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Sioux Sue for Sovereignty

12.27.2007 10:36 | DISPATCHES

In December, a Lakota (Sioux) delegation delivered a statement of "unilateral withdrawal" to the State Department. In other words, it plans to secede. Not all Lakota, just the delegation, which was led by Russell Means. He, of course, is famous for surviving the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 and founding the American Indian Movement (AIM), as well as for his movie roles.

Means, however, also announced that his group planned to file liens on property in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. "The Missouri River is ours, and so are the Black Hills," he said.

But while Means taketh away with one hand, he giveth with the other. He invites one and all to live in the Lakota Nation, tax-free, as long as they renounce their U.S. citizenship. Don't worry: It will issue drivers' licenses and passports.

Once Americans get it through their heads that this isn't a reprise of the Confederacy, many might find the idea of a nation free of taxes, as well as war, appealing. After all, like Ron Paul, Means is a libertarian, under which guise, he too has run for president.

One can imagine the federal government's response: "Go ahead, enjoy your little secession. Of course, we won't be subsidizing your reservations anymore." Plus you have no chance whatsoever to change your mind about the $122 million in compensation the Supreme Court awarded you a couple of decades ago and which you refused."

Primal frontier fears resurface: Will the redskins return to their renegade roots and take revenge -- not to mention scalps? Not likely. Still, the first person with whom I shared the Lakotas' plans for secession said, "Oh great, it's bad enough we have to worry about the terrorists. Now, this too."

But Bolivia's president Evo Morales, as well as Venezuela are following events closely. Those Americans bent out of shape about the "NAFTA Superhighway" from Mexico to Canada may as well start worrying now about One Indigenous Continent for All. 


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