Christian mission evicted from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after distribution of hate material

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.

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“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.

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About the Author

Author: Darren ThompsonE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a freelance journalist based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where he also contributes to Unicorn Riot, an alternative media publication. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty and Indigenous issues for the Indigenous Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in the international conversation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and legal studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Nohemi M. Moore