Republic of Lakotah

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The Republic of Lakotah is a proposed nation inside the United States. It was created by a Native American group called the Lakotah Freedom Delegation. The group believes that the Republic of Lakotah should be treated as a separate country. At the moment, no other country agrees that it is. The area includes parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.

Background[change | change source]

When European settlers first came to North America, the Lakotah people had been living there for thousands of years. The Lakotah are a Native American tribe that lives in the north central part of the United States. The Lakotah first signed treaties with the United States in the 1800s. Since that time, the Lakotah have been citizens of the United States.

On December 17, 2007, the Lakotah Freedom Delegation said that Lakotah tribe should no longer be a part of the United States. They wanted to return to the way things were before they signed the treaties.

They drew up borders for the Republic. The area included parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana. No other country has supported them. Most people feel these are to still belong to the United States.

Reasons for wanting independence[change | change source]

In December 2007, the group went to Washington, D.C. to speak to the government. They said that the Lakotah were ending from the treaties they had with the United States. They said the US had not been following the treaties and this had been causing problems on Lakotah land.

For example, the US and the Lakotah made an agreement called the Treaty of Fort Laramie. It said that the Lakotah could keep the Black Hills. The Black Hills is a very sacredplace for the Lakotah. The US broke the agreement and invaded the Black Hills when gold was found there. Today, the Black Hills is home to the National monument of Mount Rushmore.

The group does not think that the Republic of Lakotah is a new countr. They feel that it is an old counry that has been revived. Not all members of the Lakotah tribe support the groups actiona. Many of the leaders of the Lakotah tribe were not asked beforehand. Traditionally, a vote is needed to change a treaty. Seventy-five percent of the Lakotah males need to vote to approve the change. There was no vote on the plans to create the Republic of Lakotah.

The group argues that it is legal for the Lakotah to be its own country. They use the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article Six of the United States Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to support their plans.

The Lakotah Freedom Delegation say they may follow the example of the Philippines or the Marshall Islands. These counrties used to belong to the United States but have become independant.

Government[change | change source]

Anyone can become a citizen of the Republic of Lakotah. The only thing they must do is give up their citizenship of the United States. The group plans to make its own passports and driving licenses. They say that the government will be run in the traditional Lakotah way. The leaders of the counry would be seleted by the tribe elders. They say the nation will use solar energy and wind power to make electricity. They would chose to use these methods because they do not hurt the environment.

At the moment, supporters of the Lakotah Freedom Delegation are arguing over the name of the country. Some people like the name Republic of Lakotah. Otthers prefer Lakotah Oyate. Oyate is the Lakotah word meaning "nation".

Support[change | change source]

A nation does not exist as a country until other countries recognise the boarders or government of that country. Other countries must also treat it as a separate country. The Lakotah Freedom Delegation has contacted the embassies of Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile and South Africa. They have asked each of these countries to accept them as an independent country. The group has also mentioned talking to Russia, Finland and Iceland, They say that Ireland and East Timor are interested in the plans. currrently, no other country in the world is treating Lakotah as a separate country.

The US government is not likely to support the Republic of Lakotah. It would mean that the United States would lose some land. The government has said that the plans of the group do not mean anything.