Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Right to Cultural Heritage... Sioux Nation

Nine tribes of the Sioux Nation have done some intense fundraising 
to take back land that was once theirs,138 years ago.

This is land that the U.S. government 'gave' the tribes in 1868 and
then took back because they wanted the gold found there in 1874:
the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Although in 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Black Hills were taken illegally
 and offered the tribes a $106 million settlement 
(the case United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians),
the tribes refused the money, saying they wanted the land instead.
In 2012, United Nations Special Rapporteur James Anaya,
publicly but quietly, recommended the stolen lands be returned to the tribes.

Pe' Sla in the Black Hills

The 2000 acres of the pilgrimage site Pe' Sla in the Black Hills
is being sold by owners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds
who put the land for sale August, 2012. 
Within 3 weeks, funds were raised,
$300,000 by Last Real Indians and $1.3 million of the Rosebud Sioux tribe.
Hopefully, the deal will proceed, and Pe' Sla will be purchased,
 and it will remain the Sioux's spiritual and sacred place.

This link has a video and a press release, dated 9/1/2012, 
on the Last Real Indians organization's blog.
For those of you who know little or nothing of U.S. Native Americans,
watch the video.

"Identity is the land. That's why we are still who we are,"
states Madonna Thunder Hawk, in this announcement video.
The event is as yet uncovered and unspoken about by most traditional news media.
Who did cover it? U.S. News and Al Jazeera.

And even though the land has changed in a century,
the sacred meaning of this land to these tribes has not.
The Right to Sacredness is the human side of this issue.
The "Pe' Sla Resolution" becomes an expression
of the Right to Cultural Heritage.
To donate to help the Sioux get back their sacred land, click here.

If the Sioux get this land, they can use their Right to Celebrate.


56 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm always happy to see my native brothers get back which was stolen from them. Yet in away I still feel having to buy back what was stolen from you is a poor substitute and this would be a good time for the Right to Justice to be enforced.
MAR III

Anonymous said...

I love and agree 100% they should have their land back and the U.S. should give it back. Since they wont I will support them and donate, they deserve it. JA

Anonymous said...

The Declaration of the United States states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Can you honestly say that the Native Americans are treated as equals? SAM

Anonymous said...

To make a good analysis to find out if it is fair or not to give the tribes the land back, it is important to know what was the reason the U.S, government had, to give them the land for possession in 1868.
If the reason was that the natives thought it was sacred, then I positively agree that it should be given back to them.

MCC

Anonymous said...

I really do not think it is right that for one, the US Government takes back the land that, which the US Government gave to the Natives. The US Government takes the land back because they found gold....... That sounds like greed to me. Obviously, if the Natives are say that the land is sacred, then give it back.

A252

Anonymous said...

I belive that the natives do deserve their land back. The goverment should just make a trade that instead of the moeny offered they should buy back the land for the tribe and at the same time the people who live on the land it self should be paid something because all though the land was taken from the tribe in an unfair way, the people who own it now have nothing to do with the way it was taken.-RJA

Anonymous said...

I definately beleive that the tribe should get there land back, but i think that the government should make a deal to use the money raised for something els like maybe a scholorship program or to help preserve the land.
-GPC

Anonymous said...


The Sioux Nations of Indians are demanding what is truthfully theirs. Pe’ Sla in the Black Hills was given to them legally many years ago. This is their spiritual and scared land and The U.S. Government didn’t have the right to take it away from them. The tribes are fighting for the cultural rights. Always fight for what you believe in. SAMROG

Anonymous said...

Privatizing the Black Hills caused damage to the cultural heritage of the tribes and causes argument between the Native Americans and the US government. I really think that the land must be own by the tribes. It is not right that the Sioux buy back what was their land. The government should give them the land and compensate the present owners.
HA

Anonymous said...

If this dream becomes a reality, think of the future these people will form and how much more rooted young lives will be. Almost like a new beginning. MV

Anonymous said...

A great read. Native Americans can now voice their opinions greater in Washington. The theory is ridiculous to "buy back" a part of land which was always initially theirs. There's so much more to this controversy, we wouldn't understand motives.

Anonymous said...

(Initials) ^^ LO

Annabel Guerra said...

Wow! Native Americans trying to take back what they have lost is very inspiring. U.S. Government should give back the land, which doesn't belong to their in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I honestly feel that land that belonged to first settled tribes should be left sacred for them. It should be left natural as possible to serve for history and culture! I really think its childish for the government to go against a tribe like that!

- DBP

Anonymous said...

