US Supreme Court Rejects Case On Native American Sovereignty

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Above photo: KEVN.

NOTE: Listen to this recent interview with Charmaine White Face on Clearing the FOG about the Supreme Court case.

Violates Laws And Constitution.

Rapid City, South Dakota – In a devastating blow to the Self-Determination of all Native American Indian Tribes in the United States, the Supreme Court denied the Petition in the case, Gilbert v. Weahke. In doing so, the Justices also violated Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, the Indian Self-Determination Act, the Lanham Act, the Transfer Act, and the Abstention Doctrine.

The case began when a federal agency, the Indian Health Service (IHS), gave an Indian Self-Determination Act multi-million dollar contract to a South Dakota non-profit corporation to manage the Sioux San IHS Hospital in Rapid City, SD. As the South Dakota non-profit corporation was not a Tribal Organization under the jurisdiction of any tribe and without federal recognition, this was a violation of Public Law 93-638, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA). In addition, the non-profit corporation was created by the IHS in the first place to act as a liaison, or messenger, between the seventeen (17) Regional Tribes and the Region’s IHS offices and does not have hospital management capabilities.

The IHS used two local Tribal Resolutions to legitimize the privatization of the IHS hospital. This violated Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which protects treaties made between Indian nations and the U.S. government. The Sioux people living in Rapid City are covered under the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty in which Article 13 specifically provides for health care. It is the obligation of the federal government to provide the health care, not a private non-profit corporation under the jurisdiction of a state.

By using the two Tribal resolutions, the IHS further violated the ISDEAA as it states specifically that any contract must have the approval of all tribes whose members are impacted. There are more than 325 tribes whose members receive care at the Sioux San Hospital. The IHS also violated the Transfer Act–Indian Health Service under Title 42 which states that the (HHS) Secretary is authorized, with the consent of the Indian people served” to enter into contracts such as specialized services. The Indian people served in this case were never allowed by IHS to participate.

Furthermore, when IHS designated the non-profit corporation to be a Tribal Organization, they also violated the Lanham Act which prohibits false advertising. The non-profit corporation was not created by IHS to manage hospitals. The Oglala Sioux Tribal Court in Dec., 2018, months prior to the signing of the contract, had already ruled that the non-profit corporation was “not a Tribal Organization.” By disregarding the Tribal Court Ruling, not only did the District and Appellate Courts violate the Abstention Doctrine but now the U.S. Supreme Court has violated the Doctrine as well. It has set up the entire judicial system to utter chaos as no court has to recognize any other court’s decisions.

Three (3) Sioux women from Rapid City, Donna M. Gilbert, Julie Mohney, and Charmaine White Face, filed suit in the local SD federal court only to have their suit dismissed. Proceeding on their own, pro se, the women took their case to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and had their case again dismissed. Undaunted, as many of the patients at the hospital are being harmed in a number of ways, the three women proceeded to the U.S. Supreme Court. They were trying to stop fraud by a federal agency, get good health care for the patients, and save their hospital.

The consequence of the denial of their case is a devastating blow to the more than 500 American Indian Tribes who are practicing Self-Determination of the government services provided to their people. With this ruling, any federal agency can grant a government contract with impunity to any state non-profit corporation, be in violation of many laws and the people have no recourse for correcting the illegal activity. The Tribes and Tribal Organizations will no longer receive the contracts to provide government services to their people which was the original purpose of the Indian Self-Determination Act.

The larger crime is the violation of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution by the

Supreme Court. All of the Justices take an oath of office to uphold and support the U.S. Constitution. In this case, the Supreme Court only protected a federal agency from the consequences of their criminal activity.

“I can’t understand how the Supreme Court did not see this was fraud,” said Charmaine White Face, “all of the players need to have criminal charges brought against them. Now we need to go to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.”

The three women were represented at the Supreme Court by Mark Goldstone, a Washington, DC attorney. “I was so proud and honored to stand with these three brave Native women in their fight for Native self-determination. I was looking forward to speaking with the Supreme Court and using my voice to prevent this injustice in which a non Tribal organization, a state non profit was improperly awarded this contract to manage the Sioux San Hospital. The fight for Native rights will continue, however.”

A Community gathering is being planned at which time the women will give thanks with a Giveaway to all who helped in the case including the more than one-hundred fifty (150) community members who signed on as co-plaintiffs.