Late last week the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation released the findings of its investigation into the shooting death of Allan Locke on December 20, 2014, in the Lakota Homes neighborhood of Rapid City, South Dakota. The shooting occurred the day after Locke attended a protest against unnecessary police shootings. Although the independent Native media reported an alternative account of what took place that night, the Native community in Rapid City was once again left out of the conversation. Local journalists failed to dig beyond the public statements made by city officials who did everything in their power to show support for the RCPD, even without a proper investigation having been completed. While the South Dakota media served as a propaganda machine for the city and its police department, Native people were busy doing their own research unveiling relevant facts surrounding the incident including posts from the officer involved. Speaking out against police brutality, corrupt cops and unnecessary shootings is in no way an indictment of the majority of honest police officers across the country. It is simply the duty of the press and of good cops to expose wrongdoing, criticize bigotry, and to protect and serve the people. [Brandon Ecoffey, The Inequity of Justice and Reporting in South Dakota]Part 2: The dreams of Priestess Bearstops.
Part 3: Reuben Crow Feather is poised to become a leader in the American Indian Movement.
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Julie Garreau is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is the executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Julie has been CRYP’s director since the organization’s 1988 inception, volunteering in the position for 12 years. She began working for the organization full-time in 2000. She has seen the project through its exhilarating development from a tiny, one-room youth center in a former Main Street bar to a comprehensive youth and family services organization that includes the Billy Mills Youth Center — “The Main” — for children ages 4-12 and the Ċokata Wiċoni Teen Center, which serves youth ages 13-18. Julie is a dedicated youth advocate, and she hopes that CRYP will become a model for other communities to follow as they develop effective, sustainable youth programming. [Cheyenne River Youth Project]Julie is also vice-chair for the Dewey County chapter of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
“He went from innocent to fucking gangster,” said James Cross. “He’s probably the smartest one of all of us, but he just wanted to be like Dad. He won’t be out till 2029 or 2030.” The growing threat of Native gangs is not a retelling of cowboys and Indians set against the backdrop of a modern black market. It’s a story about how historical trauma, federal policy and tribal pride have created a new Indian problem: organized crime. James Cross and his twin brother, Gerald Cross, sat outside smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. Both of them were taken from their Anishinaabe and Dakota parents at the age of 4 because of alcoholism and were adopted by a white family. Between 1992 and 2002, Native Americans came into contact with violent crime at double the rate (pdf) of the rest of the nation;around 60 percent of victims described their attackers as white. “When you’re so used to just dealing with everything with violence? That’s why everybody can’t even believe I’m doing this.” [Ahtone, A cross to bear: James Cross knows why Native American kids join gangs]Tristan Ahtone started as an intern for Wyoming Public Radio: now he is a multi-media journalist, contributor to Al Jazeera, NPR and National Native News. He is vice president of the Native American Journalists Association and a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
The emergence of warrior societies led by veterans of the Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, and Kosovo has unified young people in North America's tribal regions. Movements are growing from the Mohawk Nation in Quebec and New York to the Lakota strongholds in South Dakota, among the descendants of the Arapaho in the Mountain West, south to the Navajo Nation and into the border regions of the Tohono O'odham.
From Al Jazeera English:
In recent years in particular, Canada's indigenous communities have shown the will and potential to grind the country's economic lifelines to a halt through strategically placed blockades on the major highways and rail lines that run through native reserves well outside of Canada's urban landscape. There are more than 800 outstanding native land claims held against the Canadian government. And in many First Nations communities there is deep crisis, with poverty, unemployment and overcrowding the norm. According to figures from the Assembly of First Nations, more than 118 First Nations lack safe drinking water and some 5,500 houses do not have sewage systems. Almost one half of homes on native reserves are in need of "major repairs", compared with 7 per cent of non-native homes. Natives suffer a violent crime rate that is more than 300 times higher than Canada's non-native population, while natives represent 18.5 per cent of the male prison population and one-quarter of the female population, although natives only constitute 4 per cent of the total population.In the US, where sovereignty rights, culture and language resurgence and growing capital resources from burgeoning black markets are building alternatives to hopelessness, suicide, and repression in Indian Country, deaths from firearm violence are higher than in any ethnic group.
While many fingers are pointed at Muslims I'd like to remind you that 100,000,000 Native Americans were killed by Christians.
— Lex Looper (@lex_looper) January 18, 2015
MLK Jr. day is a great day to go see Selma. We saw it last night. 🌟🌟🌟🌟We need a new generation of moral leadership! Natives in SD need a MLK
— stevehickey (@stevehickey) January 19, 2015