Home Campaigns International Work Press Release

Press Release

Tituwan Oyate

Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council

1315 E. St. Charles St., Rapid City SD 57701

Press Release
June 1, 2009

New York City, NY -- A delegation from the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council (TSNTC) flew out of New York City on May 30, 2009, after attending a two-week session at the United Nations. The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was in session. The delegation included Spokesperson Charmaine White Face, Janice Larson from Lower Brule, Clifford White Eyes Sr. from Rosebud, and Garvard Good Plume, Pine Ridge.
The Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council was established in 1893 by Chief He Dog specifically to uphold the terms of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Delegations from the TSNTC began their efforts in the United Nations in 1984 after exhausting all remedies in the United States. TSNTC delegations have attended most of the sessions of the Permanent Forum since the first session in 2001. This is the Eighth the Session.
The UN Permanent Forum provides an opportunity for the Nation States, who are members of the United Nations, to hear issues directly from Indigenous Nations and peoples. It also provides an opportunity to meet with officials of UN agencies and offices, and to meet and network with representatives of other Indigenous nations and peoples.

On the floor of the session, the TSNTC gave recommendations in two different presentations called interventions in the UN system. The first intervention was supported by the Ochapowace Cree Nation in Canada and the Lipon Apache Women's Defense from Texas. Supporters on the second intervention included the Ochapowace Nation (Canada), Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights - Canada, Indigenous Women's Network - Canada, and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

A consistent recommendation for many years from the TSNTC has been the need for an International process to mediate the upholding of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 made by the Great Sioux Nation with the United States. A similar recommendation was made by the Representative from Greece, Madame Erica Irene Daes, an expert on Indigenous Issues.
A second recommendation was for studies on the impacts of uranium mining on the entire environment of the Treaty Territory. The pollution and water runoff from the more than 1,000 abandoned uranium mines and prospects in the Territory, and the impacts to the groundwater caused by more than 10,000 uncapped and unfilled exploratory wells drilled 40-45 years ago must be investigated by objective investigators.
A third recommendation requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to do a study of the impacts on Indigenous Nations and Peoples of uranium mining, development, testing, wastes, and any other aspects of the nuclear industry. In the final hours of the Session, this third recommendation was approved by the 16 members of the Permanent Forum. This move greatly surprised the TSNTC delegation but they were extremely happy with this success.
In another action, the TSNTC also requested James Anaya, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples to come to the Treaty Territory to conduct an investigation into the Human Rights violations experienced by the people of the Great Sioux Nation. Further information regarding his possible visit will be made available at a later date.
Meetings are being planned for the delegation to give their reports, to celebrate the approval of the recommendation, and to plan for the World Health Organization visits.
For further information contact Charmaine White Face at xxx-399-1868, or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests