March 15, 2000

Harold D. Salway, President
Oglala Lakota Oyate
Tribal Council
P.O. Box H
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Dear President Salway,

On behalf of the leadership of the American Indian Movement's Grand Governing Council, we extend our hand of friendship, admiration and respect to the Oglala Lakota Oyate at this time of great stress, distrust, hostilities, and turmoil.

Obviously all the above ingredients make for the potential of violence and great danger to all involved. We continue to receive many phone calls from many Oglala Lakota Oyate factions who are on all sides of the various and many issues and challenges facing your people.

Many of the different factions declare that they are the American Indian Movement, and display our colors with honor and pride. However, some of these factions do our Movement, and themselves a disfavor by, again, turning the American Indian Movement into the "boogie man" with threats of calling a "red alert" and "bringing AIM here."

This is a cause of great concern by many of the elders and others of the Oglala Lakota who have always identified with the American Indian Movement. We agree with them that calling for the American Indian Movement to come to Pine Ridge would only exasperate the problem, and may seriously increase the potential for violence.

The leadership of the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council have no intentions to react to such calls to action. Moreover, we discourage all of the AIM people there who are a part of the problem, as well as our AIM membership nationwide to reject any such calls. We, the leadership of AIM, choose to be a part of the process of searching for reconciliation and peace, rather than becoming a part of an already serious problem.

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Therefore, we offer the services of the American Indian Arbitration Institute, and a team of our representatives who will offer to assist in the process of bringing all of the many factions together at the table of mediation, arbitration, and reconciliation. Hopefully, this process will lead to healing and peace so that the Oglala Lakota Oyate leadership can get back to the daily challenges of serving their people.


WaBun-Inini Indiz-Ni-Kaz
Anishinabe Ojibwe Nation
Vernon Bellecourt
National Representative, AIMGGC

Clyde Bellecourt
Chairman of the Board
American Indian Movement
Grand Governing Council

Cc: Wilbur Between Lodges, Vice President Oglala Lakota Oyate
Dennis J. Banks, National Field Director, AIMGGC
Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Minister of Culture, AIMGGC
Edward Benton Benai, Member/Spiritual Advisor, AIMGGC
Chief Oliver Red Cloud, Oglala Lakota Oyate
Members of the Grey Eagle Society
Members of the Oglala Lakota Tribal Council
Tom Poor Bear, Camp Justice Irene Janis and Board Members, Oglala Lakota OIC
Harvey White Woman
Milo Yellow Hair
Ted Means
Mike Her Many Horses
Dale Looks Twice
Floyd Hand
Robert Quiver
Marvin Young Dog
All Concerned Tribal Members
KILI Radio

Attachments: - Letter from American Indian Arbitration Institute
Letter from Past President Dennis Bowen, Seneca Nation
Press Clippings

For more information contact AIM's offices in
Minneapolis at
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