David Bartecchi, Director of Village Earth and its Native Lands Advocacy Project (NLAP), had the honor to present the project’s Lost Agriculture Revenue Database (LARD) at the 3rd Annual Oceti Sakowin Titunwan Lakota Oyate Treaty Conference, December 14-16 in Rapid City, South Dakota. The conference was hosted in partnership with the International Indian Treaty Council and NDN Collective and organized to assemble parties to the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, including the Tetunwan Lakota Oyate Oglala, Sicangu, Sihasapa, Hohwoju, Itazipco, and Hunkpapa, Ohenunpa. The presentation was given upon invitation by the Sicangu Treat Council and a follow-up to a presentation given two-years prior at the 2019 Treaty Conference where we shared our vision for the Native Lands Advocacy Project and Lost Agriculture Revenue Database.
The L.A.R.D. database was developed by the Native Lands Advocacy Project with support from the Indian Land Tenure Foundation to help quantify the impacts of land cessions and discriminatory agriculture policies of the United States government. The database utilizes a novel approach to disaggregate 178 years of county-level agriculture census data, making it possible to aggregate the data for geographies that overlap county boundaries, such as reservations, treaty territories, land cessions, etc.
The purpose of the LARD Database is to create greater understanding of the cumulative economic impact of over a century of discriminatory agriculture policies on native peoples. In fact, the impacts are still experienced today were over 87 percent of the agriculture revenue on contemporary Native American reservations goes to non-natives. For the data on ceded lands, it helps us understand the vast amount of resources and value extracted through agreements, most of which were negotiated unfairly or illegally and then later violated by the United States Government. These resources, once obtained, formed the basis for State formation and capitalist expansion throughout the United States. w
Lost Agriculture Revenue from 1868 Treaty Territory from 1868 to Present
Thus far, NLAP has created interactive data dashboards to present the lost agriculture revenue for all contemporary native lands which illustrates the disparity in agriculture revenue between natives and non-natives using data from the 2017 and 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture for American Indian Reservations and all native land cessions between 1840 and 1894 mapped by Charles Royce as part of United States Serial Set Number 4015, Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and digitized by the United States Forest Service.
For the presentation at the Oceti Sakowin Treaty Conference, NLAP presented the national totals as well as special queries for all contemporary US Oceti Sakowin Reservations, the 1858 Treaty Territory, and the illegal 1877 Black Hills theft. The presentation can be viewed in its entirety below starting at 03:19:00.