By Darren Thompson
On Friday, July 22, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and its president, Kevin Killer, issued a statement demanding that the Jesus is King mission leave the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after the distribution of pamphlets promoting that Jesus, not Tunkasila (a Lakota word for creator), is the “true god”.
“This week, the Jesus Is King missionary was discovered distributing material that literally demonizes Lakota culture and faith,” the Oglala Sioux Tribe said in a statement. “This is unacceptable and totally disrespectful. The President and Council are of the opinion that these ‘pamphlets’ seek to promote hatred instead of peace. Hatred has no place in Oglala land.
The pamphlets also contained statements asking what former American Indian Movement (AIM) activists and leaders Russell Means, Crow Dog and Black Elk believed in. “What did Russell Means, Crow Dog and Black Elk believe in? the brochure read.
Never miss the biggest stories and breaking news from Indian Country. Sign up to receive our reports straight to your inbox every weekday morning.
“Learn why Jesus is the only true god of Native Americans.”
“What Contributed to the Wounded Knee Massacre?”
The Jesus is King Mission said on its website of the Wounded Knee Massacre: “What led to the Wounded Knee Massacre as one of the most famous sites in all of North American Native American history is the Ghost Dance led by Wovoka, a Paiute native. American who claimed to be Jesus in the flesh. He told the natives that if they did the ghost dance, the white men would be exterminated and the dead native relatives would be reunited with the living; also, the buffalo would return.
News of the documents and their message traveled quickly. “Thus, President Killer and the Council demand that Missionary Matthew Monfore and the Jesus is King Mission immediately leave the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation and cease all further action of hate speech,” the tribe said in its statement Friday.
“The ability to practice the faith of our choice, to voice our concerns and to solve our problems rests on an underlying principle: respect. While the president and council adhere to the bill of rights of the Oglala Lakota constitution, the president and council also have an obligation to ensure that the colonizing principles of the past are no longer asserted against the Lakota people,” said declared the tribe.
Matthew Monfore, who is listed in the letter published by the tribe and on the Jesus is King website, posted an essay titled “Do the Black Hills belong to the Lakota Sioux? In it he wrote: “Treaties seem like a delicate matter, but when you look at what has been written; it does not appear that the natives, who did not understand English, accepted much, if anything… The Black Hills are not the ‘heart’, nor are they special in any specific religious way”, Monfore wrote.
More stories like this
Pope Francis apologizes for the “evil” committed by Christians against indigenous peoples
Indian country responds to Pope Francis receiving headdress during ‘penitential pilgrimage’
Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota publisher and pioneer of modern Indigenous journalism, Walks On
NCAI Open Letter to Pope Francis on Residential Schools
Do you enjoy an Indigenous perspective on the news?
For the past decade and more, we’ve covered important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and delinquent accounts related to assimilation, cultural genocide and at Indian Residential Schools, we were there to provide an Indigenous perspective and elevate Indigenous voices.
Our short stories are free to read for everyone, but they are not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to donate this month to support our efforts. Any contribution – large or small – helps us to remain a force for change in Indian Country and to continue to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or neglected. Most often, our donors make a one-time donation of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Indigenous news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thanks.