The road to Wounded Knee I: conditions at Pine Ridge (Part 1 of 5); The road to Wounded Knee
And every night every great. Caution and Mary having seen action. I am. A. Friend.
Camera. And national ring of fire. I am Karen. Kraushaar.
At half time out of. Fashion. I think after that it.
Could mean I have to lay down. Their name and I. Can be there. When in 1890. My grandmother drove me whenever my grandmother told me that. That was what they did. They drove them could they were going to go get something that they were good. They were on time and nobody. In their mind they took after. My. Needle. They took everything away from them and then shot them down. When you had that it here. As grandparents told us what it appeared they went. Through the same gully that our ancestors went through. Our people are sleeping around there today. This is what happened in 1890. The way my grandma did when we went who got great reviews. Kalma did for the way we ran in the direction we could to avoid getting hit from that. And now it could be another generation growing through the same thing and that and there were good fish OK. They laid down you had good command you think were going to be. America's good.
Friends and we're now. Just said. That's. That's.
That's. That's. That's the list.
I was brought up in the mess literally. Since I was. I wasn't born I was actually welcome to born to this earth and. I was a brutal man. But with all this power. Source first around I think I thought this power was going to done me. Good. To my family. So I have a machine that when I run. On the common stop and think. That then. I was thinking for my people for my red man. Who what I am what I am what I have I put it away and what the power had been given to me I must use it for the Indian people. That's right.
Good evening this is Lori Samson. You will hear the story of conditions on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The activities of the electorate. Tribal leader Richard Wilson which have led to the impeachment proceedings by petition on the part of the reservation residents and a view of what it's like to be an Indian on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
To. Remove the American people do no good.
But remember. The bollards tonight we got murdered by like what happened. What this is going to be the last time. Things power that we're going to have. They're going to come so this world will have some earthquakes. And the Dead Know That. There's no such thing Marshall can stop don't care how much Duke Rosen got the law to stop or think that it was good that mother is going to change she's going to change. And there is going to be some tornadoes. In question when he was going to come through here from the west from the south. So at the time my Indian people has to prepare themselves. In the end. That the time to prepare himself.
My God we trust that money. Is God. For me and then again he killed his own Jesus Christ. For. His life for not trying to make me and grabbing to kill his Jesus Christ but we got our Jesus Christ the promises that the Great Spirit gave us miss to have that.
We're not authorities put in the same position as his then 1891 movie masters because they slow down the earth. We're going to maintain its position. Recently Murray said the reason the government hires you. In a fight in the search is if Russell meaningless and go she will make him feel on the issues of Lois's right. Wow. If. It's. True I am.
Under the Indian wrist Reorganization Act of 1934 tribal councils were set up on Indian reservations to deal with tribal business such as leasing tribal lands on the reservation. The Tribal Councils are supposed to be modeled democracies for the governing of the reservations and they receive their authority from the be-I eg. The Pine Ridge Reservation tribal council has 20 members. Nine of the tribal council members have refused to attend council meetings called by Richard Wilson after an unsuccessful attempt was made in January 2010 Wilson through the legal process of the tribal council. Fourteen council members must be present at a meeting in order for the council to legally pass any resolutions. So the tribal council at Pine Ridge has effectively stop supporting or legitimizing the power of Richard Wilson at Pine Ridge. Mildred Gallegos who is treasurer treasurer of the Rapid City chapter of the American Indian movement grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. She describes the tribal council under Richard Wilson and the way he exercises authority on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
There has never been any credible CUMPLE like well. And he is going to work in this tribal council I think is to be a dictator.
And he's cracking it would just go but too much they said.
Richard Wilson is to be suspended for 20 days until the hearing of the biggest complaint. And no when they when they these people Baghdad that complains one of them made a motion and the other one second it. So that was in effect now. So he was automatically suspended for 20 days. He stood up to the end and he said he said I see 10 days I need and he said I suspend Dave Long and Oberg piece after he got up from the chair. Then he didn't have no power really but. But he made a suspension after he stood to the side and that went into effect.
Those people just don't have a car sitting there. It's hard and full.
Hours yet they had elected a man from the audience to be at camp or chairman and he stood right behind this man that was elected temporary chairman and he were kept whispering he's telling dictate it through here to the board.
