Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lakota Nation Calls James Arthur Ray on his Disrespect

"They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one - They promised to take our land...and they took it."
-- Chief Red Cloud

Last year, James Arthur Ray made approximately $94 million dollars selling his twisted version of Native American Spiritual practices. While on Pine Ridge, the median income on the reservation is just $3,500 a year and the unemployment rate is 85% . City Data Forum

It seems to have escaped the notice of the so-called alternative media that James Ray perverted the birth right and the cultural property of the Lakota people while pulling in roughly 2700 times the average income of the rightful guardians of that culture. The amount Ray made is approximately 1593 times the average income of the residents of the nearest reservation, Camp Verde. The median income there was a mere $8347 in 2000 with a 33% rate of unemployment. Fish and Wildlife Report
To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a single new story that covers the conditions that the rightful owners of Sedona have to live with. All the attention has been on the harm done a handful of non-NDN people. No coverage has been given to the impact that the Sedona deathlodge incident has on indigenous people.

Well, perhaps there’s hope that this injustice will be remedied.

The Lakota Nation has filed suit against James Ray, Angel Valley and the United States government citing the Laramie treaty of 1868.

The plaintiffs listed are Floyd Hand and Ivan Lewis on behalf of the Oglala Nation.
The lawsuit cites articles 1 of the 1868 treaty of Laramie, article 6 of the United States Constitution and articles, 29 and 36 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous people. The plaintiffs argue that under the customs, traditions and cultural values of the Lakota people the Inipi/Oinikaga ceremony is a way of life, not a religion

They argue that “indigenous people are entitled to the recognition of the FULL OWNERSHIP, control and protection of their cultural and intellectual property. They have the right to special measures of control, develop and protect their sciences, technologies, and CULTURAL MANIFESTATION including human and other genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literature, designs visual and performing arts.” (emphasis mine)

The plaintiffs allege that James Ray violated the peace between the United States government and the Sovereign Lakota Nation by impersonating an Indian and by abusing the cultural property of the Lakota people. The plaintiffs are asking that in order to maintain the treaty of Laramie, that James Ray and the owners of the Angel Valley Retreat center be held accountable and prosecuted under United States law.

If they are successful, and it will be difficult, this will be a ground breaking case in defense of the integrity of Native American spiritual life ways.

You can read the Law suit filed by Floyd Hand and Ivan Lewis to protect the Inipi/Oinikaga here:


The full statement made by Longblackcat behalf of Lakota Nation is here:

Longblackcat Statement

Full new story here:

Sedona Biz Article

I support the efforts of Floyd Hand and Ivan Lewis 100%. I’d like to call on all NDN-born-NDNS and our true supporters to call the so-called alternative media on not covering the indigenous perspective on this issue. On emphasizing the harm done Non-NDN people and only presenting the opinions of illegitimate representatives of NDN culture. It only takes a minute to send an email to the alternative media and demand that this issue be covered fairly and responsibly.

For the latest updates, you can follow dontpaytopray on twitter



Poorest places in the US

Fish and Wildlife Report Chapter 7 Potential Economic Impacts of Tribal Activities