The Lakota Indians, the tribe of legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have declared their independence from the United States Wednesday.
The Native American tribe, whose territory span five midwestern states, delivered a message to the US State Department earlier this week, announcing that they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties signed with the US government.
The Native Americans say the treaties have been repeatedly violated by the US government. There are 33 treaties that the Lakota tribe feels have been broken.
Around half of the Lakota nation is in the state of South Dakota. The rest of the territory rests in parts of the states of Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.
Representatives of the self-proclaimed new Lakota country say they plan to issue their own passports and driving licenses. Residents would live there would be tax-free, provided that they renounce their US citizenship.
The Lakota Indians have gone through hard times in recent years as a culture. Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the United States average; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is very high.
Update 12/22: As Bryan of Why Now? noted in comments and Cernig of The Newshoggers posted, Russell Means loves to commandeer the spotlight and spoke without authority of the tribes.
I still think this is in reaction to Bush's explanation of sovereignty...