This was not my daughter was pretty wrong in to hear about this impeachment and I wish there was some news or a reporter there you know that could have took a picture of what don't prove being worth a bob. And let the public know because we're richer growth and the most standing here's a goon squads were standing behind him and around him was a be I a pollie. He had double security. The Goon Squad is composed of young kids.
Well some of them are into the red.
But they're daring and those are his own personal bodyguard and from what they see he's paying them $2 an hour. That this money is you know taken out of programs here and there are few babies and these goons and he keeps an M.A. death so they're drunk enough that they're gay don't care what they do or who they attack.
This morning I called is Lady right now.
And that man has some of that man had tribal with or we'll that's run by the tribe. And me i.e. Andy's man very scared to death that they're going to leave her jabs done for us but they can't get out and say OK we're going to support you. So it's the women that's doing their supporting. When you are going to have a tribal meeting an emergency meeting I was supposed to speak the 13th she said when she was going to do it he was going to have this credible meeting for this rise of a resolution to be passed the tribal council didn't want to gather.
They didn't want to back him so he had to be a police go out to round them up and bring them into and so you can have a corm to run here. His council but still at that there was this one guy from Wanblee he's a representative from the normally district. The police brought him to the tribal meeting the police cars stopped so he got off and looked around and over at the store and there was a cart scar NEP. He looked over and he got in that car when he got in the car. Probably this person was going back to YOUR MONEY. So he got in that car and he left. So if they had hung on to this guy that was left formally he might have had a Corm. But when he left that left him without a quorum but still he passed a resolution which is illegal if it has to take violence to open the eyes of the public. I said that's going to be.
And these people really need.
I don't think would really do anything violent as to showing a thing like that but they opened the eyes of the world that here is a group of Brandon's outrated to lay down their lives for what they want. So I said we're used to it. So both survived. We might not have coffee but there is trees along the creek that we can Malcolm vibe off and get the inner lining of it and make tea. That's one way we can live such things as this day and it will still survive through all the torture that they're giving there and if we can't then people in Washington will open up their eyes and ears and hear as I have all I said and then as far as a chance to be heard. But no everybody plug their ears to it and grandchildren my children should have a better way of life.
GRAHAM The government is the way I look at it because I mean your impression for Miss Gallegos goes on to explain why the people at Wounded Knee be fused to agree to the demands of the United States government.
Good man will have to lay down their arms and their name and address.
Who's going to be that foolish when in 1890. My grandmother told me one of my grandmothers told me that that was what they did they told em to. They were just doing a ghost and get something that they believed in them aren't harming nobody. And then when they took all our guns joy packs and I even needles. They took everything away from them and shot them down.
We've had that experience our grandparents told us what experiences they went through there through the same gullies that our ancestors went through. Our people are sneaking around there today. This is what happened in 1890. The way my grandmother when we went to that place he used to tell me this is the way we eat. We ran in this is the direction we took to avoid getting hit in this and that and now today another generation is going through the same thing and that and those are official saying Lay down your guns and C'mon you think we're going to be foolish enough to do it. They're crazy we're not.
But it's been. There. But it's going to be here.
And this is a treaty of 1868. This is one of the treaty books and.
It tells what they were going to do in this matter. It's just more it's just as worthless as the paper it's written on and these treaties are just as ragged as it looks to be if they ever P.S. they're going pay is for what it was worth in 1868 and so I said well let's let's deal with it with the government as a debt we don't want the money and we'll take the land back in this one white man said.
All these years I'm oh I've I work so hard to build a sloth girl what am I going to do. So I said take it with you. I said we don't need historians that will live off the land so simply can't store and get out. Richard Wilson said that right now for our five came together in a place but what polices can come and break it up or arrest us if we try to assemble. And in that Indian civil rights handbook it tells us there is freedom of assembly. But did go through doesn't believe that.
If it works out well for them it would better be a better life for all Indians because they can have the Kurds when they want to and they can have jobs and programs that they want.
Like this one group was telling me that they got a title 7 and I had some kind of an Indian culture program that they work so hard for and got it and Wilson found out that they were funded so he goes over there and he said and name any program he said that comes to this reservation has to be run by me so they said we send in our proposal and theirs and we got one dead. And they said We're doing real good news and you can order dire books. He said no he said. It's not recognized he said and I want that. That program has to run under me or nobody.
