Santa Cruz, California (PRWEB) June 27, 2012
“A Tribute to America’s First People” is a benefit for the Lakota Child Rescue Project. The event will be a community festival of food, music, Native American dance, and a call to action to save the Lakota children. Starting with a barbeque and Children's Hour at 5:30 pm, the event will include children’s activities and feature Lakota drumming and Ohlone dancing. At 7 pm there will be an Ohlone welcoming ceremony for the Lakota and a program about the struggle for Native American rights and the violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act by the state of South Dakota. This program will feature speakers Attorney Daniel Sheehan, Lakota activist Madonna Thunder Hawk, and Ohlone leader Anne Marie Sayers.
About the speakers:
Attorney Daniel Sheehan is the President and General Counsel of the Romero Institute in Santa Cruz. Mr. Sheehan helped lead many historic public interest cases such as those related to the Pentagon Papers, the killing of Karen Silkwood, the Three-Mile Island nuclear accident, and the Iran Contra Affair. Mr. Sheehan has developed the legal strategy for the Lakota People’s Law Project.
Madonna Thunder Hawk is a member of the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is an original member of the American Indian Movement, a co-founder of Women of All Red Nations (WARN) and is currently the Lakota People’s Law Project’s South Dakota organizer and tribal liaison.
A Mutson/Ohlone elder and resident of Hollister, California, Anne Marie Sayers helped lead the effort last summer to prevent KB Homes from building on an Ohlone burial site called “the Knoll” near Branciforte Creek in Santa Cruz, California. Sayers and others succeeded in getting KB Homes to fence off “the Knoll” which is now reserved for Ohlone Indians to visit and perform ceremonies.
For more information about “A Tribute to America’s First People,” please email info(at)lakotalaw(dot)org or call 831-459-6135.
About the Lakota Child Rescue Project:
The Lakota Child Rescue Project is part of the Lakota People’s Law Project, a law firm dedicated to winning justice and renewal for the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota peoples of the Midwest. Since 2006, the Lakota People’s Law Project has partnered with tribes and leaders in South Dakota to challenge more than 150 years of injustice against Native American families.
Currently, LPLP’s efforts focus on protecting Lakota foster children in South Dakota from systematic violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act by the state. As journalist Laura Sullivan reported in her National Public Radio expose last October, “Nearly 90 percent of Native American children sent to foster care in South Dakota are placed in non-Native homes or group care” in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). ICWA mandates that Native foster children be placed with Native American family members and tribes whenever possible, but Native foster homes on the reservations in South Dakota mostly sit empty.
“A Tribute to Americas First People” will increase awareness about and raise money for the Lakota Child Rescue Project.
The Lakota People's Law Project is a project of the non-profit organization the Romero Institute of Santa Cruz, CA. The Romero Institute is named after slain human rights advocate, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador. Through law and public policy advocacy the Romero Institute seeks to identify and dismantle structural sources of injustice in the United States.