top of page

Oceti Sakowin and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association 

Treaty Signings November 9 through 16 November, 2016

“The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe was among the first of the Oceti Sakowin to stand against this action. The Oceti Sakowin came together to oppose this continuation of the ideology of Manifest Destiny. Mato Hota is a sacred part of our culture, as Chief Arvol Looking Horse and other spiritual leaders have explained. This is our relative, and these are our ancestral homelands; lands our ancestors fought and died to defend when they stood against the military-industrial complex in the 1870s, epitomized by the Northern Pacific Railroad and mining interests. The century has changed but the story remains the same. The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe will continue to stand to defend the sacred.”

Chairman Brandon Sazue, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

Chairman Brandon Sazue and Councilwoman Francine Middletent, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

Leaders of the Oceti Sakowin and GPTCA (L-R): Oglala Sioux Councilman C.J. Clifford, Standing Rock Rep. Frank White Bull, International Indian Treaty Council President William Means, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault, II., Oglala Sioux President Scott Weston, Yankton Sioux Councilman Greg Cournoyer, Crow Creek Chairman Brandon Sazue, Cheyene River Sioux Chairman Harold Frazier, Standing Rock Sioux Director of Water Resources Doug Crow Ghost, Flandreau Santee Sioux Councilman Andrew Weston, Santee Sioux Chairman Roger Trudell, Ponca Tribe of NE Chairman Larry Wright, Jr., GPTCA Executive Director A. Gay Kingman.

“We recognize that the consequences of removing protections from the sacred grizzly bear mirror those we face from DAPL. Water is life, the Earth is our Mother, and right now the grizzly protects both in our ancestral lands to the west. Our sovereignty, our culture, our treaty rights, and our sacred sites are under attack here on the Missouri River and will be in Greater Yellowstone if protections are lifted from our relative there. The land and the water there will be defenseless; removing protections for the grizzly removes protections from the land and water. Without that security, the only certainty is that the multiple threatened mines will become a reality.”

Chairman Boyd Gourneau, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.

Chairman Boyd Gourneau, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Rosebud Sioux President William Kindle and Councilmen Jim Leader Charge & Brian Dillon

"Preserving the grizzly equates to cultural preservation."

Chairman Robert Flying Hawk,

Yankton Sioux Tribe 

“In its delisting rule, the US Fish and Wildlife Service references 28 mining claims with operating plans in Yellowstone. Those mines are in core grizzly bear habitat, and it remains unclear how many such claims exist throughout Greater Yellowstone – but it is very clear that the 1872 General Mining Act holds primacy over any theoretic notion the US Fish and Wildlife Service and States may write in an MOU. Those prospective mines threaten environmental harms to Tribal Nations’ sacred and historic sites, and therefore the US Fish and Wildlife Service must adhere to the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. We are fully aware that the plague of corporate greed being visited upon Standing Rock will be visited upon our collective ancestral lands in Greater Yellowstone, and then upon the Crown of the Continent in the Blackfoot Confederacy – lands upon which my ancestors lived side-by-side with yours in times of great crisis after the Little Bighorn.”

Chief Stan Grier (from his prepared remarks to the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association).

Some of the declarations and resolutions passed by member nations of the Oceti Sakowin opposing the delisting and trophy hunting of the grizzly:

Crow Creek Resolution

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Declaration

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Resolution

Oglala Sioux Tribe Resolution

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Resolution

Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe Declaration

Photos are free for press use only with full attribution given to Please email a link to your final article. 

bottom of page