“In one lifetime, the number of Lakota speakers has dropped 75 percent,” states the Complaint. “There have been no new Lakota speakers in three generations. There are 6,000 to 8,000 Lakota language speakers left.”
Last week, Lakota elders, activists and supporters marched through New York to the United Nations, where they attempted to present a petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Entitled the Official Lakota Oyate Complaint of Genocide Based on the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the petition listed the numerous injustices faced by the Lakota people. (Oyate is a Sioux word for “people” or “nation.”)
At the UN, security officers told them that they would not be able to enter the building and present the complaint.