I’m visiting my parents in Wyoming for the holidays, and here’s an appropriate regional news story that’s making international news:
Descendants of the American Indian chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse yesterday declared their independence from the United States, announcing they were withdrawing from treaties signed with the federal government 150 years ago.
The Lakota Indians, whose territory includes parts of Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming, sent a delegation to the State Department in Washington to deliver the news.
“We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” said Russell Means, an Indian rights activist.
The tribal group said it was unilaterally pulling out from a series of treaties signed in the 19th century that it described as “worthless words on worthless paper” because they had been “repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life”.
Mr Means said the new country would issue passports and driving licences, and its citizens would live tax-free.