Posted: Jul 19, 2013 8:24 AM by Tara Grimes (email@example.com)
Updated: Jul 20, 2013 10:09 AM
GREAT FALLS - Bryon Farmer, a Blackfeet tribal member arrested for allegedly making defamatory comments on Facebook about his nation's leaders, is speaking out.
Farmer has been an outspoken critic of the Tribal Business Council since Chairman Willie Sharp Jr. suspended five councilman members.
The tribal constitution states that nine council members are needed to conduct businesses.
Farmer's arrest stems from a post he made in June on a Facebook page called "Blackfeet Against Corruption."
The post read:
On Saturday July 13 at North American Indian Days we will show our tribe, Indian Country, America, and the world that the Blackfeet will no longer allow corrupt leaders, illegal actions, politicians that ignore the will of the people, and abuse of our laws and people...we can tell you we are not planning anything violent or illegal so the BTBC will not be able to stop us, no matter how many outside police they call in."
Tribal police arrested him on Friday, July 12th, and charged him for violating Tribal Ordinance 67 which protects tribal council members from "allegation of threats, slanderous material and misleading information."
The judge set his bond at $5,000 and Farmer spent five days in jail, but he says he's not stopping until change is made.
Farmer said, "They have zero evidence of threats or anything against me. I was protesting. I was mad. We were mad. We are sick of this, what is going on."
Farmer's pre-trial hearing is scheduled for next month.
We were unable to get in contact with the tribal council for comment.
Here is the full text of the what Farmer posted on Facebook:
25 DAYS!! 25 DAYS!! Countdown: 25 days to the big show that no Blackfeet will ever forget and will make Indian Country History!
On Saturday July 13, 2012 at North American Indian Days we will show our tribe, Indian Country, America, and the world that the Blackfeet will no longer allow corrupt leaders, illegal actions, politicians that ignore the will of the people, and abuse of our laws and people. We will show all Indians that you CAN take back your reservation when corrupt and incompetent politicians get out of control.
If by July 13th the BTBC has not reinstated the four suspended Councilmen and has not filed criminal charges against Shannon "Silent" Augare the world is going to see something never seen before in Indian Country, and it will all play out in front of the global media: TV, newspapers, YouTube, etc.
If any of the 6 BTBC members - WS, SRC, FBCR, EOP, SA, or LG show their faces in public, even for a minute, they will instantly face something incredible, overwhelming, and unprecedented and the media will be there to capture it. If they hide, the world will know why and we will forge ahead with our plans anyway. The show will go on with or without them.
We are done showing our cards to the BTBC. They will just have to guess at what we have planned and wait like everybody else for the big day. We promise it will be exciting and make headlines worldwide. And we can tell you we are not planning anything violent or illegal so the BTBC will not be able to stop us, no matter how many outside police they call in. Calling a "State of Emergency" and hiding behind a police line isn't going to save them this time.
The BTBC canceled the public flood memorial making a laughably ridiculous excuse about weather (but of course the weather was fine that day). The real reason was that the BTBC knew we had massive protests planned and there were film crews on hand that would have captured the protests and heckling. But this time they don't dare cancel NAID to avoid public humiliation, so see you there!
25 DAYS!! 25 DAYS!! Countdown: 25 days. Be there!