Oglala tribal leadership scraping rock bottomStop believing the lies the fake heroes feed you
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist
nativesunnews.today Let’s roll back the clock nearly a half century to see where Oglala tribal members were at in terms of influence and prestige. Louis Bruce, was Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Wyman Babbie, was the Aberdeen Area Director of the BIA; my cousin, Leo Vocu, was the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians; Jim Wilson held down the Indian Desk at the Office of Economic Development and his brother Dick was president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe; Gerald One Feather was the tribal chairman that did much to bring about Oglala Lakota College; Nelson Witt was a regional Superintendent of Tribes over in Oregon; Johnson Holy Rock became the first tribal chairman to have an Indian housing project; and Russell Means became a national figure with AIM, and very soon the most recognizable Indian face in the world. What we should be asking ourselves is not why this generation of men was so special, but what has happened to our tribe that a younger generation has not stepped into their shoes and built upon their legacy.
Most of the politicians we have now filter everything through a self-serving prism of collusion and corruption. Even when they are honest they tolerate the dishonest, and they stand against the people who would counter the dishonest. They stand against ideas and efforts like Mni Wiconi, perhaps the most notable achievement of the Oglala Tribe, a tribally owned water delivery system entirely conceived and implemented by Oglala that made the casinos and the nursing home possible. People forget Mni Wiconi was voted down by tribal referendum, only a technicality revealing that tribal referendums are not binding in such a matter, allowed the tribe to proceed with the water project. We have lost our way, our vision, and when the people are allowed to vote, they not only vote against ideas and projects which would serve them best, they embrace the wrongheaded ignorance of the people who would serve them worst, they swallow, hook, line and sinker, all of the bogus assertions, all of the false claims, all of the distorted rhetoric.