My niece was in that so she's something like me she's not afraid to speak so I guess she went a few rounds with him and she lost out. So he took the program away from them. Now things like this he has been doing to the Indian people.
And another thing that he had splattered all over that one of the journals was that no charger will be recognized on a reservation like out here.
Every organization we belong to every organization we start we get a charter to address space to be recognized. But on the reservation he said no charter will be recognized for any organization. He's got power. Like I said as far back as I can remember there was some tribal leaders in there that didn't know I'd say that they couldn't speak the English language very good.
But still they had a way about them were the people so that they kept they held the people together. And there was no fighting. Like what is going on today. And for that reason I say this is the worst tribal council that was formed.
Not a whole lot is known about Richard Wilson the president of the tribal council on Pine Ridge. To our knowledge he has never consented to a let lengthy interview with members of the press. His position as a resident of the prime Ridge Reservation is a privileged one he owns along with his mother a motel on the reservation. There are very few businesses on the reservation and those that are privately owned are owned by whites who are there through the special permission from the. Richard Wilson was elected to the tribal council in 1070 even before that he exercised considerable control at the reservation.
It's Gallegos describe some of the activities of Richard Wilson before he was elected to the tribal council in 1968 or 69 when comparing recruiting every August. And all the money that they collected there. It used to be a tradition that when they had to Sundance people just went in and you know that's a religious ceremony. So while they were dancing anybody has the same belly with them would pray along with them while they're dancing and that was something real for us. People that believe in our Indian religion but some of these people can put it on like a show and try to get people so money to get in there well this went on during those days and I forgot how many they said they collected during that day. Well in a way Robert most roadkill near and Richard Wilson then away with all that money and so they go come to federal court.
I think they don't come to Sioux Falls.
And after that whatever happened there I forgot that part. But Richard Wilson disappeared out of the picture then. And the last we heard of him he was in Arizona I think or was that Oklahoma came back.
It was in Arizona and then he came back he came back and this is something that that people really made a mistake. But he was oh it was such a good guy.
He let his hair grow along you know and he was just another and then put it over on a beautiful front and made people believe that he changed.
But so they ran along and voted him in.
But every call won. One time they were trying to impeach.
Goldberg. I think from the tribal did he wear them.
Who is the head judge there and they were trying to impeach him. The tribal council was and they were serving from here to Haiti as to applying some criminal record on him.
And why don't they why doesn't that go forward at all from today. Her record against him going to federal court.
But even that they can do nothing.
Ramon Robideau is the lawyer who has been negotiating with the federal government on behalf of the American Indian Movement. He explains the historical president of the formation of the independent Oglala Nation and the failure of the re end of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to help Native Americans become self-sufficient. He also discusses the grievances against Richard Wilson.
They had the independent program of a nation is not a new thing. Many critics and many scholars have long recognized that Indian people have a have a form of sovereignty and they have a form of existence which is characterized by the fact that the government deals with them through the president's office as separate nations and as separate sovereignty. This was destroyed by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 in which all control over our destinies were taken away from us. And we've since that time been ripped off by these bureaucrats who go around and spend millions of dollars of the taxpayers money. To keep the Indians in continued bondage and keep them from exercising their peculiar status in this country I think the government has a great deal of guilt in this situation as evidenced by the over reaction that they've taken. By having the United States Marshals Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation come in with tanks and person armed personnel carriers and great numbers of men and or Indian police from all over the country to stifle and destroy this particular band of Indians under the guise of law and order and if you look at it and if you know enough about it you realize that all they're doing is protecting a very very corrupt bureaucracy that is sucking the life blood out of these Indian people and keeping them from taking their place alongside their right brothers as individuals. People with a form of sovereignty which they've always had under the treaties and people that should be respected for their identity as indeed people in this country and not try to make us white men which we don't want to be our particular situation here.
It's characterized by an unusual circumstance the treaty of 1868 with the Sioux Indian people are in the United States government made certain promises to us and under which the people live.
