Student Voice


April 21, 2024




Republic of Lakotah requires national recognition

October 16, 2008

Today the situation in the Republic of Lakotah is a dire one. Having withdrawn from all treaties they are purportedly on their own in any domestic affairs. Corruption, drug use and police protected meth labs rank high on the list of problems to be dealt with.

According to Russell Means, the local chief of police is a corrupt man who is working for a local drug cartel. The police on the Pine Ridge reservation are underfunded and unable to afford bulletproof vests, despite their $1.7 million budget.

To add to the problem the police force is mostly staffed by natives who are not from the Pine Ridge reservation due to a lack of people eligible to work for the force.

It is a rural area and few roads have signs, making it very hard for outsiders to respond to emergencies. This is one of Means’ major focal points for the provisional government.

The Republic is also going through an election in which Russell Means is running for office. He considers the election a “moratorium for freedom.” He believes the outcome of the election will decide how many citizens of the Republic are pro-freedom.

This election is also particularly important to the Lakotah people. Many opponents of Means within the Republic are claiming that he and his group acted on their own; there was no consent from the rest of the tribe to go to the length he did, however, if he wins leadership of the tribal provisional government this will be considered consent from the rest of the tribe.

Efforts are currently being made to take the Republic off the power grid using the infinitely natural resources of the Great Plains: wind and sun energy. There is an estimated 30,000 megawatts of energy being produced by wind over the Great Plains, though this number is nearly limitless with new technologies as the amount of wind power potential has increased from almost nothing in the early 1980s to what scientists today are estimating to be able to supply the world with not just electrical but all energy needs, with the Great Plains able to supply all of North America with clean, renewable energy.

Means claims that the Republic is the “Saudi Arabia of wind energy,” and that currently deals are being made with investment firms and energy companies to begin implementing the infrastructure for wind power.

In order for the Republic of Lakotah to legitimately become a sovereign nation they will require national recognition and it certainly has at least gained a level of fame in the international community.

Only a few days after Russell Means’ announcement the Republic of Lakotah’s Web site had attained over 500,000 hits, which caused the site to crash.  Though as of yet it has not been officially recognized by any international powers there are some who are expressing a high level of interest, such as Russia, Bolivia and Ireland, the country with the longest European history of being occupied by a foreign power.

The Republic of Lakotah is also in the process of initiating liens (legal notes saying that a property is owed) over what it believes to be its territory. The Republic has stated that it will only be filing liens against government buildings and property and they hope that a deal can be made with private property owners. When asked about the response to these liens by government officials on Republic property, Means simply stated government officials barely responded, essentially assuming this to be another hair brained Indian plan.

<b>Zach Hauser</b> is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.