unitingresilience
Monique “Muffie” Mousseaux speaks at Memorial Park. Chase Iron Eyes responds: The cause is “a most difficult issue as we have no remedial options for our people on the creek. They are exiled in their homeland.” Photo by Talli Nauman / Native Sun News Today
Rallying for the homeless
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Native Sun News Today Health & Environment Editor

RAPID CITY – Participants from numerous grassroots groups tackling life-or-death issues of Native homeless and other community members highly vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic here rallied for an autonomous “command center” at a September 11 gathering outside the civic center.

Organizers, speaking with a megaphone, pressured the Rapid City Police Department representative in attendance at the ominiciye to lobby for a meeting with the mayor and city council to collaborate on ending the suffering and deaths along Rapid Creek.

“What has been happening is death to our people and violence to our people,” said Oglala Sioux tribal member Monique “Muffie” Mousseaux, speaker for Uniting Resilience.

Participants noted that they have mounted an independent Mni Luzahan Rapid Creek Patrol to walk the riverbanks at night, interceding to prevent hunger, exposure, violence, abuse, accidents, and fatalities.

Mni luzahan Creek Patrol

The Mni luzahan Creek Patrol is a grassroots effort to protect the homeless in Rapid City, SD

Posted by Bryan Brewer for OST Vice-President on Saturday, September 12, 2020
Mni Luzahan Creek Patrol is a grassroots effort to protect the homeless in Rapid City, South Dakota. Video: Bryan Brewer for OST Vice-President

Mouseaux called on the city to “allocate a strip of land so we can have a command center.” She also demanded access for Native people to policy making in crime prevention and social services.

“We are asking for a spot to be left alone,” she said. Noting that she is a former law enforcement officer, she added, “Natives can take care of each other. We are drug- and alcohol-free.”

She alluded to autonomous zones established in the larger cities of Minneapolis and Portland even before 2020’s unrest over alleged police brutality and systemic racism that was ticked off by the proclaimed officer-involved murder of George Floyd.

“We don’t want any more repression,” said Mousseaux. “With George Floyd in Minneapolis, you know it is happening.”

Fresh from a successful lobbying effort that convinced the Oglala Sioux Tribe to protect gender identity and sexual orientation in a hate crimes law, Mousseaux and her same-sex marriage partner Felipa De Leon pointed out that the land they want belongs to the tribes, anyway, under the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty, as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is Native American land,” De Leon said. “We need to find some kind of solution and work together.”

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