Two months after announcing that the newly formed Republic of Lakotah had seceded from the United States, organizer Russell Means outlined plans for a wind-energy project for citizens of the new country.This spring. Fave part:
At a meeting in Rapid City on Saturday, Means said he has been talking with representatives of a California company about plans to put windmills on land owned by both Native Americans and non-Natives willing to become citizens of the new Republic of Lakotah. He declined to name the company. Means, a longtime activist, said he and other organizers have met with tribal members of the Standing Rock, Rosebud and Yankton Sioux tribes. Windmills could be sprouting on the Standing Rock, Rosebud and possibly Pine Ridge reservations this spring, he said.
Means said the homestead acts, allotment acts and the 1877 sale of the Black Hills to the U.S. government are all illegal, under Article 6 of the Constitution.He's not only the Republic's Chief Facilitator, he's its Chief Diplomat too!
"All of the people living in our land are outlaws," Means said. "All of the states are outlaws."
He also called existing tribal governments "collaborators in genocide."
But Means, one of the early leaders in the American Indian Movement, said the new country's organizers do not seek confrontation. "We want to live within the law," he said."We are legal and, most important, we are lawful," he said. "There aren't going to be any Wounded Knees," he said, referring to AIM's 71-day standoff with federal and tribal authorities on the Pine Ridge reservation village in 1973.No Wounded Knees? But Wounded Knee was a landmark in the struggle for Indian freedom, according to Russell. Here he is in an interview with The Progressive in 2001:
Q: What lasting effect did the occupation of Wounded Knee have on the Indian community at Pine Ridge?Rhetorical question: so why is he disavowing it now? Back to the Rapid City Journal:
Russell Means: It gave birth to self-dignity and self-pride and the idea that we can self-determine on our own merits. In 1973, the full-blood Indians on the reservation were living in abject poverty. They were totally overlooked, and their spirits were almost totally destroyed. Our culture, our song, our old people--everything was denigrated by our own people, as well as by the larger society.
What Wounded Knee did was give pride in just the fact that you are an Indian, and you can do something, and we have allies.
Means predicted that existing city, county and state governments, as well as tribal governments, would continue but eventually wither away as the new country flourishes.Just . . . wither away. New sobriquet for Russell: The Lakota Lenin.
Update: o/t, but rumors have been going around that this is Pirate Ballerina. I can say almost unequivocally that it's not.
Update II: I'd forgotten that the Denver Art Museum has one of Andy Warhol's American Indian Series (Russell Means) (1976).
The future Chief Facilitator as lipstick model.