Almost every nation, including the nations of the natives of North America, has known warfare in the name of territorial acquisition. The Iroquois conquered land east of the Mississipi River through warfare, forcing several other tribes out of their homelands and into lands west of the MS.

That said, the methodology that the US government used to acquire this land was dishonest and dishonorable; these peaceful people were treated as subhuman beings and starved into submission. I'm glad they were offered this compensation. I can see from a standpoint of principle, why they would not accept the money in lieu of the land; but, it also should be noted that the land in question is adjacent to a HUGE reservation east called the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, which has a population of about 8,000 Sioux living on it. I think the smart thing to do would be to use the funds (now in an account with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and by some estimates having a current value of around $500 million) to purchase other land and to improve the living conditions of the people on current reservation.

RSK

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see the native Americans get their land back, although they need to fundraise. I'm really upset though, they shouldn't have been kicked out from where they lived just because the U.S Goverment found gold, it just shows how greed can run our country too, this'd think a better title would be the right to live where you want to live.

MTM

Anonymous said...

Humanity's greatest flaw greed, cause us to do despicable things. The land should be returned to its respectful owners with further compensation.
r646

Anonymous said...

The Native American's should never have been taken out of their land.The U.S abused the power and authority. The Native American have the right to get their land back. JPA

Anonymous said...

I understand this is more of a moral issue than a financial one for the tribes. I’m pretty sure they would like a public apology from the State and to be retuned their right to their lands. I can appreciate their strong will and belief in their culture. However, wouldn’t it be smarter to accept the settlement from the Government and use that same money to buy it back? The harm is already done, the gold was already extracted, and those 2000 acres will never be the same.

GS

Anonymous said...

What I believe is that the Goverment should return the land ,as well the settlement .The land to keep the heritage culture and the money could be use to educate present and future generation of the sioux nations.

DAM

Anonymous said...

T he Sioux tribe is just another group of individuals American government has tried to bargain with then taken advantage of. To take someone’s home because you wanted gold is ridiculous and I’m baffled by what society has come to

SAW

Anonymous said...

This is just my opinion. Honestly why would the natives want the land back now? The natural resources are not what they once were... As i researched images of "Pe' Sla in the Black Hills" it doesn't look as it once did. What once was sacred is not anymore. The government should just respect what the natives have left. As true Americas the natives should have equal rights just like us. They should be granted there land back regardless the condition. We don't need more concrete and golf courses. We need more nature! NO MORE MAN MADE! WE NEED MORE NATURE!

At this moment a great song that comes up to mind is called "Earth Song"; Written by Michael Jackson.

SMiLey

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, $106 million dollars in settlement is a lot to pass up but obviously the Black Hills of South Dakota are worth much more then money to the Sioux Nation. For almost a century and a half the Sioux have persevered to regain their sacred land back and if "Identity is the land", my guess would be the Sioux will continue to endure for many centuries more. BB

Anonymous said...

The Nine tribes of the Sioux Nation should get The Black Hills back at no cost, it was theirs before the U.S government found gold and decided to take it away. The U.S should still respect The Treaty of Fort Laramie established 1851 where they distributed this land to the Sioux to keep peace between them without knowing there was gold involved. DDB

Anonymous said...

The natives would be really grateful if they got their land back, they may be sentimental about this land, and it would mean a lot to be a part of it once again. Cultural heritage is a right that everyone should support. No one in this world would like someone taking away the roots that you've had since birth. That, which makes you, you. SVV

Anonymous said...

Once something is given no one should have the right to take it back, unless if it was given fraudulently. In the case of the Sioux, the U.S. government gave the tribes the land and then decided to take it back 6 years later. The black Hills in South Dakota land should be returned to the tribes immediately. SM

Anonymous said...

It’s upsetting to hear that the U.S. Government tried to pay the Sioux tribe for the land that was rightfully theirs. I was encouraged to read that the United Nations suggested that the land be returned; unfortunately this action did not take place. It is heartbreaking to read that in an effort to regain ownership of their sacred land, the Sioux tribe has to raise money to purchase back what rightfully already belongs to them. AVJ

Anonymous said...

When we began settling in what is now the U.S, we never cared for the Native Americans. They were the first ones here and we gave ourselves the right to just take their land away,relocate them,and pretty much do whatever we wanted to them.
Obviously,that was wrong and its even worse that now U.S government thinks they can fix their past mistakes by paying the Native Americans.