For a great many years until the advent of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act this act was the brainchild of John Collier and the actor purported to stop the alienation of trust land and give the Indian self government. Unfortunately it didn't give him some self-government because everything that was provided in the Agra subject to the approval of the secretary of the interior is authorized representative which did two things to imprison the people and take away their local self-government. One was the fact that by alienating the. By stopping the alienation of trust land they guaranteed their existence and their excuse for being on Indian reservations and the operation of the bureau through the Indian Reorganization Act effective rate kept the Indian people under their control through puppet tribal chairman through the use of. Money and other things that they used to keep the Indians in line. Now this particular system of government that was super imposed upon the Indians was not their government it was the Bureau of government aimed at controlling them. And of course for many years the aldermanic system such as this is operated fairly well because most of the members of the Council were full blooded Indians with little or no education and they did what they were told. But in recent years we have experienced the advent of a very dangerous thing and that's a tribal bureaucracy in which smart mixed bloods who. Superior at campaigning who are superior at getting votes in the ballot boxes are able to get themselves elected to office and they in turn become a bureaucracy in addition to the federal bureaucracy and these people because of the nature of the thing have been ripping off their own people. They've. Used tribal monies and national Tribal the National Association of tribal chairman. I believe they call it organized for the same purpose that the government gives them money to ride airplanes all over the country and gauging drinking parties and doing little or nothing for the vast bulk of the Indian people and on the reservations I'm south of there's too much temptation for graft and corruption and these smart mixed bloods work in conjunction with the cattlemen and other people who have an interest in tribal resources and take payments under the table and in general cooperate for their own benefit and those of their immediate family and friends to the exclusion of the great majority of the other Indian people. And the tribal police forest although in many cases there's a Bureau of Indian Affairs police force their bureau a lot of the tribal chairman to use this police force to oppress these people to intimidate them to harass them to beat up anyone that speaks up against the tribal organization so that we have a situation where our Indian people were completely helpless in the Pine Ridge situation the Wounded Knee people called upon the American Indian Movement to come in and help them because they were being beaten. Their attempts to initiate changes in their government under the existing system were ignored. Petitions were torn up people speaking against the government were beaten and harassed timid aided and so they called in to help them protect them selves from the Indian police force. The tribal bureau police force which was being used by the chairman to perpetuate itself is a political group and continue the ripoff of the Indian people. When Aime arrived on the reservation to help the Pine Ridge people the local police force which had been beefed up by the addition of some 73 untrained people who were given guns and nightsticks and badges and put on the tribal chairman police forest as his personal goon squad and this particular group of untrained officers. If you might call them that have been terrorizing the reservation. They fire bombed the home of the national communications director for the American Indian Movement. They have visited people at night police cars follow and harass the tribal councilman and the recent impeachment proceedings. Just scared him half to death so that they didn't dare vote against the constituted authority and they beat now people like the one Russel Means was in town in Pine Ridge he was beaten up severely as well as a Legal Aid person outright liar that was with the legal services on the Pine Ridge Reservation. They beat him up and the chairman Richard Wilson caught him on the street a short while afterwards and told him if he didn't believe he was going to kill me. All of these activities by the goon squad have been complained about by the Pine Ridge people but they refused to take their complaints. These threats to kill these beating these things that happened to them There are unable to find a judicial farm in order to put in their complaints and get some action taken on them. So which is another reason why they called aimed a common aim.
Merely went in in order to provide protection for the Wounded Knee people from the tribal police who are an arm of the bureaucratic government that were trying to displace and get this government back to the people. And there is no way other than the way it's being done on violence is to be a roaring right. In this case we've tried everything else and it's the only way to bring to the attention of the American people. Monstrous this bureaucracy really is and they're seeing they're seeing a situation where the government is using tremendous force in order to continue the oppression of these Indian people. And it's something that I agree with. The American people are in when they find out the true facts of this situation are going to rise up and it's going to be the end of that bureaucracy.
I've been asked my opinion as to what effect Wounded Knee is going to have on the rest of the country and the other Indian reservations. What we're been trying to convince the Interior Department and the Justice Department investigators that this is not an isolated instance of violence by a band or any gays. These are extremely dedicated and Indian people that are trying to get their government back and out of the hands of the federal government. And it's it's quite certain that this feeling is going to sweep the country and it is sweeping the country now and we're going to have more wounded and more wounded knees until the federal government.
