Red Cloud Kept His Side of the Treaty of Fort Laramie Deal, the US, Not So Much

Today the Lakotah Nation is trying to raise $9 million to buy back a sacred site in South Dakota's Black Hills that was granted to them in The Treaty of Fort Laramie (also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868) that guaranteed to the Lakotah ownership of the Black Hills, and further land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The treaty was signed for the US government by William T. Sherman, head of the entire US military, and by Red Cloud, chief of the the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakotah people, at Fort Laramie, Wyoming in 1868.

Red Cloud [pictured above] was a man of honor who felt a man's word was important. It was he that negotiated the FT Laramie treaty and most of Wyoming , Montana and the Dakota's by law belong to the Lakotah Nation. However, after the discovery of gold, the federal government took back much of the land including the 2,000 acres the Lakotah are now trying to buy back from the descendants of the homesteaders the US government gave the land to 150 years ago. Before his death Red Cloud said, "They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one--They promised to take our land...and they took it."

To quote the US Constitution, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."

The Republic of Lakotah website is disturbingly educational about the history of this proud people and the current state of affairs on their now small, barren, chopped up territory. From it you'll learn some of the story of the genocidal foundation that the US empire was built on. The story, of course, isn't unique to the Lakotah or the Pine Ridge area, it's the same story from sea to shining sea, our ancestors and the 'founding fathers' simply ignored the law and the Constitution when it came to the Treaties the US Government entered into with their First Nations people.

The point is, this land was never sold by the Lakotah people, it was stolen from them. Now they are trying to raise the funds to buy back a small portion of those stolen lands. You can help them in this controversial attempt by contributing through their website. Opponents of the plan like Tom Poor Bear, the vice president of the Oglala Lakotah Tribe in South Dakota, say, “It’s like someone stealing my car and I have to pay to get it back.”

Wonder what Red Cloud would do?