Thursday, August 23, 2012
Help the Lakota Sioux Save their Sacred Black Hills Land!
Pe' Sla is an area in the Black Hills of South Dakota (just west of Rapid City, South Dakota, United States) that is considered by the Lakota Sioux people to be the Center and heart of everything that is. It is part of our creation story, a sacred place. We perform certain ceremonies at Pe' Sla which sustain the Lakota way of life and keep the universe in harmony. But almost 2,000 acres of Pe' Sla is privately owned and could be auctioned off on August 25, 2012 to the highest bidder.
The seven bands of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Oyate (people) aka Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) have a collective effort to buy as much of Pe'Sla as we can at this auction (although we also believe that the land cannot be owned and that our sacred places were illegally taken by the United States). Yet we are trying to work within the current U.S. laws to regain custody of our sacred sites and prevent future road and industrial development.
Our sacred ways must be protected and passed on to our future generations so that our children may live. This area of the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) is also home to many plants and animals who should also be protected. In fact, many consider that the area should possibly be a historical site, which would also assist in protecting it from future development as well. As Lakota people, our ancestors prayed here, at Pe' Sla, at certain times of year, when the stars aligned. We cannot go elsewhere to pray. We were meant to pray here.
We have a group of young professional Native people that are dedicated to the promotion of education, health, leadership, and sovereignity among our indigenous Nations. Our goal is to assist in any way possible the purchase of Pe' Sla by a collective effort of the seven bands of the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) - the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people. All proceeds from this campaign will go towards that effort. This area would be open to tribal nations for ceremonial purposes. The plants, animals, water, and air in the area would be respected and honored.
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We are hoping to buy as much of the land that is being put up for auction as possible. The total amount of land is 1,942.66 acres which is in 5 tracts (300 - 440 acres each). It is diffcult to say how much this land would be sold for as developers may increase the true western "value". The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has designated $50,000 for the purpose of purchasing Pe' Sla land. By contributing to the effort of all the Sioux Tribes, we aim to purchase at least some of the tracts, if not all. Many of the Sioux Tribes continue to exist in poverty and do not have a thriving casino-based economy as the media may have portrayed. Yet we continue to fight for what is sacred, because it matters!
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." Chief Sitting Bull, 1877