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A Native American History of the Black Hills

A Native American History of the Black Hills

The Black Hills have been considered sacred for millennia to many Native American nations from the United States and Canada. This unique geographic area contains the oldest mountains in the world.

For thousands of years, hot mineral springs were used by indigenous people for healing purposes. Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, and buffalo roamed and lived in these sacred mountains. However, they all disappeared with the illegal trespassing into this area by Euro-Americans in the late 1800s.

Although the Black Hills was, and still is, protected by treaty for the exclusive use of the people of the Great Sioux Nation, the federal government of the United States has allowed the complete destruction of the Black Hills primarily through mining, logging, tourism and housing development.

Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

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Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests

 

 

Articles

Listen to an interview with Charmaine White Face from the Defenders of the Black Hills campaign, a campaign lead by indigenous activists in the US, pushing for a federal cleanup of toxic, abandoned uranium mines in South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Click here to visit Free Radio City interview