Rapid City, South Dakota - Traditional Lakota warriors Garry Rowland and Darren Brings Plenty, both of the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Nation, are receiving inhumane treatment and inadequate medical attention at the Rapid City Pennington County jail, as well as being denied traditonal Lakota

Pipe religious ceremony, and they have taken their cases to the traditional healing and elders' societies. Both men have serious heart conditions and  should be hospitalized but transfers to the Regional hospital have been denied.

Oglala Sioux Tribe president John Yellow Bird Steele has written a letter of support for both tribal members, referring to traditional law as the precedent for their medical treatment.

Steele said in a press release, "We the Oglala Lakota Nation are deeply concerned and aware of Mr. Darren Brings Plenty and his serious heart condition. He almost bled to death recently while being in jail. He has had two open-heart surgeries. I have known Darren Brings Plenty and his family all their lives and they are a very honorable tradiitonal Lakota family." Rowland is in the fifth day of a fast and issued the following statement:

"I am exercising my religious freedom and relief. On friday January 26, 2001, at 4:30 p.m. I made a vow to the end. I cannot turn my back on my vow to Tunkasila.

"I am a warrior, and I am staking myself to the ground under traditional Lakota laws and customs. I know the Lakota death-songs, and I sang one this morning.

"Any day is a good day to die.

"During the Ghost Dance Uprising, they tried to take everything away, and they're doing the same to us [here in the jail]. I know I have signed my own death warrant. They're going to say I'm crazy, but our belief is that we have to endure hardships and pain when we Sundance.

"We sacrifice our flesh for the People. This is our way of life. We have to sacrifice food. I am exercising my rights. I've done lived my life. I'm willing to face death. I hope our people realize that we can do anything, and I'm doing this for the people. The treatment we receive in here is unfair and unjust, racial profiling, discrimination, illegal search and seizure, and  police brutality."

For further information contact David Seals, 605-343-5176,
or at this e-mail Libyad817@aol.com, 918 4th St. Rapid City, SD 57701