JB

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Sioux is horrible. But, what's also horrible are the living conditions and economics on the current Cheyenne River Reservation -- a HUGE reservation east of the Black Hills that is literally the size of some small countries. Let's face it, the state and the US government are NOT going to relinquish the land because of the state interests already there, including entire towns and cities. While they may be making a stand on principle, Cheyenne River is in desperate need of funds to improve roads, sanitation and waste management, schools, and energy production; a large number of Sioux are living in what could be decribed as squalor while hundreds of millions of dollars sit in the bank. What the Sioux are struggling for sounds great in practice; in practice, it's irrational.

RSK

Anonymous said...

It might be inconceivable to some individuals the fact that the tribes of the Sioux Nations are only interested in obtaining back what they consider their sacred land, instead of just taking the 106 million dollars the U.S. government is offering them in compensation; however, money is not everything. The government took the gold; the land needs to be return to their rightful owners. EL

Anonymous said...


As I was growing up, I was taught that it was wrong to take something that didn’t belong to me. And now to read about our own U.S. government, who we Americans are to trust and value, is trying to claim something that doesn’t belong to them. It makes me wonder if what I was taught was a complete fallacy. What kind of example are they setting for our future?

JPK

Anonymous said...

History proves that the native americans lived in these lands before this country was created,so I believe that it is clear who is right in this argument.

Anonymous said...

I am the author of the sentence that starts with the word HISTORY
LC

Anonymous said...

Compensation does not pay for all the natives that die so many years ago when their land was taken. Their land should be definitely return to them. The government should learn that money does not pay blood and tears. Money is just a pain medication but not the cure to what was already done without having any consideration to their pain.
Apple

Anonymous said...

There is no greater value to oneself then the true meaning of what is sacred. This land is worth more then money can buy. The history of this land is the true meaning of value. -SA

Anonymous said...

I don’t feel that anyone should have to buy back what is rightfully theirs. Clearly they have no interest in the money being that they refused the large settlement. They simply want the land because of the sacred meaning it has to them. I agree with them and hope they get it back. ANC

Anonymous said...

I don’t feel that anyone should have to buy back what is rightfully theirs. Clearly they have no interest in the money being that they refused the large settlement. They simply want the land because of the sacred meaning it has to them. I agree with them and hope they get it back.ANC

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately we live in survival of the fittest society and the big bully always wins. It would be lovely for them to get their sacred land back for free but let’s be realistic people. Nothing in life is free and everything has a price tag. This is the world we live in now and when you want something you have to pay for it just like everyone else. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Best of luck to the Sioux tribe.
ARBA

Anonymous said...

If the Supreme Court stated that the land was taken illegally, why wont they just give it back. It's so humble that the tribes denied the money from the settlement. I believe it's the best way to demonstrate not everything can be bought by money. The courageous tribes stand tall with their faith and fight for whats rightfully theirs and what they believe in. It's unfortunate and disappointing that they have to raise intense funds to buy back their land.
MR

Anonymous said...

The Native Americans have been residing in the Black Hills since 7000 BC, so they have every right to the land. Further more they signed a Treaty with the US Government making the land the Native Americans. I believe they had the rights to the gold and for their land to be kept sacred. Instead, the government took all the gold and then turned it into monuments and a park. Then they offered them $106 million, which is sitting in an interest- bearing account, now worth $757 million and the Sioux Nations would still rather have the land. That is inspiring; some things are worth more than money! HL

Anonymous said...

I believe that the right of sacredness is something that no one should play with. The Native Americans believe that their land is sacred and the US Government should respect their beliefs. They made a mistake by taking that land away from the Native Americans but they are on time to repair their mistake by giving the land back to its owner. And all of this just to show respect to the Native American and their belief. - MAV

Anonymous said...

Having something that was yours taken away from you and then sold to you should be considered illegal. It is an insult to The tribes to offer them money to try to appease them. However, the fact that nine tribes came to togther to buy this land that is sacred to them is commendable. Mercy

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Sioux Nation should be given their land back to them. The U.S. took it because of greed, the Sioux Nation needs it to show the world who they are.
ECZ

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, I think that the tribes should get back what was once theirs in the first place. It's not fair that the US Government just took it back because they found gold, while in the other hand; to the tribes those lands have more meaning than money.. It is their spiritual and sacred place. I really hope they get their land back.

AS

Anonymous said...

I think that taking their land back is totally unfair. The US government should respect the fact that this land has special meaning for the native Americans. In my opinion, they should not buy what once was theirs but I really hope they can collect the money and get it back. CPO.

Anonymous said...

The U.S government is so greedy its disguisting, taking the land back because of gold. That is the Natives land and they deserve to get it back.

ADT

Anonymous said...

