Whereas we are the conveners of an ongoing
series of comprehensive forums on the abuse and exploitation of Lakota spirituality; and
whereas we represent the recognized traditional spiritual leaders, traditional elders, and
grassroots advocates of the Lakota people; and whereas for too long we have suffered the
unspeakable indignity of having our most precious Lakota ceremonies and spiritual
practices desecrated, mocked and abused by non-Indian 'wannabes', hucksters, cultists,
commercial profiteers and self-styled 'New Age shaman' and their followers; and whereas
with horror and outrage we see this disgraceful expropriation of our sacred Lakota
traditions has reached epidemic proportions; and whereas our precious Sacred Pipe is being
desecrated through the sale of pipestone pipes at flea markets, powwows, and 'New Age'
retail stores; and whereas pseudo-religious corporations have been formed to charge people
money for admission into phoney 'sweatlodges' and 'vision quest' programmes; and whereas
sacrilegious 'sundances' for non-Indians and cult leaders who promote abominable and
obscene imitations of our sacred Lakota sundance rites; and whereas non-Indians have
organised themselves into imitation tribes, assigning themselves make-believe Indian names
to facilitate their wholesale expropriation and commercialisation of our Lakota
traditions; and whereas academic disciples have sprung up at colleges and universities,
institutionalizing the sacrilegious imitation of our spiritual practices by students and
instructors under the guise of educational programs in 'shamanism'; and whereas non-Indian
charlatans and 'wannabes' are selling books that promote the systematic colonization of
our Lakota spirituality; and whereas the television and film industry continues to
saturate the entertainment media with vulgar, sensationalist and grossly distorted
representations of Lakota spirituality and culture which reinforce the public's negative
stereotyping of Indian people and which gravely impair the self-esteem of our children;
and whereas the absurd public posturing of this scandalous assortment of pseudo-Indian
charlatans, cultists, 'wannabes', commercial profiteers, and 'New Age' shamans comprises a
momentous obstacle in the struggle of traditional Lakota people for an adequate public
appraisal of the legitimate political, legal and spiritual needs of real Lakota people;
and whereas this exponential exploitation of our Lakota spiritual traditions requires we
take immediate action to defend our most precious Lakota spirituality from further
contamination, desecration and abuse; Therefore we resolve as follow:
1. We hereby and henceforth declare war against all persons who persist in exploiting,
abusing and misrepresenting the sacred traditions and spiritual practices of our Lakota,
Dakota and Nakota people.
2. We call upon all our Lakota, Dakota and Nakota brothers and sisters to actively and
vocally oppose this alarming take over and systematic destruction of our sacred
3. We urge our people to coordinate with tribal members everywhere to identify instances
in which our sacred traditions are being abused, and then to resist this abuse, utilizing
whatever specific tactics are necessary; demonstrations, boycotts, press conferences etc.
4. We especially urge all our Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people to take action to prevent
our own people from contributing to, and enabling, the abuse of our sacred ceremonies and
spiritual practices by outsiders. As we all know, there are ones among our own people who
are prostituting our spiritual ways for their own selfish gain.
5. We assert a posture of zero-tolerance for any 'white man's shaman' who rises from
within our own communities to 'authorize' the expropriation of our ceremonial ways by
non-Indians. All such 'plastic medicine men' are our enemies.
6. We urge traditional people, tribal leaders, and governing councils of all other Indian
nations, to join us in calling for an immediate end to this rampant exploitation of our
respective American Indian sacred traditions by issuing statements denouncing such abuse.
It is not only the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people whose spiritual practices are being
violated by non-Indians.
7. We urge all our Indian brothers and sisters to act decisively and boldly in our present
campaign to end the destruction of our sacred traditions, keeping in mind our highest duty
as Indian people; to preserve the purity of our precious traditions for our children and
the future generations so that they will survive and prosper in the sacred manner intended
for each of our respective peoples by our Creator.