Across Indian Land 01-20-2023 Tony Interviews Bill Means with transcript
Here is the transcript Across Indian Land 01-20-2023! Tony Gonzales interviews Bill Means.
This rough transcript was made using the built-in transcription A.I. in Microsoft Word. There may be errors in this transcription. To listen to the original audio, go to www.aim-west.org/acrossindianlands and click on January 20th 2023’s episode to listen or download.
00:00:00 Tony Gonzales
All my relations. Welcome to another segment across Indian Land tonight, January 20th and I welcome you to the show. I First off, I wanted to give a big shout out to our good friend Lenny Foster, who's a spiritual advisor for Leonard Peltier and Lenny has been the spiritual advisor to Leonard Peltier, well over 40 years. My relatives, Leonard Peltier himself, has been in the prison system 47 years, my relatives.
It's Leonard “Lenny” Foster's birthday this Sunday, so I wanted to give him that shout out and that it would be. On January the 22nd, my relatives, also with Lenny Foster, to introduce him to some of you who haven't seen or heard of him before. He will be on the video program Eagle and the Condor at the TV show Sundays on the media BVAC media public access channel that would be channel 29 [in S.F.] or live streaming at sfc.tv & that would be beginning this Sunday on the 22nd at 3:30 my relatives—So TuneIn. We'll be talking about American Indian Movement and that would include details on Wounded Knee 1973 and the video is called reflection. So TuneIn on that Sunday afternoon at sfc.tv at 3:30. And as one of my relatives as Jimbo Simmons would say: “no rest for the oppressed”.
As the news that you've been hearing and the struggle of Indian peoples all across the land, and with that first of all, I want to give a shout out to Yokuts Valley. That's right, Yokuts Valley is now official, and it and that is out by the US Board on Geographic Names. So special thanks to Roman raintree who did a lot of the organizing beginning about 2-3 years ago to make this happen and for thanking him to keep KPFA Radio informed on the progress that was made-up to the moment that was mentioned by the US Board of Geographics on January the 12th by relatives.
There are other matters that are that are coming up, I wanted to and finally I do want to give a shout out to the two spirit people and the power out they're going to have on February 4th, with more information on that. It will be at Fort Mason in San Francisco at the pavilion there at in San Francisco, sponsored by the Bay Area American Indian 2 spirit people and their organization. Go to [their website] for more detail at BAAITS.org
[Do you] remember the 1932 massacre in El Salvador? Yes, indeed there was an over 30,000 Indian peoples were killed in a matter of months and this occasion will now be commemorated. This would be the 25th annual commemoration of the massacre in El Salvador 1932. My relatives try to make that that's tomorrow Saturday the 21st at the San Francisco in the Mission District: Medicine for Nightmares. That's right, and that's going to be from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at 3036 24th St. in LA Mission. OK, they'll be Pomo singers drummers Maya elders and many comments that discussion on genocide, which is what occurred there in El Salvador, 1932. Now, let's go into that interview we just had with the bill. Means details on the 50 year anniversary wounded knee.
My relatives, I've invited Bill means to our Friday night show across Indian land. Our segment today, January 20 and we've had bill several times on the air talking about the various topics indigenous Indian peoples on the planes. And they're Lakota people in particular Fort Laramie. But now Wounded Knee has come up for February 27th for the 50th year anniversary.
And Bill I wanted to ask you if you can share with us in what details you have more details about the event that would begin February 24th through the 27th, beginning the Rapid City Friday 24th. Can you fill us in on a few details in the short time?
00:05:02 Bill Means
We do have Thank you. Yes, welcome and I appreciate being asked to be on and by KPFA a once again friends and relatives there in the Bay Area. Yeah hello my relatives, but anyway, yes we're having the 50th anniversary of Wounded Knee beginning as Antonio said on the 24th Of February. Remember the day that we went into Wounded Knee was the 27th, so we're having four days of activities to commemorate. It's also the 30th excuse me the 40th anniversary of KILI Radio, which will be prominently featured, and we'll have more about that, but on Friday night, the 24th will be in Rapid City, SD, receiving a lot of people. That's coming in via airplane or you know, driving in because they have a lot of hotels and accommodations there in Rapid City.
So, we're having the first night there to welcome everybody and what we'll be doing is several activities. We have a photo exhibit of 1 at the 1890 and one at the 1973. We also have scheduled some movies from the documentaries and interviews that were during the time of Wounded Knee by a young man by the name of Chuck Banner from New Mexico, who was in one at me and this is back in 1973 fifty years ago. We kind of [have to] keep that in mind because some of the guys think they're still young. But yeah, when they start talking about 1973 fifty years ago, maybe she realized how old I would become by say that in all due respect to those that are still survivors but OK on Saturday and we moved down to Porcupine South Dakota, seven miles north of Wounded Knee and there's the home of KILI radio as well as the school, there is Porcupine Day school where our family is from.
