RIDGE--Mr. Gary Frischer was in Pine Ridge this week. Frischer is a
Multi-District Litigation Consultant. Mr. Frischer said that Attorney
Jeffrey Herman, who has previously and successfully sued the Catholic
Church, is representing hundreds of Lakota who have been sexually,
mentally and physically abused.
"It's about the alleged stripping of the Lakota Culture from many
children who attended Catholic schools in the past," Frischer said. "And
the federal lawsuit will be filed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on 17
When Frischer was asked how long he's been around here, he answered, "I
came here in September to do research, so we have solid legs to stand
on. This is my fifth trip here, every two or three weeks I'm here. And
what I have found is that the Catholic Church, including Holy Rosary,
has completely derailed a culture. Our goal is to reflect what has
happened to these Indian people. I have always said, if Indian people
want to practice their traditions, they should be allowed to do so."
When asked if he and Attorney Herman were accustomed to major lawsuits
such as this, he answered, "I have been at this for 23 years, and this
is the best lawsuit I've been involved in. I did the DuPont Fire and the
Union Carbide lawsuit in India. We did the litigation on the Lockerbie,
Scotland, terrorist attack. Another high-profile lawsuit we did was the
MIA Act of Congress."
BHPNEWS: The Catholic Church has lost a lot of credibility in the past
"With all the sexual abuse lawsuits the Catholic Church has been
involved in," Frischer said, "the Church has lost all credibility. And
that is in our favor. We have discovered the U.S. government allegedly
made secret payments for children to attend St. Francis. The government
paid for children to go to that school. And the school is supposed to be
independently funded. That's concealment."
BHPNEWS: Will a successful lawsuit shut down the Catholic schools in
Frischer said no, the schools will still be there and operating. The
U.S. government honors treaty stipulations; therefore, the government
will keep them running.
BHPNEWS: Abuse of children in Catholic schools is so well know, I'm
surprised a lawsuit like this hasn't come forward years ago.
"People elsewhere don't care," Frischer said. "If people elsewhere,
white people, went through what the Indian people went through due to
the Catholic Church, they would have had the church in court years ago.
And the lawsuits would have driven the Church out of business. It's time
for justice here. Two years ago we couldn't have successfully done this.
Timing is everything now. This lawsuit will bring change to the whole
BHPNEWS: This lawsuit will be high profile?
"Yes," Frischer answered, "people everywhere need to know what happened
during and after colonization. To see that maybe these people, who
brought and forced Christianity on the people, weren't so holy. To make
the lawsuit high profile, the minute the lawsuit is filed in Sioux
Falls, we will go to worldwide media. Worldwide media has already been
When asked what drives his consulting firm and law team to seek out
these cases, Frischer replied, "I love doing these projects. These
horrors, allegedly inflicted on one group of people, need to be dealt
with in litigation; then the grieving and healing can begin. There was
so much oppression of your people. I have interviewed so many Indian
people, and the same names of priests and nuns keep popping up. When
these priests and nuns bot out of hand, the Church just transferred
them; just transferred the problem to a different area."
BHPNEWS: In history books, I have read where the Catholics basically
traded souls for soil.
"According to the 1868 Treaty," Frischer said, "the schools were brought
to the Indians to teach English. And that was it. Schools weren't
allowed to convert Indian people to Christianity. And they definitely
weren't set up to inflict sexual, physical and mental torture. And they
definitely weren't set up to destroy a nation of people and their
culture. The people never asked for a holocaust."
Mr. Frischer hosted an informational meeting/supper at Wapamni CAP this
past Tuesday. His flyer read:
If you are interested in joining the hundred of Oyate that are pursuing
this litigation, please attend this important meeting. For more
information, please call Floyd Hand at 867-5762.
Mr. Frischer can also be reached at 605-384-5100 or gfomedia.com