FEELING THE BERN FOR THE GRIZZLY IN INDIAN COUNTRY
Photo: Oglala Lakota President John Yellow Bird Steele making a presentation to Senator Sanders
During campaign stops yesterday in South Dakota, Senator Bernie Sanders held fast to commitments he has already made to the Native community on the environment, including halting the delisting and trophy hunting of the grizzly bear. Introduced in Pine Ridge by President of the Oglala Lakota Nation, John Yellow Bird Steele, Sanders said, “One of the most important lessons the Native Americans have taught this entire country is that all of us are part of nature. We have to live in nature, coexist with nature, and if we destroy nature, we are ultimately destroying the human beings of this planet.” As President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Chairman of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association, John Yellow Bird Steele has been steadfast in opposing the delisting and trophy hunting of the grizzly.
In November 2015, President Steele issued a strongly worded statement to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee at its fall Jackson Hole meeting. National Geographic covered that historic address, delivered in Lakota and English (read ). Oglala Lakota Vice President, Tom Poor Bear, continues to give voice to the grizzly, and was instrumental in the Oglala Sioux Tribe passing one of the most comprehensive and powerful official resolutions opposing the delisting and trophy hunting of the grizzly, which can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/1WvYC77
Senator Sanders first committed to protect the grizzly and oppose delisting prior to the Idaho caucuses. Vice Chairman Lee Juan Tyler of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho preceded the presidential candidate on stage on March 18 in Idaho Falls, and informed the crowd that Sanders would protect the grizzly and the environment (http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics government/election/article66941672.html). GOAL tribal Coalition representatives were also on hand at the senator’s rally in Rapid City. “Promises were made, treaties were signed, and they were not kept. If I am elected, we will keep those promises,” Senator Sanders pledged.
(Visit www.nativenewsonline.net for more coverage)