Home Meetings Meetings December 27, 2003

December 27, 2003

December 27, 2003


Defenders of the Black Hills Meeting Notes - Dec. 27, 2003

Opening prayer: Charmaine

Minutes: The past year's minutes will be officially approved by the executive committee in order to save business time at the regular meeting.

Treasurer's report: As of 12/5/03, Defenders Checking account had a balance of: $2,367.82. Expenditures of $109.44 and $1,000.00 leaving a current balance of: $1,258.18. Lakota Fund Account balance including a recent $23.50 online donation= $6,004.03. Submitted by Brian Brademeyer, Treasurer

1.) LNI: Nancy, Ellen, Aveleena, Sylvia, Joanne and Nick tabled information, buttons, and sold raffle tickets from Dec. 17 - 20, 2003. New members were also added to the mail and Email lists. Thank you to all of you for helping at the table.

Raffle Items: Star Quilt; donated by Janice Badhorse Larson and Maria Sexton from Lower Brule Treaty Office; Ledger Art donated by Gus Yellow Hair, with mat and frame donated by the Kile family; a Buffalo Skull, painted and donated by Corbin Conroy; and a Hand tooled 1800's arrow, donated by Jay Red
Hawk. The drawing for the Raffle items will be held Feb. 28, 2004. Raffle sales during LNI totaled $78.00. Button donations totaled $60.00. (Anyone wishing raffle tickets: $1 each or 6 for $5, please let us know via Email or mail. We also have two buttons: "This is not a consultation." and "The Black
Hills are not for sale." for donations.)

2.) Bear Butte Case Update: Charmaine reported that Jim Leach is asking for a dismissal of the Iron Hawk case, which involves the low-moderate income and HUD misappropriations. Since federal, state, and city dollars are repaid the case is moot. Jim is asking the court for payment of attorney fees and
will donate those monies back to a non-profit lawyers group which handles such cases. Discussion on state's misuse of CDBG federal funds which are meant to help alleviate poverty.

Jim Leach is asking the court for an extension of briefs for the Northern Cheyenne case. (Since the meeting, the Shooting Range proponents have stated to the court that they are abandoning the case. CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to everyone.)

(A Wopila (Thank you) Prayer Ceremony and Feed will be held, Sat. Feb. 28, 2004, 10:00- 4:00. Weather permitting, prayers will be at the ceremonial grounds at Bear Butte with a feed and honoring at Sturgis High School. Anyone interested in working on this, please let Charmaine know. We need a
drum group, honoring donations, food, cooks, and cook helpers.)

Defenders of the Black Hills website is updated, thanks Nick.

3.) Bear Butte Land Trust Fund: Brett agreed to research this.

4.) The Comanche Nation has sent us a resolution of support for a federal bill: the Bear Butte Protection and Preservation Act. (So many things have happened like this with our work on Bear Butte. Serendipity? Anyone want to help draft a bill?)

5.) By-laws and formalizing Executive Board Charmaine will call members and meeting time.

6.) DM&E Appeal: Brian presented a draft letter to be sent from Native Ecosystems Council and Defenders of the Black Hills, to appeal the USDA Forest Service decision as our comments were not answered. Copies of the Letter will be available at next meeting.

7.) NFPA National Speakers Tour - Charmaine has submitted a proposal for funding. Total needed is about $12,000. NFPA proposal is for $5,000. Other funds will be sought. In the meantime, members for a Tour Planning Committee are needed.

8.) The City of Sturgis has a cultural plan which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. "A Key to our Future" plans to retain and celebrate historic roots, and to ensure that cultural events will play a part in the continuing growth of the Sturgis community. (Nancy
has further details.) Bear Butte has been used as a back drop image for much of Sturgis tourism while excluding the rich and ancient Indigenous history. Sturgis represents Indigenous peoples' culture with one questionably historic painting hanging in the post office which depicts the killing of a military mail carrier. With Bear Butte in the background, the man and his horse lie filled with arrows as settlers approach the scene of his death. Nancy is a member of the arts council and will be watch dogging this plan. Your feedback and comments are appreciated. Please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to Defenders, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709.

8.) Exotic Species Endangering Native Plants: Brian presented a letter from the National Parks Service regarding proposals to control exotic (non-native) plants at 13 National Parks located in the Northern Great Plans area. Comments may be submitted using the project web page: www.northerngreatplains-nps.com Comments must be submitted by Feb. 2, 2004. (Information attached.)

9.) Bear Butte Documentary: Sally Henderson, a documentary producer and friend of Charmaine's has approached Defenders with the idea of making a documentary of the shooting range encroachment of Bear Butte, and/or the destruction in the Black Hills. She is working on additional support for the
idea. Charmaine will update the group as the idea progresses.

10.) 11 Most Endangered Historic Places: On Jan. 9, Charmaine, Nancy and Ellen will work in Sturgis on the nomination application for Bear Butte as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Included in the packet will be pictures of urban sprawl encroaching on this sacred site. (Letters of support from individuals and organizations are needed and should be sent IMMEDIATELY to: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Office of Communications/Eleven Most Endangered, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036 )

(Please include "I am writing to support the nomination of sacred Bear Butte as one of America's Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places.")

11.) Next Meeting: Lower Brule has invited Defenders of the Black Hills to hold our January regular meeting at their Treaty Office; 1-5:00, Sat. Jan. 24. Directions: Take I-90 to Reliance, Exit 248; Take Highway 47 to 3 towers at Malfunction Junction. Go North, to left - Office is across from the Casino, in Bldg. 317 next door to the Ambulance in Lower Brule.

Closing Prayer: Rosalie Little Thunder

Submitted by Nancy Kile, Secretary.
Concurred by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator


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."

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