Native Village 
Youth and Education News

January 1, 2013

Native American Tribes Successfully Buy Back Stolen Sacred Land
Condensed by Native Village

I can tell you that Pe' Sla, the sacred land on behalf of the Oceti Sakowin, is secured. Pe' Sla has been purchased.  Cyril Scott, Rosebud Sioux Tribal Chairman








View  "Honor the Treaties,"
Best Short Documentary at the Red Nation Film Festival.

South Dakota: S
till waiting for US to honor their treaties, the Oceti Sakowin, known as the Great Sioux Nation, raised $9,000,000 to purchase Pe Sla, a sacred site in Black Hills, SD.

Though touted as a victory for tribes within Oceti Sakowin, many tribal members opposed paying for land that is still rightfully theirs. For them, purchasing the Black Hills site is another reminder of the many unfilled US treaties.

Its like someone stealing my car and I have to pay to get it back, said Tom Poor Bear, vice president of the Oglala Lakota Tribe.

Bryan Brewer, president-elect of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, had mixed feelings. "I'm still against buying something we own, but I'm thrilled the tribes are buying it," he said.

The tribal nation of Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people raised $9,000,000 to purchase  the 1,942-acre parcel of land.  Owners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds canceled a public auction of the land after tribal members expressed outrage. They offered the Nation a chance to come up with the funds by November 30. 

             Official statement by the Great Sioux Nation

  The historic requisition of Pe Sla started today in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Crow Creek Tribe, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe community gathered in a historic assembly of the United Tribes.

Pe Sla is sacred because it is related to the Lakota creation and it is the site for annual ceremonies. It has historically hosted many village gatherings. Black Elk, the Lakota visionary sought his visions at Pe Sla. It is the high mountain on a prairie in the heart of the Black Hills.

The land of Pe Sla was once protected by the 1868 and 1851 Sioux nation treaties. The United States violated those treaties and took the Black Hills in violation of the fifth amendment of the Constitution. Today the requisition is a historic event for the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people. The tribes will work together to form the Oceti Sakowin Sacred Land Protection Commission to protect Pe Sla. We will preserve the sacred site for traditional and cultural ceremonies and keep it in a pristine state for our future generations.

We are grateful to stand together before the creator and to help our people in reclaiming one of our most sacred sites. We are not waiting for the United States to deal with this justly on the Black Hills rights and we ask that now that we are exercising our inherent sovereign authority to protect this most sacred site. We must perpetuate our way of life for future generations.

We thank the members of the public who donated to this cause to create justice for all people and now we are more determined than ever that the United States must provide justice for our people. We thank the Reynolds family for working with us in our requisition of Pe Sla as a sacred site for Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people.

The cause of the Lakota tribe has gained champions in photographer Aaron Huey and artists Shepard Fairy and Ernesto Yerena.  They are spearheading Honor the Treaties a campaign that educates and informs others about the U.S. government's ongoing neglect of First Nations' rights.

A short documentary film, also titled Honor the Treaties by filmmaker Eric Becker, won Best Short Documentary at the Red Nation Film Festival.

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