Jason Coppola reports: On June 4, 2013, a draft complaint was delivered to United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights officials Giorgia Passarelli and Rekia Soumana in New York City regarding the removal of thousands of Native American children from their families and tribes in South Dakota.
It has been carried out in a manner which, says the Great Sioux Nation, could be defined as genocide. This charge is based on section 2 (e) of the UN genocide convention of 1948 and the Federal Genocide Implementation Act of 1987. It states:
“(a) Basic Offense – Whoever, whether in time of peace or in time of war and with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such –
(1) kills members of that group;
(2) causes serious bodily injury to members of that group;
(3) causes the permanent impairment of the mental faculties of members of the group through drugs, torture, or similar techniques;
(4) subjects the group to conditions of life that are intended to cause the physical destruction of the group in whole or in part;
(5) imposes measures intended to prevent births within the group; or
(6) transfers by force children of the group to another group;
shall be punished…”
The draft complaint was hand-delivered by Daniel P. Sheehan, Chief Counsel to the Lakota People’s Law Project, in response to the more than 700 Native American children removed from their homes and placed in foster care each year in South Dakota. Of those children, about 87 percent are placed with non-native families or group homes, far from their Indian communities, culture, and ceremonies.
This, the Sioux charge, is in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) passed by Congress in 1978 which was intended to protect Indian nations, families, and culture by allowing children to remain with their extended families, a central theme in their indigenous belief system, even if in foster care.
The taking of Indian children has a long and disgraceful history in the Americas.
According to a report prepared for congress by Indian Child Welfare Act directors from South Dakota’s nine American Indian tribes, with assistance from the Lakota People’s Law Project, “For the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota (Sioux) people of South Dakota, the absorption into state care began with the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty”.
The Fort Laramie Treaty guaranteed the Sioux Nation “the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation” of their ancestral lands spanning five US States including South Dakota. The treaties have been broken by the US Government ever since the discovery of gold in the Black Hills. [Continue reading…]