At least my brothers all live there. And we've been around there for many years since we moved back from California. And so I just want to say hello. Also, to the people of Porcupine, because back in the days of Wounded Knee 1973, they're very supportive and very strong allies of American Indian movement as well as the people at Wounded Knee that came, and they were given, you know, welcome of food, clothes. Many times there was the people of Porcupine who brought the people across the plains at night and brought them into wounded need to stand against the US Marshals the US FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Border Patrol. These are just a few of the various jurisdictions and various agencies of the federal that came to surround us at Wounded Knee, so anyway. That's so we're going to
do that commemoration on Saturday. The featured event will be documentary regarding the women's participation in Wounded Knee and some of that women's leadership. Some of those stars, some of the in terms of work actually getting done and taking care of the people that camp, setting up a medical operation. So these are the type of things that will be shown and who the grassroots people around the need really are, as well as some of the visitors that came from those four directions of the. You know not only United States, but some international people came all the way from Mexico, Canada, and other places, even Europe. A lot of riders and press came over during the 71 days of the occupation.
So, Saturday we're gonna recognize the win and we'll also have a presentation by Black Hills Water Alliance regarding the present mining and the extractive industries that are now present in the Black Hills where they had found gold way back in 1800s and so. The exploitation continues and believe me, they're still looking for gold they have, I don't know 30 or 40 mining permits in the Black Hills are sacred. Creation took place in the Black Hills where we were created as a nation…People they teach here or Lakota people and so that's why we’re really there and Wind cave and the black in the Black Hills. That's you know, that's like asking the Vatican, or maybe even the people of Palestine, are the people of the Jewish settlements there that that that part of the world asking them to sell their land or allow mineral exploitation, or extractive to end it now. they think you're crazy if you ask them to do something because of the spiritual power and nature of that area that mother Earth we call that section so anyway that's how important it is. It's not for sale and not to mining companies [or] anyone else who tries to destroy the beauty and the power of the Black Hills. So now we're on finishing up with…Saturday February 25th, so they will move into the 26th Which is 24 yeah, 26 is the Sunday.
00:12:08 Tony Gonzales: [Yes Indeed]
00:12:12 Bill Means
And during that time, we'll be having a power which is a cultural social dance of the Lakota people and of course all people are invited not only the public but other visitors that were in the wounded me and don't be recognized there the various families of people are still survived that were actually in wounded me, and so we'll be able to meet some of those people have interviews on KILI Radio, which is just down the road from the school, so we'll be able to do interviews, and we also have the equipment now to do the worldwide presentations on radio and also via zoom. So these are things that we planned on this for you know, probably at least six months we've been planning meeting and it's really going good, so all this time we have figured this maybe some of the numbers we've been throwing around with three to four-thousand people being there throughout the four days, as well as in the third day [which] may be the largest day. [This is] because people come there to not only dance, [but] about the sacrifice that our people made, [and] also to remember when it is a very sacred place itself because there's a large mass grave there, one of the largest in this whole United States.
Well, they dug a ditch and very 300 men, women, and children in the grave in 1890 and then we made a stand in 1973 based on our treaty rights. Treaties are the supreme law of the land according to the Constitution of the United States. So, we know the legal status and we know where we come from. We did not come here from Europe or South America or Asia or Africa. We've always been here. We didn't come over the Bering straits. We call that the BS theory because…in educational institution [saying] that Indian people came from Asia.
No, we always been here. Some people may have drifted over or, you know, went on a spiritual journey. Or, you know, tried to find a better way of life, and so they travel. Some of our people, but that doesn't mean we come from there because we left artifacts on some of our people were buried there. We know where we came from and it's here what they call Turtle Island. North Central South America, as well as the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Pacific.
We're up to call indigenous peoples. I want to remind you that bring and remind the public about who we are, but on the other hand I want to finish this little agenda to let you know that after the power on Sunday, we traditionally have since 1973. We had a direction; I mean excuse me a March from the four directions. In other words, we have March and a horse rider. Yeah, March accompanied by horse riders and which are. We coming from North, East, South and West, I guess said the four directions we meet at the grave site that still exists there. The mass grave that was put there in 1890. We meet there and all the riders and the marchers come up to this, the monument there and at the mass graves there and wounded knee and then from there we have a fish that's one of the families.
Well, that's one thing I should mention is all the food that's provided for the four day event is provided by various families who are veterans of wounded need men and women who want to honor their family members, they decided to put out a feed…I mean 32 meals a day, so you know it's a lot of work, but people are honored to do that family by family, so that plenty to eat resources to you know each family buying the food and feeding on their own, and so it's a it's really wonderful experience.
