Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weapon drawn at Tribal Council; Bad Man Clause invoked


The decades long tinderbox of tenuous relations between the poor, full-blooded and traditional Lakota people and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) supported Oglala Tribal Council that claims to represent them is set to explode as traditional Elders stumble upon a secret tribal council meeting and are assaulted by councilwoman Deborah Rooks-Cook. On Tuesday, outside a secret meeting of the Oglala Tribal Council, a group of Elders were physically assaulted and threatened with a gun by Deborah Rooks-Cook, council representative from the Oglala District. Due to slow action by the Tribal Council, Elders are now speaking out for the immediate removal of Deborah Rooks-Cook while Strong Heart will seek banishment of Rooks-Cook and her family under the traditional Flotter (pronounced “Floater”) Law that is supported by the “Bad Man Clause” of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the Lakota and the United States.
The "Bad Man Clause" has been applied in other actions:

The "bad man" legal argument was successfully used by Lavetta Elk, another Oglala Sioux, in a lawsuit alleging that a U.S. Army recruiter had violated the "bad man" clause when he sexually molested her while transporting her to a military recruiting appointment. Elk recently won a $650,000 settlement that left intact a federal judge's ruling that said the treaty language requires the government to reimburse Sioux tribe members who are injured by "any wrong" done by "bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States."
The son of an assaulted elder said, “We are taking our government back,” said Duane Martin Sr. “We’ve had enough!”

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