19 hrs ·
Today, over 70 men with a large group of women escorted out a man who attempted to rape a woman here at the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Earlier in the day this issue was brought to the attention of the Oceti Sakowin headsman council, akicita okodakiciyapi and winyan okodakiciyapi (womens council) and they were asked to respond.
Concerned parties wanted to know the camp's protocol for traditional justice and what steps we would take. We decided that the perpetrator needed to be found, brought before the Akicita society, told of his charges, allowed to talk, have someone speak on his behalf and then, after deciding his case, publicly shamed by walking him out of camp. Over 100 people followed him on the long walk out of camp as we publicly announced his name and crime for all to hear.
Our procession was led by horseback riders.
We walked him to the Cannon Ball river bridge south of camp and once there our men handed him over to the women who held him down and cut off his braids.
After which we let him go as he walked south on Hwy 1806 where we told BIA police to come pick him up.
This is restorative justice for our community. We led with Woiyukcan (purposeful thought) and then followed with Wocekiye (prayer) and ended with action. We want to send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated by anyone. It was powerful really.
Honestly...I could have chosen not to post. I could have chosen to keep this event silent. But what would that have served? These perpetrators need to be corrected & the women be made to feel safe, not ashamed to speak up, and allowed to heal.
[His name is Thomas Lakasha Bettles]