Well except the fact that we're not going to take your credit paternalism and oppression anymore. Well the the outstanding fact about the Pine Ridge Reservation which is a condition that summer and all the other reservation is that the government has never really tried to make these people self-supporting. They do a lot of talking about it but they never put in enough money or anything to do it. I'd say that the unemployment rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is about 75 percent. And they jobs that there are concentrated in the immediate family and the friends of the present tribal chairman who really has done nothing for the vast poor people around the reservation and in many respects our faith in this thing is the fight of all poor people that the system is ignoring and neglecting and that the system is going to have to do something about our having a little difficulty convincing these government negotiators what this thing is all about.
They have the this law and order complex which of course put the United States government in the same condition it always is in in supporting a corrupt dictatorship because of their property interests on the earth and the particular area in this case on the reservation the jobs of these bureaucrats they're using tremendous amounts of force in order to protect that under the guise of law and order as law and order that's destroying freedom and justice for these Indian people but the American public don't realize this they're being sold a bill of goods by these people who are talking Ron Arthur. My particular role in the negotiations is as the attorney for the American Indian Movement who are here to help these local wounded people and my role is to get the government to somehow. Get this tribal police force in active so that it can't intimidate the Indian people so that they can come to some neutral forum to present their complaints about the the violations of the law engaged in by the government forces there. Firstly the tribal police and the goon squad and the tribal chairman. They've tried to file a complaint before and haven't been able to do it. And we're trying to convince the Justice Department that before they proceed on any alleged violations of law by name or any of the same people are the wounded the people that wounded me that they should first of all handle the complaints of these people against the authorities who've been violating the law with impunity.
That was Ramon Ribadu the lawyer who has been representing the American Indian Movement at Wounded Knee. Hobart Keith is a member of the Pine Ridge Tribal Council and he opposes Richard Wilson he explained some of the rules of the council and how he feels that Richard Wilson has abused his power.
Remember that. Were there any special meeting is called by that only the that is that we get only determine that maybe a duty to call the regular meeting 145 years virtually never going to marry me have never been higher than Paul.
Because he wants to keep the coffin out of the action as much as possible given the free reign to do it you damn pleasers as a paper Caesar a dictator.
I've never been jailer like he had had me arrested thinking that he had me in jail over the weekend earth in the crowd we could get somebody here and there and get in trouble that way so you know in the real world that I used to have a parrot that stared at it and even that is a vacuum and it was awful.
That's a big hit for the people the road and for offices his office he says are some merit ministration Meredith Maradiaga you see what I mean. He's going purple seeking young folk.
He's never had to report going on if you for all you know that they get paid to be rattled to make these people the Russians and the Emperor look and listen if he lives in a loop in a loop. That's all he said of the letter were about the Indian what he's going to do and have fun with with that you've never done a goddamn thing yet that's right around the Cape here. You flatter me. Then the argument by living in Britain really like Ruth. The group got to recruit for the record group and the really good rockwork were doing the hardware right here for the war.
Carter Camp is a co-director again in this interview done recently it wanted me he gives another example of what he feels to be the economic exploitation of Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation. America.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- The road to Wounded Knee
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- This segment provides an examination of the living conditions at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the functions of the Tribal Council, and the role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in context of the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. The events that would kickstart the Wounded Knee incident began in early January of 1973, when Oglala Lakota residents of Wounded Knee in the Pine Ridge reservation attempted to impeach tribal chairman Richard Wilson, who many believed to be corrupt and contributing to the violence on the reservation, from his office. When impeachment efforts failed, Oglala Lakota tribal leaders called upon the AIM (American Indian Movement) to forcibly remove him from office. On February 27, 1973, two-hundred AIM members began an occupation of Wounded Knee that led to a 71 day siege by the FBI and National Guard. This violent face-off would cause the death of two American Indian activists and the paralysis of one federal agent. This segment includes statements by those involved in the incident and in
- Indians of North America--Civil rights; Oglala Indians; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (S.D.); Wounded Knee (S.D.) -- History -- Indian occupation, 1973; American Indian Movement; Native American
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- MLA: “The road to Wounded Knee I: conditions at Pine Ridge (Part 1 of 5); The road to Wounded Knee.” Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 21, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-bz6154f24n>.
- APA: The road to Wounded Knee I: conditions at Pine Ridge (Part 1 of 5); The road to Wounded Knee. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_28-bz6154f24n