their efforts on a different
issue to the people of New York.  Production of industrial hemp would have
been a solution to the overwhelming poverty and environmental degradation
created by most industries in the region.  So of course, the federal
government put a stop to that.  The Monday after the New York trip, Owe Aku
was back on Lakota treaty territory taking on a mining company and, on
Tuesday, WINNING.

Owe Aku has had a long term, multi-phases action and education campaign in
place to stop uranium mining in and around Lakota treaty territory for the
past several years.  This has included extensive research on the process of
uranium mining, the environmental and health effects, the direct effects on
Pine Ridge and the possibility for oppositional coalitions.  Earlier this
year though a uranium mining company calling itself (for no apparent reason)
Native American Energy Group ("NAEG") descended on Pine Ridge and, through
deceit and less than ethical maneuvering, started taking steps to expand
uranium mining within reservation borders.

Owe Aku took immediate action, going door-to-door on the reservation
educating the people about uranium mining, and eventually filing an action
in tribal court.  Unlike NAEG, Owe Aku was not represented by attorneys but,
as is the case with all our work, was represented by our own members.  In
this case, our Executive Director Debra White Plume, often found herself
examining witnesses and testifying.  Given the Court's ruling, an excellent
job was done using tribal and treaty law, as well as some international

The mission of Owe Aku is to preserve, restore and revive traditional Lakota
values.  Owe Aku's efforts are focused at the most basic grassroots level in
order to create real change - both in our people's lives and in the world
around us.  Throughout our work, our goal is to find positive solutions to
economies and societies based solely on consumption and exploitation of
people and resources.


Pine Ridge, SD.  On October 29, OST Chief Judge Lisa Adams issued an
exclusion order to remove the Native American Energy Group (N.A.E.G.) from
the Pine Ridge reservation, declaring that the company has been trespassing
on tribal lands. The finding gave NAEG 30 days to vacate the reservation.

The Judge also noted that N.A.E.G. ignored a tribal resolution that accepted
the OST Environmental Technical Team's recommendation that the Tribe not
enter into any working relationship with N.A.E.G.  Further, the order stated
that OST Member, Eileen Janis, failed to inform N.A.E.G. about OST
ordinances prohibiting exploration and mining for uranium.

Plaintiffs in the case, Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council (Oglala
Delegation) and Owe Aku, were  pleased with the exclusion order.  "Judge
Adams showed great respect for the Treaty Council during this hearing.
However, we must update the language in our outdated Tribal Law and Order
Code to combat new mining and exploration techniques.  N.A.E.G. is gone, but
they could try and return in another form and there are many other companies
out there that will try to bribe their way onto our homeland," stated Floyd
Hand, Treaty Council delegate.

N.A.E.G., a New York-based oil/gas/mining company, approached OST tribal
officials in early 2007 with a written proposal to embark on a multi-phase
plan to mine uranium on the reservation.   Once this proposal was disclosed
to the public, tribal members expressed outrage that a mining company had
been on the reservation for so many months without following protocol.  The
Treaty Council, along with Owe Aku, a non-profit environmental activism
group, took action and filed a motion in early September, to exclude the
company from Pine Ridge.

"The Pine Ridge Reservation and 1868 Ft Laramie Treaty Territory has been
declared a nuclear free zone by both the Tribal Government and the Treaty
Council. The court action brought by Owe Aku and the Treaty Council to stop
this company from desecrating our sacred Mother Earth has been decided in
our favor. It has been a challenging experience to fight an energy company,
but worth the effort to protect our Treaty Territory. Companies who come to
our land need to come with full disclosure of their intentions to do
business with our people, our leaders need to enforce such a policy so we
are not faced with a similar situation in the future," said Debra White
Plume of Owe Aku.

Kent Lebsock, Director of Program
Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way
International Human Rights & Justice Project
Pine Ridge and New York

Kent Lebsock
Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way)
International Justice & Human Rights Project

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