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Report on Candidate Forum

Report on Candidate Forum

House & Senate Candidates address treaty issues
by Charmaine White Face

The Candidate Forum was held in the Hall at the Mother Butler Center, Rapid City. The Opening Prayer was given by Clifford White Eyes, Sicangu, followed by a prayer song sung by Tim White Face. Charmaine gave a welcome, brief opening remarks, and introduced Antoine Black Feather, Teton Sioux Nation Treaty delegate to the United Nations for the past 22 years. Mr. Black Feather spoke about his work and the current situation with the United States. His remarks were followed by Darrell Drapeau, Ihanktowan Treaty Committee Chairman who spoke about the 1851 Treaty and where they presently stand.

The Candidates were next given the floor to address the audience of about 75 people. Attending were Libertarian candidates: Bob Newland for Senate, and Terry Begay for the House. Benjamin Ready, attended as an aide for Republican House candidate Larry Diedrich and also took notes for Republican Senate candidate John Thune. The Panel members attending were: Darrell Drapeau; Harvey White Woman, Oglala; Shirley Marvin and Faith Taken Alive, Hunkpapa; and Janice Larson, Cul Wicasa. They were given the opportunity to give brief remarks followed by a discussion on various issues in the treaty territory.

This was an historic meeting as the treaty issue is never brought to the table by any of the candidates for the occupying government. The event was taped by Mike Kills Pretty Enemy, KLND Radio, McLaughlin, SD, which covers Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations. It will be broadcast this week. A number of print media writers were also present.

The meeting was followed by a traditional meal of dried buffalo soup, fry bread, and wojapi. A vegetarian bean soup was also available, cookies, cake, coffee, and lemonade. We are very grateful to all the participants, cooks, and others who helped set up and clean up the hall following the event. There were many comments of gratitude and also that it was a very good meeting.

Charmaine White Face, Coordinator
Defenders of the Black Hills

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