Return Sacred Land to Native Sioux Community

Black Hills

Target: U.S. Department of Interior

Goal: Return the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Sioux without any exchange of money

A large portion of the Black Hills, sacred land known as Pe’ Sla by the Lakota Sioux, is for sale after nearly 150 years of control by the Reynolds family. A claim to purchase the land by the Sioux has been accepted, and the tribe must raise $9 million by November, not a small feat for the poorest community in the United States.

The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 gave the Black Hills back to the Sioux, but when gold was discovered there not long after, the government appropriated the land once again after starving the people living there. Since 1876, the Reynolds Family has controlled the land. In 1979, the U.S. Court of Claims found the government’s dealings with the tribe to include some of the most dishonourable acts in the country’s history.

The Supreme Court followed this with a decision to pay the tribe a considerable sum for the Black Hills land. However, the Sioux refused any notion of selling sacred land. Now this same federal fund has gained interest and totals $800 million, but the Sioux, on principle, are no closer to accepting this, even to purchase back the land.

After 150 years of fighting in court for the return of land rightfully theirs by principle and treaty, the Sioux are determined not to miss this opportunity, and are making a strong effort to raise the sum, despite many obstacles. For a long time the Sioux of South Dakota have been among the poorest people in the United States, with 80% unemployment.

Further, many tribal members question the fairness of the sale, as the land is obviously, and rightfully theirs. Clearly, it is the responsibility of the United States, and the very least they could do in reparation for the crimes committed against the Sioux and all Native American peoples is to return the entire Black Hills to the Sioux.

Please demand that the Department of Interior support the Sioux and uphold the original treaty by compensating the Reynolds family, and returning the Black Hills to the Sioux.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear U.S. Department of the Interior,

The Sioux are currently trying to raise funds to purchase a large portion of the Black Hills in South Dakota, land that is sacred to them. For over one hundred years, the tribe has fought in court for land which was originally theirs and which is designated theirs in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. But soon after the creation of this treaty, gold was discovered on this land and the government re-appropriated it.

The Reynolds family, which has controlled the Pe’ Sla portion of the Black Hills since 1876, is finally selling it and has approved the Sioux’s claim for purchase. Although the government offered to pay the tribe for the land in 1979, the Sioux would not accept the sale of sacred land.

After the crimes the U.S. Government has and continues to commit towards the Sioux and other tribes throughout the country, the only decent and responsible action is the return of the Black Hills to the Sioux without an exchange of money. Please, as the department responsible for maintaining peace with the native nations within your country, compensate the Reynolds family and return the Black Hills at no cost to the Sioux.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ConspiracyofHappiness via Flickr

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare

4 Comments

  1. Nancy Crouse says:

    It is time for all lands to be returned to our native brothers and sisters in North America. It seem to be easier to give up lands to foreign buyers but because the government should reveal a conscience and honour treaties signed in the past “giving back” lands that were originally native lands, governments prefer selling to gain money for their selfish needs and wants.

  2. They’re still at it, usurping the land from the native Indians who are the original Americans. What gives anyone the right to take any land from its original inhabitants?

  3. I cannot imagine turning down $800 MILLION. And SACREDNESS is NOT FOR SALE. That is amazing and powerful integrity from some of the poorest (monetarily) residents of North America.

  4. (MY FAX READS AS FOLLOWS):

    TO: SENATOR TIM JOHNSON; SENATOR JOHN THUNE; SECRETARY KEN SALAZAR
    REPRESENTATIVE KRISTI NOEM
    DOI-IA ASSISTANT SECRETARY KEVIN WASHBURN

    BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS HOLDS AN INTEREST-BEARING ACCOUNT PRESENTLY CONTAINING NEARLY $1 BILLION FOR THE COMBINED BENEFIT OF THE SIOUX TRIBES.

    THIS WAS COMPENSATION BY THE USA TO THE TRIBES FOR WRONGFULLY TAKING THE BLACK HILLS OF SOUTH DAKOTA IN BREACH OF TREATY. SEE SUPREME COURT DECISION IN UNITED STATES V. SIOUX NATION OF INDIANS, 448 U.S. 371 (1980).

    BUT THE SIOUX HAVE REJECTED THE MONEY BECAUSE THEY WOULD RATHER HAVE THE LAND, WHICH IS “OWNED” BY OTHERS AND GENERALLY RARE TO ACQUIRE.

    NOW A PRIVATE SALE IS PENDING IN WHICH THE SIOUX HAVE SIGNED A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE A SPECIAL 1,942-ACRE TRACT OF BLACK HILLS LAND FOR $9 MILLION.

    THEY CAN’T CLOSE THE PURCHASE UNLESS THEY COME UP WITH THE MONEY.

    BUT MONEY IS TIGHT.

    SO HOW ABOUT THE BIA RELEASES $9 MILLION OF THAT BILLION DOLLARS TO ENABLE THE SIOUX TO CLOSE THIS PURCHASE?

    YES THE COURT AWARDED CASH WAS INTENDED TO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE LAND.

    BUT HERE IS A CHANCE TO USE THAT COURT AWARDED CASH FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING COMPENSATION IN KIND, RETURNING PART OF WHAT WAS ACTUALLY TAKEN.

    WHICH IS WHAT THE SIOUX HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR ALL ALONG — THE LAND.

    THESE FUNDS DON’T EVEN NEED TO BE APPROPRIATED!
    THEY JUST NEED TO BE RELEASED!

    SEEMS SO OBVIOUS AND UNCOMPLICATED.

    DON’T MISS THIS WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT SOME SMALL MEASURE OF GREAT HISTORICAL INJUSTICE.

    PLEASE HELP THE SIOUX BUY BACK AS MUCH BLACK HILLS LAND AS POSSIBLE WHENEVER IT IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE.

    Call: VERNON SCHMIDT & LOUIS WAYNE BOYD at Rosebud Nation phone 605-747-2381

    Call: JOHN STEELE & TOM POOR BEAR at Oglaga Nation phone 605-867-5821

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Facebook Comments

comments

248 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Marianne Oelman
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Danny Laughlin
  • Jutta Taraniuk
  • Melanie waleski
1 of 25123...25
Skip to toolbar