Tag Archives: Black Hills

Save Pe Sla

Pe’ Sla is an area in the Black Hills of South Dakota (just west of Rapid City) that is considered by the Lakota people to be the Center and heart of everything that is. It is part of our creation story. It is a sacred place. We perform certain ceremonies at Pe’ Sla which sustain the Lakota way of life and keep the universe in harmony. This area is partly owned by the Reynolds family. They plan to auction off almost 2,000 acres on August 25, 2012 to the highest bidder. It is likely that the state of South Dakota will put a road directly through Pe’ Sla and open up this sacred place for development. 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. This is what they do not understand. Please help the Lakota people. “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” Chief Sitting Bull, 1877 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 and other sites 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. Please see http://www.lastrealindians.com/category/chase-i… for more information. We thank you for your hope in the future.

We are hoping to buy as much of the sacred sites as possible. Currently for sale 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!

UPDATE: Auction was cancelled on August 24, 2012 by the owners. The land is still being offered for sale by private sale.

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Save Pe Sla

Will be talking to Chase Iron Eyes,  and others about what is happening in Lakota Territory. Save Pe’Sla Sunday at 4pm pacific. There is 2 lines into the station. We also have 2 hrs to let the world know what is going on and what they need to do to make it right. The number is 360-867-5267 and its 4pm pacific let me know if you are willing to call in. Thank you all for what you do for the people. Please spread the word. Pe’ Sla, also called “Old Baldy,” is vital to Oceti Sakowin star knowledge and provid…

es evidence of our historical ties to the Black Hills as well. The Black Hills are a terrestrial mirror of the heavens above. Pe’ Sla, an open, rather bare expanse of land compared to its surroundings, corresponds to the Crab Nebula, a gaseous cloud remnant of a supernova explosion that happened in 1054 AD. It is no longer visible with the naked eye- but my people remember it. Like many other Indigenous groups, our ceremonies are tied directly to the Universe and the natural cycles of Ina Maka (Mother Earth). Therefore, it only serves that Pe’ Sla, a location in the heart of the Black Hills that serves as a basis for our star maps, is also a sacred site where ceremonies must be observed each year. According to our beliefs, these rituals must be performed to keep the Universe in harmony and preserve the well being of all, Native and non-Native alike. You see, to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota, Pe’ Sla is not merely prairie. Its grounds are holy. It is our Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is our Mecca. Pe’ Sla is our wailing wall, where we are meant to pray. The danger of the Oceti Sakowin losing Pe’ Sla is real, and imminent. Should Pe’ Sla pass into the hands of someone other than us, it’s highly likely that it will be developed. The State of South Dakota has expressed that it wants to use eminent domain to build a road right through the heart of Pe’ Sla. Development of Pe’ Sla would effectively cut off our access to it, and spell its destruction as a sacred site. Worse yet, we only have 9 days left before auction day. After analyzing our legal options, it was understood that due to time constraints and the fact that Pe’ Sla is currently owned by a private party (the Reynolds family), our only viable option to ensure Pe’ Sla remains a sacred site for future generations of Oceti Sakowin, as well as other Tribes like the Cheyenne and Kiowa who hold similar beliefs and ceremonies, was to buy it. The cost for Pe’ Sla at auction, also called “Reynold’s Prairie,” is estimated to run anywhere from $6 to $10 million. Chase Iron Eyes, founder of Lastrealindians.com, Inc., spearheaded the effort to save Pe’ Sla. Rodney Bordeaux, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, took the initiative to bring his concerns about Pe’ Sla to the Rosebud council, who voted to act as a conduit to unite all Oceti Sakowin Tribes. Within days, the collaborative effort to save Pe’ Sla spread far and wide across the Dakotas, and now, the nation. Grassroots efforts have mobilized Oceti Sakowin Tribal members who are working hard to find solutions, and raise awareness. Right now, in council chambers across The Sioux Empire of old, Tribal leaders are working, against all odds, to raise enough money to buy back land that was stolen from them by the U.S. government. Remember, the Sioux never accepted the Black Hills Settlement as proposed by the United States Supreme Court- who held that the Black Hills were wrongfully taken from us. This effort, by the united Oceti Sakowin to save one of our sacred sites, is unprecedented. Unlike stereotypical portrayals, the majority of Sioux Tribes still struggle financially. Unemployment is high, and many Tribal members live in poverty. Yet there are traditional Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota who are prepared to give till it hurts to save Pe’ Sla. Pe’ Sla is rightfully ours. It was passed down to us from our ancestors, who were here many millennia before European invaders arrived. Now we implore you; stand with us. We need your help. Pray for us and our efforts to save Pe’ Sla. Share this story. Contact your congressman and voice your concerns for Pe’ Sla, the Oceti Sakowin sacred site that’s on the auction block. Contribute to our cause to buy back Pe’ Sla. Donations may be made online with LastRealIndians here or through the Rosebud Sioux Tribe/Pe Sla, 11 Legion Ave., P.O. Box 430, Rosebud, SD 57570. All donations to the Tribe are tax-deductible and will only be used toward the purchase of Pe Sla. We’ve drawn a line in the sand. This effort may take all we’ve got, but we won’t lose Pe’ Sla without a fight. We are doing it for our children, and yours. Ruth Hopkins (Sisseton-Wahpeton/Mdewakanton/Hunkpapa) is a writer, speaker,former science professor and tribal attorney. She is a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and LastRealIndians.com. Read more:http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/ict_sbc/black-hills-auction-saving-pe-sla http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/ict_sbc/black-hills-auction-saving-pe-sla#ixzz24F7Wex00