What happened to the hemp plant plans?
To the Editor,
I have been asked by many of you, as to what happened to the hemp and cannabis processing facility. I will explain to you what happened to that dream. When we first made the decision to bring the medicine back to the Wakpa Waste “Good River” (or as the Federal Government calls it, “Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe”, myself and two Sun Dance chiefs went to Colorado. We harvested this plant and we prayed with the medicine, we sung it songs and we talked to it. We told the medicine we were taking it home for the Oyate “people”.
In 2018 Good Earth Medicine drew up a business plan that would help Cheyenne River enter into the hemp and cannabis business. Council voted to approve it, but the TECA board denied it. In my heart of hearts, I knew TECA would deny the plan because it would have benefited the Lakota people.
The plan received criticism from tribal members. It was said, that the tribe gave me money. The truth is, the business plan Good Earth Medicine Co. wrote was sent to Shakopee for funding. I was told it was funded for planning and a check was cut, but I never was given any money. The plan was costly, it had to cover cost of drilling wells for every community, a very large greenhouse and farming machinery. The bottom line is you need infrastructure to dry and process the “pejuta medicine”. The buildings had to be engineered and drawn up. Some buildings had to pass FDA inspections. We did all the research, planning, traveling and called in favor to have it all engineered.
The green house would have provided 35 year round jobs. A portion of the green house was to be used to grow medical cannabis. It would have required lots of training for our young people. These were good jobs with good pay. Those individuals would be wearing lab coats and maintain a sterile environment, working with plants and making medicine for the Oyate.
The green house would also grow fruits and vegetables that would in turn be given to the communities. The end goal was food sovereignty, developing our own renewable building materials for home ownership and decolonizing medicine. This plan put our children at the center of the nation.
Hemp plants are a labor intensive and the growers must dedicate their lives to the medicine. Hemp takes awhile to learn to grow and it’s expensive but also rewarding. You could grow your own plants to build your own home. Home ownership is something we should all strive for, a home is safety. A home is at the center of our people. A house is only a house; the love and laughter make it a home. A few of our past politicians understood this and had homes built for their kids while they were still in school. But the people have been forgotten about here. It takes about 4-5 acres to build a 2000 square foot house. It would have been a bartering system where you would grow your own but you also would be required to grow for the people/tribe, to provide for those who could not provide from themselves.
We, being medicine people, we gather female plants before they seed. The female plants have the gift of healing. These are the plants we use for medicine. The plants and the trees talk to the stars. The cottonwood still has the star design in her branches. We are co dependent on the trees and plants for life. We come from the Star Nation. When we are first brought home from the hospital we are covered with star quilt. When we are initiated on Mother Earth we make that walk up on the hill we cover ourselves with the star quilt. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and day you understand why you were born. We all have dreams and gifts from the Creator, we must live those dreams for the people.
Being Lakota is a mindset, a part of being, it is not a religion. It is the understanding of Mitakuye Oyasin. ”We are all related, we are all connected.” To understand this is to understand natural law. The Creator fashioned this continent also fashioned the Lakota for his surroundings. We once grew as natural as the wild flowers. We once sung our songs throughout our lands, now only the meadowlark and the coyote that sing their songs.
The truth is, our relatives from the Wicaphi/Star Nation brought us the cannabis plant to help us in this life. The more you work with the plant, the more you understand this to be the truth. This is why Jesus used it to make his sacred oil to anoint his followers and he told his followers. “When I’m gone the oil will teach you” That is a powerful statement by the Lord and savior because it is a powerful medicine and it is so.
I take issue with this Wasinicu “Fat Takers” CRST Tribal council and their attorneys (IRA government) for not consulting with us “LAKOTA”. Instead of consultation and dialog as a sovereign nation, this IRA government feels they have the right to make these precious and sacred decisions on our behalf. So what we get is a cut and paste job from the Colville Tribe who in turn followed the State of Kentucky’s law, all backed up by Federal Indian Law.
Our ancestors fought and won a war against the Federal Government. Two nations signed the treaty of 1868. Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States “…all Treaties made or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land. “
Our Wasicu IRA council has donned the cloak of the Colonizer. Kevin Keckler, a councilman, proposed that we Lakota pay 25% tax on this plant. When he himself does not pay taxes on his 1,200 head of cows he runs for outside Wasicu. Out of compliance with tribal law, the BIA turns a blind eye. When our lawmakers don’t follow their own laws we are not being governed, we are being ruled. This tax is in addition to the state tax, if you are fortunate to make any profit, these taxes will take it. No consideration is given to the cost of seeds, fertilizer, nutrients, testing, lighting, security or transport cost. We are not subsidies by the federal government like the wasicu farmers. The IRA Council does not show us where our taxpayer dollars are spent. Where are the libraries, gyms and community centers? They propose no taxes on the outside cattle they run or the hay and corn that leave our reservation. When the Indian has an opportunity. The colonizer’s first thought is to tax them and keep them down. Greed is a mental illness.
The only way we can compete with the outside world is to follow the Treaty of 1868, which says we do not have to pay taxes on goods produced on our lands. Our isolation from the outside world guarantees failure. Instead of giving us a hand up, this IRA government puts their hands in our pockets. They don’t care about economic development. They only care that the Wasicu run their invasive species (cows) on our lands. Council devalue our tribal lands to $2.80 an acre and seven dollars a head for outside cows. When one animal unit monthly (AUM) off the reservation costs $100 a cow calf pair. This is criminal, fraud charges need to be brought against the Council for defrauding our elders and children.
Half the native plants are gone. Our plant relatives depend on each other, just like we depend on them. Our pejuta/medicines, berries and plums are disappearing. We have modified our lands to accommodate the cow. Council and their attorneys created Ordinance 71, this allows them to double and triple stock the Wasicu cows. Our lands are over grazed. This damage takes 80 years for our lands to recover. How much of nature can we keep removing from the equation before our whole ecosystem fails?
The natural liberty of the Lakota is to be free and not under the legislative authority of the IRA and BIA. The IRA ties itself to the Federal Government. The problem with this is the Federal government does not follow natural law, only the laws of men and corporations. These laws say its okay for the commercial farmer to use pesticides that kill, mutate and poison everything but the seed they planted. The precious microorganisms and soil is destroyed. They say it’s okay to pollute the rivers, lakes and oceans. What we do to the waters of life we do to ourselves. They have water in heaven our waters are older than mother earth. The same amount of water that covers mother earth is the same amount of water we have in our body.
We are out of balance with nature and nature has no mercy…our children and grandchildren will pay for our ignorance. When our lands no longer grow food or medicines and the rivers run dry, maybe then this IRA Council and the Federal Government will understand you can’t negotiate with nature.
The Eagles are dying…
Lanny Horse with the Horn