It shocks me that they even have to fight for what is rightfully theirs. They should’ve had it back a long time ago. The fact that they have to pay for it is such a ridiculous request. I will definitely do my part in helping them get their land back, though. BG

Anonymous said...

More than the right to cultural heritage, this seems to be a matter of respect and justice. Respect to the natives of these lands, the Sioux. It is indecent and sad to see how difficult is for humans to coexist in civilized ways. Some boundaries should never be cross; it is certainly ironic that in an effort to save their sacred lands the Sioux have to buy them back. It’s admirable to see their strength and determination to save their place of origin and cultural heritage.
Aside from the fact the damage is made, the government should take responsibility and find a rational solution to the mess they have caused. That the land must be returned and respects be paid to the tribes, no doubt. The current owners should also be treated respectfully and compensated for had been allowed to acquire land that was not the government’s to resale (God how many times are they going to sale them, Lord). Initially a trade should have been established to use the resources (the gold) for the benefit of all.
Hopefully the government will reassess and practice what they preach, that this nation is ruled honorably. I support the Sioux on their right to cultural heritage and raise my prayers so they get Pe’ Sla back. COCO.

Anonymous said...

RSK has made two good points. True, the most logical thing to do in this situation would be to take the money and run. Unfortunately The issue for the Sioux is not a financial one, they believe these lands to be sacred. This makes it a little more complicated, because the U.S. government is putting a price on is something possibly invaluable in the tribes eyes.

MRM

Anonymous said...

No one human can have real ownership over the land and its resources, because the land belongs to all living creatures. People must learn to coexist with each other and share the resources rather than take fake ownership of it. The natives had their home taken from them which is the emotional and spiritual connection they had to the land not necessarily the land its self and I hope they get their home back. -BRD

Anonymous said...

The Sioux nation has the right to take back the land that was originally their property. Sacred land has always been very important for not only their heritage, but everyone's heritage. For the Sioux nation its land and for other it could be a church, cemetery, recreational park, or even a mosque. I don't think too many people would be to happy to divide $106 million in exchange for a cemetery where they might visit their loved ones. If we would not accept this treatment, why should they?
AS

Anonymous said...

To commence with, the name America was giving by the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, simply because he was the first person to realize that this Land was separate from Asia. The different tribes including the Sioux are the only true natives of this land. They have had already named their Land. The rest of the people that came to this Land are all immigrants searching for personal interest. Then, the Natives had to survive the Europeans who created the United States government. They were terrorized by having their scared lands taken away from them and impeding them from continuing their spiritual customs properly. Then, the U.S. government has the audacity of giving the land back to the tribes in 1868 as if they were owners and thinking they were doing the Natives a favor. On top of all this, the U.S. government has the insolence to take the land back because they wanted the gold found in the land. It’s an insult how the government toys around with scared and symbolic land to the culture of the Sioux, thinking that the solution is money. This issue is beyond material things and money, it’s about respect, culture and humanity. It’s just sad to know that the natives of this land have to buy back land that was stolen from them (as stated by MAR lll). If someone wants the true history of this Land, they shouldn’t refer to a book named “American History” but a book that is told and written by the tribes of this Land, who have lived through all the horrors that the U.S. government have put them through in their own land.

JA23

Anonymous said...

While I agree the land was stolen from the natives, I never really see a point to things like this. The current surviving natives never had anything stolen from them, and the current government isn't the one who did the stealing. Why do they deserve free land, and the government must give it to them?

Didn't the British have control over America before we decided to call ourselves a country and take it? Didn't the French and Spanish have numerous outposts and cities? What are we supposed to do if France comes and asks for the land we stole from them? It's weird how we can feel guilt over the past for some situations but not for others.

NLG

Anonymous said...

I strongly feel the Indians are treated unfair and unjust by the US Government. It is a tragic situation for any individual none the less an entire culture to have the land in which they were so spiritually attached too taken away. I doubt the land in question has any gold left, and it goes to show the type of people Indians are. All they want is their land back, they are even willing to pay for it. AD

Anonymous said...

I think that the US Government offering money to the Sioux tribe is just adding insult to injury. I agree with the other posts and the US Government should acquire those lands again legally and give it back to Sioux tribe. DDL

Anonymous said...

I understand how the remaining members of the Sioux Nation might be upset that their land was taken but think about it was there land really taken? No, it was land that belonged to their ancestors far before their conception. They should be greatful that the government is giving them such a large settlement and in regards of them declining it they're fools for letting their pride get in the way of progress, regardless they are buying back the land nothing is being given to them so why not take the money buy back the land and still have several million to pocket or to buy more land. ID