Hello again from the front lines! I’m happy to report that, thanks largely to your support, things are much quieter here than you might expect. We’re at the tail end of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the largest gathering without protection in our country since the pandemic began. But because of Cheyenne River’s lawsuit against the Trump administration, and because you’ve sent 28,000 emails to SD Governor Kristi Noem and federal agencies, our COVID checkpoints are still up and running. They’re keeping the bikers — and the contagion they could have delivered — outside our borders!
Thank goodness, because COVID-19 is bad enough here as it is. With nearly 200 confirmed cases at Pine Ridge, about 100 at Cheyenne River, and a death at Standing Rock, the Lakota People’s Law Project is spending tens of thousands on personal protective equipment, cots, tipis, stoves, and other supplies to help with the quarantine effort. But we still need more help, right now. Can you pitch in today to ensure we have what we need to keep our communities safe?
Our combination of government advocacy and grassroots organizing is having an impact. And we need to keep it up, since we can’t allow the Oceti Sakowin to suffer the way our Diné relatives — the Navajo Nation — have, so tragically. Having 250,000 bikers descend on our homelands, most not wearing masks, just makes our situation more difficult.
As we await further action from Congress on COVID-19, we’ll remain vigilant in the face of the abject bullying and incompetence of this White House. Please keep eyes out next week for our joint message with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in support of the Native American Voting Rights Act. We will need every available Indigenous voice to be heard this November.
Wopila tanka — my sincere thanks for your solidarity throughout this crisis!
Madonna Thunder Hawk
Cheyenne River Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project
P.S. Please contribute what you can today to help Lakota Law continue funding COVID relief on tribal nations in South Dakota. Your gifts now provide real, in-the-trenches materials that are limiting coronavirus spread and saving lives. Thank you so much!
Lakota People’s Law Project
547 South 7th Street #149
Bismarck, ND 58504-5859
The Lakota People’s Law Project is part of the Romero Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.