The fight to protect sacred sites in the Black Hills - KOTA Territory News

The fight to protect sacred sites in the Black Hills

Posted:


Sioux tribes in South Dakota have helped to purchase close to 2,400 acres of sacred land near Deerfield lake in September.

Tuesday, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe was successful in purchasing 40 acres of land in the same area.

Treaty council members and activists say that leaving politics at the door and putting money on the table may be the only solution to protecting sacred Indian sites.

"Trees know where a sacred place is and they will not grow there," said Charmaine White Face, Spokesperson for the Sioux Nation Treaty Council.
 
It's known as 'Old baldy'. Two-thousand acres of largely undeveloped land between Hill City and Rochford which is at the heart of the Sioux Indian creation story.
 
"The Black Hills geologically are the oldest mountains in the world. The hills for us are where we entered the world," said White Face.

But the fight to protect sacred sites like Old Baldy in the Black Hills has reached a costly and critical turning point.
 
"It's what I can legalized ransom. Whenever you have a victim, in this case a sacred site, you pay whatever you have to pay to get it back," said White Face.
 
Putting aside the forgotten promises found in treaties from two centuries ago, tribes are buying back much of their sacred land to prevent desecration.
 
"People are asking why we're buying land that belongs to us. If we didn't buy it, road graders would be there to tear it up and build houses, golf courses and it would be exploited and destroyed," said James Swan, President of the United Urban Warrior Society.
 
And the list of sites to protect is getting longer because of development and land sales.
 
"Evans plunge is for sale. That's a sacred place. I wish the tribes would get together and buy that. Bear Butte has years of controversy behind it. How do you buy it back when the court system is against you. Which court can we go into?" said White Face.
 
Activists say they'd like to reclaim the land that was once theirs, but if they cannot, they will still act as watchdogs to protect it.
 
The American dream for Native people isn't to have a big yard and house, and having a new car. We value earth," said Swan.

Not all Native Americans agree with buying back their sacred sites.

Recently, Oglala Sioux Tribal President elect Bryan Brewer, said he doesn't believe tribes should have to pay for land that belongs to them according to the treaty of 1868.

  • Local News - KOTA TerritoryLocal News KOTA TerritoryMore>>

  • New 24-hour recycling center replaces old Fairmont site

    New 24-hour recycling center replaces old Fairmont site

    You’ll have to go the extra mile if you want to be eco-friendly. The old Fairmont site where people use to drop off their recyclables and yard waste is now closed. It's been replaced with a new 24-hour facility on Highway 79 at the entrance to the landfill. Karl Merbach, superintendent of the Solid Waste Operations, said the city decided to take the money it would have used to repair the Fairmont site and build the new facility. "We think it's a great site. We have lights, we have security c...
    You’ll have to go the extra mile if you want to be eco-friendly. The old Fairmont site where people use to drop off their recyclables and yard waste is now closed. It's been replaced with a new 24-hour facility on Highway 79 at the entrance to the landfill. Karl Merbach, superintendent of the Solid Waste Operations, said the city decided to take the money it would have used to repair the Fairmont site and build the new facility. "We think it's a great site. We have lights, we have security c...
  • Sheriff, former deputy, and police chief run for Fall River County Sheriff

    Sheriff, former deputy, and police chief run for Fall River County Sheriff

    The deadline to register to vote in the 2014 primary election is May 19. Candidates in counties across the state are out gathering support for their campaign. Three candidates are running for Fall River
    Three candidates are running for Fall River County Sheriff.
  • Lemmon native saves soldiers in Afghanistan

    Lemmon native saves soldiers in Afghanistan

    Lemmon native saves soldiers in Afghanistan

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ A native of Lemmon, South Dakota, has been honored for saving the lives of four soldiers in Afghanistan. The Bismarck Tribune reports that military contractor Dave Jensen received the Secretary of Defense Medal of Valor during a recent ceremony at the Pentagon. The Army says Jensen was serving as an operational adviser with the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group in September 2012 when a CH-47 helicopter he was aboard was hit by a rocket. Jensen described his actions a...
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ A native of Lemmon, South Dakota, has been honored for saving the lives of four soldiers in Afghanistan. The Bismarck Tribune reports that military contractor Dave Jensen received the Secretary of Defense Medal of Valor during a recent ceremony at the Pentagon. The Army says Jensen was serving as an operational adviser with the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group in September 2012 when a CH-47 helicopter he was aboard was hit by a rocket. Jensen described his actions a...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New 24-hour recycling center replaces old Fairmont site

    New 24-hour recycling center replaces old Fairmont site

    You’ll have to go the extra mile if you want to be eco-friendly. The old Fairmont site where people use to drop off their recyclables and yard waste is now closed. It's been replaced with a new 24-hour facility on Highway 79 at the entrance to the landfill. Karl Merbach, superintendent of the Solid Waste Operations, said the city decided to take the money it would have used to repair the Fairmont site and build the new facility. "We think it's a great site. We have lights, we have security c...
    You’ll have to go the extra mile if you want to be eco-friendly. The old Fairmont site where people use to drop off their recyclables and yard waste is now closed. It's been replaced with a new 24-hour facility on Highway 79 at the entrance to the landfill. Karl Merbach, superintendent of the Solid Waste Operations, said the city decided to take the money it would have used to repair the Fairmont site and build the new facility. "We think it's a great site. We have lights, we have security c...
  • Rapid City man charged with felony child abuse

    Rapid City man charged with felony child abuse

    A Rapid City man is being charged for allegedly "hitting, spanking and kicking" a nine-year-old child.Jamey Brewer, 38, faces a felony count of child abuse and misdemeanor simple assault.If convicted,
    Jamey Brewer, 38, faces a felony count of child abuse and misdemeanor simple assault.
  • Bond set at $50K for Rapid City man involved in standoff

    Bond set at $50K for Rapid City man involved in standoff

    Bond is set at $50,000 for a Rapid City man charged with three misdemeanors following a standoff in Rapid Valley Thursday afternoon.Lawrence Boise, 37, had his initial appearance in magistrate court Friday.
    Lawrence Boise, 37, had his initial appearance in magistrate court Friday.  He is charged with three misdemeanors including trespassing, obstructing an officer and threatening law enforcement.
Powered by WorldNow

518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

Couldn't find what you were looking for?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - WorldNow and KOTA. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.