Pine Ridge Passes Anti-Hate Law

Hello all – I am passing along this letter emailed by Madonna Thunder Hawk about this effort at Pine Ridge for equality. What an amazing accomplishment!

************************************************************************Tremendous news is breaking at Pine Ridge, and I wanted to let you know first! A few weeks ago, my colleague Chase Iron Eyes shared with you the story of Muffie Mousseau, Felipa De Leon and their successful effort to pass a marriage equality law on the reservation. Now they have succeeded again in a big way—this time in lobbying the Tribal Council to pass anti-hate legislation modeled on the Matthew Shepard Act.

I encourage you to watch and share our new video, which lends a bit more context to the two women and their heartfelt effort to stop the hate by bringing Pine Ridge’s laws up to date.

Lakota Law


From left: LGBTQ2S activists Felipa De Leon and Monique “Muffie” Mousseau with Chase Iron Eyes

When Chase wrote you, Muffie and Felipa were facing quite a task. The Oglala Nation’s Law & Order Committee had asked them to visit all nine districts on Pine Ridge to solicit feedback and show support for their initiative. They accomplished that, receiving YES votes from all but one, which was unable to meet due to logistical hurdles.

With this overwhelming support from the districts, the full Tribal Council passed the law!

The Lakota People’s Law Project, in combination with the Julian Bear Runner administration, proudly stands beside these inspiring leaders and their call for the equality and safety of all people. We’ve been happy to assist them with lobbying, strategy, outreach, and press relations—making sure their story has been heard on NPR and in newspapers around the region.

Today, together, we celebrate a wonderful victory for them, for the homeland they love, and for the LGBTQ2S community. It’s such a beautiful example of how we can work as one on a grassroots basis to lift the voices of the vulnerable and empower and improve the society we share.

In solidarity,

Madonna Thunder Hawk
Tribal Liaison
The Lakota People’s Law Project

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