JANUARY 26, 1998
Office of the Vice-President
R Milo Yellowhair
OST COUNCIL ACKNOWLEDGES 1973
WOUNDED KNEE LIBERATION
PROTEST AS A NATIONAL
Pine Ridge Reservation - The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has passed the Wounded Knee 1973 Liberation Legislation which would formally acknowledge the protest as a National Day of Liberation for Indigenous Peoples and Declares Feb. 27, 1973 as a National Tribal Holiday.
At a Regular Council meeting held in the Allen Community on the Pine Ridge Reservation on Jan 22 1998, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council passed legislation Acknowledging the Wounded Knee "Liberation" as a historic and cultural event which brought attention to Indian issues and Indian sovereignty throughout North America.
Written by the Lakota Student Alliance (Pine Ridge Reservation Student Organization which addresses Indian issues) and the National office of the American Indian Movement, the Resolution was voted 15 Yes and 1 No, and 1 not voting, of thc total 17 Tribal council members voting. Wakpamni district council man Tom Conroy, stood firmly opposed to the legislation and motioned to table the resolution. Conroy explained that he "received phone calls" from people who opposed the resolution. "We don't want the old conflicts here to to resurface," Conroy told the crowd.
Responding to Council man Conroys suggestions of another civil conflict resurfacing on the reservation, Chairman John Yellowbird Steele calmly reassured Conroy that Wounded Knee 1973 would not reoccur, "Wounded Knee 1973 will not happen again to our people," he said, "there's more important issues to confront in Washington DC, we must heal, we are on a different road now."
Despite the highly publicized events which occurred in the 1970s on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the tribal resolution acknowledged the critical events as being truly a part of Pine Ridge Reservation History. Cornell Conroy. a teacher at the Allen Day School encouraged council members toward favoring the resolution because it has historical value for Indian people. adding that the legislation should be implemented in all tribal schools.
Chairman Steele said the tribal holiday clause will be submitted to the personnel office, then written into Ordinance documents and Inserted into the OST Policy and Procedures manual.
Marking the day February 27, 1998 as the twenty fifth anniversary of the Wounded Knee Liberation, the Lakota Student Alliance is assisting tribal members in coordination for a two day event which will take place on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Events scheduled will include a reenactment of the original air drop made by Bill Zimmerman in 1973, a Sacred Run from Calico to Wounded Knee SD, 4 directional walks, horse riders and caravans will enjoin at the Wounded Knee site. A Muscical Tribute to the Elders and Youth is also scheduled for the two day events, featuring Indigenous, Floyd Red Crow Westerman,, Margo Thunderbird, Native Rapper "Red Soul", Jim Page and more. The Grand Governing council of the American Indian Movement will meet to discuss preliminary drafting of a "State of Indian America" Declaration following an Educational Symposium sponsored by Lakota Student Alliance and Little Wound School.
Wounded Knee 1973 _ A Commemoration
First Nations Cumulative Index
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