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Sioux Tribe Reaches Out on Internet to Raise Money to Buy Back Sacred Land
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Sioux Tribe Reaches Out on Internet to Raise Money to Buy Back Sacred Land
Pe' Sla (AP Photo, courtesy of South Dakota Magazine, Bernie Hunhoff)
Having lost their lands two centuries ago, members of the Sioux Nation are now trying to buy back a portion of the Black Hills.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Native American blog Last Real Indians want to raise $1 million to purchase 1,943 acres that is going on sale on August 25. The land is considered sacred to the Sioux, who call it “the Center and heart of everything that is.”
So far the campaign has raised $137,000, considerably less than what is needed to buy the Reynolds Prairie, named after the family who owns it. The Lakota Sioux call it “Pe’Sla” (Old Baldy).
“We shouldn’t have to buy back something that’s already ours,” said Chase Iron Eyes, who’s involved in the fundraising effort. “But, we’re adaptable.”
The Black Hills were granted to the Sioux Nation under the Laramie Treaty of 1868. A few years later, prospectors began encroaching on the land after gold was discovered in the area.
The U.S. government seized the Black Hills in 1877 following battles between the Sioux and American cavalry, including the infamous Battle of Greasy Grass (what the Sioux call Little Big Horn) where General George Custer and his men were killed.
Donations to the purchase campaign can be made here.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Pe’Sla: Protecting Sacred Sites as the Next Battle Ground (by Chase Iron Eyes, Last Real Indians)
Support Is Needed to Save Black Hills Sacred Site (by Gale Courey Toensing, Indian Country)
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