Mason Big Crow was first sworn in as treasurer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on March 21, 2011. Photo by Ernestine Chasing Hawk / Native Sun News Today

Jeffrey Whalen: It's time to remove 'rogue leadership' within Oglala Sioux Tribe

How many times did the Tribal Treasurer enroll and then dis-enroll from OST?

By Jeffrey Whalen
Native Sun News Today Columnist

Recently, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Treasurer had a heavy hand in the termination of a writer from a competing newspaper.

The writer had previously published an article that exposed some wrong doing on behalf of the treasurer. Apparently, the treasurer confronted the newspaper owner and threatened to remove some tribal ads that were given exclusively to her newspaper. In a twist, and ignoring the constitutional prohibition against infringing upon "the freedom of press," the paper owner agreed to the termination of one of her writers in order to keep the revenue from the tribal ads.

Kakistocracy is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. The word was coined as early as the 17th century. I won't go much further into the history of "kakistocracy" but would rather suggest that our tribal government is run by a majority of kakistocracy type of individuals.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal membership all knows that most of the alleged leaders on tribal council and some on the executive board are, as the description suggests in kakistocracy, the worst, least qualified or most unscrupulous citizens. I'm going to provide some documented history concerning the tribal treasurer and how he relinquished his Oglala tribal membership years ago and how this is directly related to kakistocracy.

There is a document dated Dec. 1, 2010 from the Oglala Enrollment Office where they provide a historical breakdown of dated events concerning an application for enrollment into the Oglala Sioux Tribe for Mason Big Crow. I documents where the first application for Oglala enrollment was dated July 10, 1987. The memo also includes information where the Oglala Sioux Tribe accepted his enrollment on Sept. 23, 1987. Mason was approximately 13 years old at the time. The same memo also indicates that Mason had applied for dis-enrollment from the Oglala Sioux Tribe on Oct. 15, 2001. Mason would have been approximately 26 years old at that time.

Jeffrey Whalen. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

Additionally, there is an OST resolution number 02-15 where the tribe took action to dis-enroll Mason at his own request and was approved by the Tribal Council on Jan. 24, 2002. Mason then enrolled at Northern Arapaho. There are a series of documents proving the enrollment to the Oglala's, disenrollment from the Oglala's, enrollment to the Northern Arapahoe, disenrollment from the Northern Arapaho and re-enrollment to the Oglala's again. Mason was last re-enrolled into the Oglala's on Jan. 18, 2011.

Mason has been illegally re-enrolled into the Oglala Sioux Tribe and legally does not have membership here. In order to be the treasurer of this tribe, that person also has to be a member of this tribe.

At the time of Mason's re-enrollment, there was language in the Enrollment code that allows children under the age of 18 who were dis-enrolled by their parents, to re-enroll into the Oglala tribe. There is also language in the Enrollment Code that indicates that if a person dis-enrolls themselves as an adult, then they are prohibited from re-enrolling into the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Let's go back to tribal resolution 02-15 dated Jan. 24, 2002 where Mason himself, signed documents to dis-enroll himself from the Oglala's and the tribal council granted his request. He was about 28 years old at that time and considered an adult. According to the tribal law, because he dis-enrolled himself as an adult, he is prohibited from re-enrolling into the Oglala Sioux Tribe. In order to get around this rule and to re-enroll into the Oglala's, we can see a clear pattern of Kakistocracy.

For whatever reason Mason wanted to dis-enroll from the Oglala's is his personal issue. However, he suddenly wanted to re-enroll at the Oglala's again. In order to get around the law where he is now prohibited from re-enrolling here, some of his close relatives submitted documentation indicating that they dis-enrolled Mason from the Oglala Sioux Tribe when he was a child and subsequently wanted him re-enrolled here again.

The powers that be, were setting him up to be the Oglala treasurer and in the process, voluntarily violated established law to get him re-enrolled. A series of fabricated documents were drafted and submitted to support the contention that Mason was a child when he was dis-enrolled. However, it is very clear that these documents were all flat out lies and completely falsely fabricated material.


Support Native Media!

Find more news and opinion on Native Sun News Today

(Contact Jeffrey Whalen at

Copyright permission Native Sun News Today

Related Stories:
Jeffrey Whalen: Leaders of Oglala Sioux Tribe overspend travel funds (January 31, 2018)