The arrival of the Rainbow Family to the Black Hills has caused some controversy in the community. The Lakota group United Urban Warriors Society is protesting the gathering taking place on treaty land. But, other Lakota people support the group. Conflict erupted near the gathering campsite in the Central Black Hills.
A thunderstorm blew in as members of the Rainbow Family and Native Americans in support of their presence met up with members of the United Urban Warriors Society on the highway, near their campsite. The groups collided and argument soon broke out.
“You don’t speak for us Oglala’s in Pine Ridge,” says Hellen Red Feather, a Lakota woman from Wounded Knee who is standing alongside the Rainbow Family.
She says the Rainbows and the Lakota people both want to protect the land. She argued with the Urban Warriors who are attempting to evict the campers.
“Lakota Oyate, we need allot of changes. We need allot of help, but what are you guys doing?” says Red Feather.
“We’re doing that help,” Glaha Mani replies.
“What are you guys doing for my reservation down there?” asks Red Feather.
The Urban Warriors had been preparing to post “no trespassing” signs on the land. Canupa Glaha Mani is a member of the United Urban Warriors Society. He argues the Rainbow Family is invading on Lakota land without permission.
“Then those Rainbow people sent their Scouts to look inside of our land illegally without asking. They will even tell you. White man don’t do that unless he wants something,” says Glaha Mani.
“White man’s been doing it on our land for 500 years and what are we doing about it?” asks Red Feather.
“Yes we understand that, so making a difference in the change to stand up to them is why these treaty people want this,” says Glaha Mani.
The Urban Warriors promise to evict the Rainbow Family. But, at this time the campers remain at a site near Deerfield Lake. The gathering is expected to reach peak numbers on July 4th.