Karen Ocamb

Richard Noble: Historic Proclamation from Oglala Sioux Tribe

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 27, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay rights, LGBT rights, Oglala Sioux, proclamation, Richard Noble, Wounded Knee

Richard Noble and Oglala Sious Tribal Council President John Yellow Bird Steele (Photo courtesy Richard Noble)

West Hollywood-based LGBT activist Richard Noble has been walking across America promoting the American Equality Bill - which seeks to add sexual orientation and gender identity to The Civil Rights Act of 1964. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Noble started his "sacred walk of the Rainbow flag across the great Sioux reservation at Pine Ridge." On Monday, Oct. 24 at Wounded Knee (the Wounded Knee Battlefield was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1965), Noble met with Oglala Sioux Tribal Council President John Yellow Bird Steele who presented him with this historic Proclamation:

Noble sent me an email saying:

[Equality is] a historical pivotal discussion among the Lakota Oglala Sioux as youth teen suicide rates are high. The community here has been lovely – yet this topic of the Native American Indian 2-Spirits is known, but not spoken much, if at all. So they are progressive and run commercials on native radio to End bullying but not the content behind bullying. Hopefully the Lakota paper will run a story [about the Proclamation] and the isolation and loneliness can come to an end on the Reservation.

Noble also spent some time absorbing the spirit surrounding the historic site at Wounded Knee.

Richard Noble outside Wounded Knee (Photo courtesy Richard Noble)

He wrote:

A church was built on the hill behind the mass grave in which the victims had been buried. In 1903, descendants of those who died in the massacre erected a monument at the gravesite.

Church at Wounded Knee (Photo courtesy Richard Noble)

The memorial lists many of those who died at Wounded Knee along with an inscription that reads: “This monument is erected by surviving relatives and other Ogalala [sic] and Cheyenne River Sioux Indians in memory of the Chief Big Foot massacre December 29, 1890. Col. Forsyth in command of US troops. Big Foot was a great chief of the Sioux Indians. He often said, “I will stand in peace till my last day comes.” He did many good and brave deeds for the white man and the red man. Many innocent women and children who knew no wrong died here.”

Monument at Wounded Knee (Photo courtesy Richard Noble)

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Noble emailed this update:

Rainbow flag and I burned sage and left tobacco at the resting site of great Oglala, Sioux war chief, Red Cloud. Contemplating the battle we must forge in Washington DC, against the defiant obstructors to LGBT Full Federal Equality and 100% Civil Rights language inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity is now a MUST. The voice of the people are speaking loud and in large numbers.

The violation of human rights and denying our equality must stop now. The symptom is large numbers of our youth committing suicide, hate crimes and murder. We take this very seriously. To cut LGBT and 2-Spirits off from their religion of choice and relationship with the Great Spirit is tallying in such large proportionate amounts of psychological damage, hate crimes and loss of life we can no longer wait but must firmly plant our feet on the ground and over come such evil forces.

Visiting Wounded Knee and the last gathering place of the Lakota before their religion was made illegal (since been restored), women taking 70 years for their right to vote, the lynchings and cross burning and house bombings and slavery of the African American on US soil; the list goes on. I pray every LGBT and Native American and LGBT African American religionists link hands together now in solidarity and say, “No more!” The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population will and must have full federal civil rights and equality, spare no expense. The time is now in the Omnibus. The place is here in America in both our land and that of the Native American Indian sovereign nations. Together we will fight and together we will win.


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Thank you for this article. We live in NE Wyoming and have loved ones in western South Dakota. I hope this has educated Bilerico readers about Wounded Knee. Solidarity with our Native family is essential to full equal rights.