We got a big power so that'll finish off Sunday evening. We'll have a poetry slam. We'll have another presentation so we can, you know we want to organize as well and know the presentation on the Black Hills issue, in which we have maps about all the mine permits in the Black Hills as issued by the state of South Dakota, but the federal lands itself, you know, which is over 100,000,000 acres. Oh excuse me, 20 million acres in the Black Hills and we intend to protect it as much as possible because in the federal land there are various federal statutes that mining companies have to follow, and so the state land is a different story, but there's still I would say maybe 10 to 15 million lakes at our federal lands in the Black Hills.
So anyways, on Monday we're going to recognize our treaty rights. We're going to honor those people from 1890 as well as 1973 who are no longer with us. Kind of a memorial up at the grave site for all the families, men and women that participated. And they who still lie there. Some of them from 1890, so it's a pretty heavy spiritual experience.
And then of course, we'll retire from the graveside on the 27th, which again is the original day we went in on February 27th, 1973 and were immediately surrounded by federal forces. Including like I said, many federal agencies, including FBI, US Marshals, and Border Patrol, Bureau of Indian Affairs. So there was even an army Colonel Bonnie Warner who came to from the 82nd Airborne. If you can imagine and came to win that…What they would have to do is to get us out of there. And of course, he determined that he would lose of the of the forces that he would need to liberate. As he said, when it needed, which we thought we liberated. But anyway, with the government's role…82nd Airborne they assessed that they would lose 50% of their men. And so we had fortified ourselves at Wounded Knee, and so that's another commemoration that whole day. And then we'll retire after the March, we'll go to one that need District school in Manderson, which is a a community on a reservation, maybe about 7-8 miles from one that need from the I mean, yeah from the actual grade to the school or retire there and finish up the four days of celebration with various giveaways honoring us.
We will have a short powwow and some speakers from various families that want to remember and have a what's called a giveaway in which we honor our relatives by sharing what we have in terms of blankets. You know people worked on these all year. They've been working on this to present there and honor their friends and relatives by giving them a blanket or some personal item that they made themselves to share. So that's it's quite an event to see how we honor our people, it's really a spiritual feeling. One of our seven sacred ceremonies …the people. So it's a it's a combination of spiritual, and, you know, remembrance of our veterans, and so that way we can, and honor them.
So the idea is to create this 50 year celebration so that we can educate the children in our schools.
We can educate those people that from around the world are international indigenous people, friends that we have around the world and well, this is how we started. This was the Renaissance of Indian people. This was the follow up to Alcatraz in San Francisco. So that happened. You know, in in the late 1960s I think it was 68…but anyway there was a very significant development in the Bay Area there that started a lot of this.
What you may call indigenous nationalism or started this movement of self-determination for Indian people for human rights struggles that went as far now as the United Nations. So we've done a lot of work in this 50 years and we're still saying that we are here and we have our way of life, our culture. We have a way of educating our children. We have a history that's proud and our creation just like any other race of people. We have creation stories. We have different interpretations of various ceremonies like the Sundance ceremonies like fasting. These are things that the Christians participate in as well to see if they how close they could get to you.
But these are the four days that we want to come together to honor our history, but to look to the future generations and hope they will stand for the Treaty rights and the human rights of our indigenous peoples. And we thank you very much.
00:23:35 Tony Gonzales
Well, thank you. Bill means very much indeed for that detail for the four day event, February 24th through the 27th, the 50th anniversary reunion of there at Wounded Knee. And we'll be calling you periodically as we get closer to the date to keep people informed Bill and that they're welcome. The public is welcome, and is there a website or you? You have a Facebook 50th anniversary wounded me Facebook?
00:24:08 Bill Means: Yeah, we'll have information on the radio station, KILI.com.
00:24:14 Tony Gonzales: Remember that. What is that 91.5 FM or what's the number?
00:24:21 Bill Means: The number is 90.1 FM OK…
00:24:28 Tony Gonzales
Right on alright. Bill, thank you very much. My relatives, I just want to give a shout out as we're coming close to the half hour segment across the Indian land up there in the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno County. There's a new pueblito and it's called Yokuts Valley. That's right, Yokuts Valley is just east of The town of Fresno, and it's a major overhaul, and it was approved just recently a couple days ago by the geographic US Geographic Commission, and so it's something to be proud of there. That's the US Board on geographic names renaming the US valley. And now it's Yokuts valley my relatives.
We're coming close to the hour. I just want to say for Leonard Peltier, my relatives go to his website, know about his imprisonment. Who is Leonard peltier…and just recently in the Guardian newspaper and [in an article that was] critical on a former FBI agent that says that wrote a letter to the president that Biden that it's a vendetta that the reason why Leonard Peltier is in there now my relatives and people keep saying that he was convicted of murdering 2 FBI agents. Ultimately, my relatives the court sends for him is aiding and abetting, so share the word. Aiding and abetting is what Leonard Peltier has been charged with and he's been there 47 years. That's it. My relatives.
We'll see you once again across the Indian land.