Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association


Motion to support Standing Rock, Oglala and other Tribes of the Great Plains in their requests for resources and funding to alleviate the immediate crisis with Law & Order in the Great Plains Region.


WHEREAS, the Great Plains (formerly Aberdeen Area) Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA) is composed of the elected Chairs and Presidents of the 16 Sovereign Indian Tribes and Nations recognized by Treaties with the United States that are within the Great Plains Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and


WHEREAS, the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association was formed to promote the common interests of the Sovereign Tribes and Nations and their members of the Great Plains Region which comprises the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska; and


WHEREAS,  the United States has obligated itself both through Treaties entered into with the sovereign Tribes and Nations of the Great Plains Region with a recognized Government to Government relationship and a Trust obligation, and


WHEREAS, in Treaties, the United States pledged to protect Indian Tribes, guaranteed the right of Tribal self-government, protection and safety, and has undertaken a trust responsibility to promote the viability of Indian reservations and lands as permanent homelands for tribes; and


WHEREAS, in the Act of February 28, 1877(19 STAT. 254) Congress Confiscated the Black Hills and Sioux Hunting Rights provided for the following provisions:

• “ Article 5 provided that “in consideration” for the confiscated territory and hunting rights, the U.S. would provide the Sioux Bands “all aid” necessary for civilization;

• Article 8 provided the Sioux people would be guaranteed an orderly government on their reduced reservation;

• Article 8 further provided that each individual Sioux would be protected in his rights of “person property and life” which included adequate police protection; and

• Article 9, the Government assumed primary responsibility for police protection using Tribal members as Police Officers.”


WHEREAS, The sovereign Tribes and Nations of the GPTCA place the highest priority on the protection and safety of the Great Plains Regions Tribes and two hundred thousand enrolled Tribal Members, and


WHEREAS, Every tribe in the Great Plains Region is experiencing serious problems with its law enforcement programs due to some combination of the following: Government reduced budgets and resources, inadequate staffing, reduced services for Tribal Courts, lack of officer equipment and training, inadequate police cars, dilapidated and condemned jail facilities, lack of cooperation by the BIA and other federal enforcement Agencies, increased demands on Law Enforcement; and


WHEREAS, the lack of funding and resources is causing severe problems on the Reservations resulting in crisis situations as documented by Research and numerous letters, meetings and testimony’s that the 16 Tribes of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association have presented to our Delegations, the House Committee on Resources, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and


WHEREAS, the problems that the Tribal Leaders attempted to forestall have only gotten worse and will only continue to escalate unless action is taken for improvements for the Tribal Nations by the administration and congress, like the Operation Dakota Peacekeeper Operation at  Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the recent influx of additional officers to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and


WHEREAS, Article 8 of the 1868 Treaty reads as follows: “The provisions of the said treaty of 1868, except as herein modified, shall continue in full force, and, with the provisions of this agreement, shall apply to any country which may hereafter be occupied by the said Indians as a home; and congress shall, by appropriate legislation, secure to them an orderly government; they shall be subject to the laws of the United States, and each individual shall be protected in his rights of property, person, and life.”   Id.; and


WHEREAS, the foregoing Treaty Provision in the 1877 Act guaranteeing among other things adequate Police Protection “in consideration” for the Confiscated Territory and Hunting Rights guaranteed by both the 1851 and 1868 Treaties is current Federal Law  (although the Tribes still reject the confiscation of their territory and rights in violation of the 1868 Treaty) and as a consequence thereof,  the GPTCA respectfully requests that the South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska Congressional Delegations work to help the Great Plains Tribes by ensuring that individual [reservation residents]. . .[ are]. . . protected in [their]. . . rights of property, person, and life.  Id.; and


WHEREAS, SAME LEGAL PRINCIPLES CONTAINED IN THE 1868 Treaty as 1877 Act applies to all Treaty Tribes in the Great Plains, namely that there is a quid pro quo for the confiscation of Tribal Treaty lands and which includes but is not limited to adequate Police Protection on all Reservations in the Great Plains, and


NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association hereby supports and requests this be accomplished by immediate ongoing permanent funding from any amendments, Continuing Resolution adopted by Congress for FY 2009 and end of year funds so the crisis situation existing with Law & Order on the Reservations of the Great Plains Tribes receive ongoing and permanent funding beyond Sept. 30, 2008, and


NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED; the GPTCA requests Secretary Kempthorne and George Skibene permanently remedy this situation and make permanent at a minimum the number of increased Officers serving under the ‘Surge’ with adequate funding in the Federal Budget for FY 2009 and beyond for Operation Peacekeeper at Standing Rock, Pine Ridge, and other Reservations of the Great Plains Region who are in crisis situations, and


THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the GPTCA requests all the 16 Member Tribal Nations work with their Congressional Delegations to ensure ongoing funding for Law Enforcement, adequate resources, adequate facilities repair and construction, improved training, improved resources for Tribal Courts, adequate equipment, staffing and vehicles, etc. in order to provide for the Protection and safety of the 200,000 enrolled total Members of the 16 Tribes of the Great Plains Region. And,


NOW BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, THE GPTCA recommends and requests the functions and line authority be returned to local control under the Agency Superintendent, not as reorganized, so an orderly government and adequate Police Protection can take place according to the Treaties.


Resolution Number: 55-08-08-08




This resolution was enacted at a duly called meeting of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association held at Ft. Pierre, SD on Aug. 8, 2008 at which a quorum was present, with 9 members voting in favor, 0 members opposed, 0 members not abstaining, and 7 members not present.



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