Here at Politics Plus, we often focus on the discrimination faced by different minorities, but all to often I forget that one minority has faced more discrimination that any other. I speak of Native Americans. Now the Sioux Nation faces the loss of access to their most sacred site. The land was guaranteed them by treaty in 1868, but they were pushed off it when gold was discovered in the Black Hills. The family that owns the land has always allowed the Sioux Nation to worship there, but now the family is auctioning the land.
Right now, The Oceti Sakowin (comprising the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota People, and also referred to as the Great Sioux Nation) is battling against the clock to save Pe’ Sla, one of our most sacred sites. Pe’ Sla, located in the center of the Black Hills of South Dakota, is considered to be the heart of everything that is by the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people. Besides playing an essential role in our creation story and star knowledge, ceremonies essential to our culture and beliefs, that Tribal elders and spiritual leaders explain help keep the Universe in harmony, must be conducted at Pe’ Sla.
Pe’ Sla is currently owned by the Reynolds family. On August 25, 1,942.66 acres, sold in five tracts of land, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Once sold, it is highly likely that Pe’ Sla will be opened up for development, with the state of South Dakota building an expansive paved road directly through it.
Although we believe our sacred places were taken illegally by the United States government, LastRealindians, Inc. is collaborating with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to centralize fundraising to save Pe ‘Sla by uniting Oceti Sakowin Tribes in an unprecedented, collective effort. Together, we are attempting to buy as much of Pe’ Sla as possible, to save it from destruction, thereby ensuring that future generations of Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, as well as other Tribal Nations that consider the Black Hills holy, will continue to have access to this vital sacred site to practice their faith on its ceremonial grounds in its natural, pristine state…
Inserted from <Indian Country Today Media Network>
See the land. Feel the beauty of the relationship between the people and this land.
I cannot explain it, but I was moved.
Imagine how Christians might feel were we to lose access to the sacred sites in Jerusalem. Many would consider it a terrible loss. Because of the way the land ties into their beliefs, the loss of Pe’Sla to the Sioux Nation is infinitely more painful. We should do whatever we can.