Home Meetings Meetings January 24, 2004

January 24, 2004

January 24, 2004

Defenders of the Black Hills Regular Meeting - Jan. 24, 2004 lower Brule Treaty Office, Lower Brule Reservation

Opening Prayer: Stella Pretty Sounding Flute

Opening Remarks: Charmaine gave a brief summary of Defenders, our purpose, how we began, actions and campaigns, and current status.

Introductions: Each person told where they were from and why interested
in attending.

Treasurer's Report:
a.) Defenders Checking account had a balance of: $1,258.18. Expenditures of $100 for postage and copies leaving a balance of about $1,158.18 Lakota Fund Account balance = $6,004.03.

b.) Charmaine introduced Brian Brademeyer, Treasurer who was unable to attend.

c.) Non-profit corporation status is proceeding; state papers have been submitted, and Brett is working on federal paperwork.

d.) Seva Foundation gave a grant of $3,500 to be used for the Bear Butte Court Days. Now that there will be no Court Days, a request has been sent asking that the funds be used to for a large meeting to discuss long-range protection plans for Bear Butte. If the request is denied, we need to
return the $3,500 which is part of the balance still at Lakota Fund. We will know the answer in a few weeks.

e.) DonateNow manages our on-line donations through the Internet. They are changing their policy and will not be cost effective for us unless we increase the on-line donations. Discussion followed. Charmaine will check on option of keeping at a percentage as is currently if receive under $100 per
month. Carl will check on other donation options. Consensus agreed a 6 month waiting period to see if website is generating income. If it is not we will drop the on-line donation option. Website is:

Direct donations are accepted through our mailing address at:
Defenders of the Black Hills, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709

Minutes: Written minutes were available but the reading bypassed due to lack of time.

1. Bear Butte Update:

a.) Charmaine gave a summary of the law suits. Also told about Wopila (Thank You) Prayer Gathering scheduled for Feb. 28, 2004. Prayers will be outdoors at 10:00 at Bear Butte Visitor Center (weather permitting). Meal and honoring at Sturgis High School East Gym, Hwy 34 across from Fort Meade
VA Hospital, following the prayers. All Defenders and the public are invited to share this happy occasion.

b.) Defenders nominated Bear Butte as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places as a sacred site through the National Trust for Historic Preservation based on urban sprawl, insensitive planning and development. Individuals are encourage to write a letter of support and include the words: "I am
writing in support of nominating Bear Butte as one of the 11 most endangered places of 2004".

Letters are not accepted via fax or e-mail but must be mailed to:

Office of Communications/11 Most Endangered
1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

c.) Cooks Committee for the Bear Butte Wopila will meet Feb. 7, 9:00 a.m. at St Isaac Jogues coffee room, next door to Mother Butler Center in Rapid City. Nancy is in charge of the meal again this year. Anyone wishing to help peel potatoes, cut veggies, etc. please E-mail Nancy ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or call her to sign up: 605-720-0282. Leave a message, name and phone # if not answer and she'll get
back to you.

2. Raffle: Ellen will be selling raffle tickets at the Native Voice Film Festival, January 28th -31st in lobby of Elks Theater, Rapid City, SD. 1 ticket for $1, 6 tickets for $5. Raffle items include a Star Quilt, Ledger
Art, painted Buffalo Skull, and a Hand tooled 1800's arrow. Raffle winners will be drawn at the Wopila.

3. National Speaking Tour: Defenders submitted a proposal to the National Forest Protection Alliance for $5,000 to train and organize a National Speaking Tour on the topic of the Black Hills for some of our members to travel to Washington DC giving presentations on the trip. This idea was
previously discussed at a Defenders meeting over a year ago. A van carrying 6 people will travel from April 1- 18 and will cost about $12,000. Additional funds are being sought for the remaining $7,000.

4. Black Hills Long-Range Plans: A strategy planning meeting is being scheduled for Sun., Feb. 29, the day after the Wopila celebration, to discuss specifically the Black Hills. This day was chosen to allow more input from those traveling long distances. We will meet 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the Coffee Room, St. Isaac Jogues Church, next door to Mother Butler Center off Knollwood Dr., Rapid City, SD. (Off I-90 at Haines Ave.exit, 1st left on the S. Side of the Interstate.)

5. Homestake Mine Update: The state of South Dakota and some scientists are trying to convert Homestake Mine into an underground science laboratory. This was once the largest gold mine in the world and the one that started the violation of the Treaties between the Great Sioux Nation and the US.
Scientists can then use the lab to conduct various experiments. Barrick Mining Company from Canada, the current owners, has not given the mine to the state until Barrick can be assured they will not be held responsible for any environmental liabilities caused by the mine and its use. SD Gov. Rounds, and the National Science Foundation need to be reminded that they are trespassing into Treaty Territory. Letters can be sent to:

Governor Mike Rounds
500 East Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501-5070

The National Science Foundation
Dr. Rita R. Colwell; Director
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA

6. Open discussion:

A group of people from Rock Creek District on the Standing Rock Reservation brought forth the issue of contaminated water in the Grand River that is affecting the health of the people of their community. They were asked to send copies of information, a summary of whom they have contacted, and the
results to Charmaine. She will work with them to find out the source of the contamination, help with a campaign, and if it is the open-pit uranium mine in the Cave Hills/Slim Buttes area, it is already on our list. Janice Howe from Crow Creek also brought up contaminated water in their area. She was
requested to provide the same kind of information.
Further discussion about different concerns.

Closing Remarks: Stella Pretty Sounding Flute and song by Alvin Grass Rope

Closing Prayer: Pansy Hawk Wing

Hand outs: Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868, Fort Laramie Treaty map and Summary, 24 Issue Sheet, Black Hills National Forest miles of roads map, double sided with Brian Brademeyer's "Lawless Logging won't stop wildfires" editorial, United States Department of the Interior plan to control exotic (non-native) plants with comment form, Bear Butte Wopila invitation-announcement, Charmaine's editorial on "Homestake Mine" (in SFArgus Leader, Jna. 25, 2004), Native Ecosystems Council and Defenders notice of DM&E Appeal Disposition, and Defenders of the Black Hills December 27th,
2002 Minutes. (Anyone wishing a copy of any of these handouts, please let us know.)


Defenders of the Black Hills
PO Box 2003
Rapid City, SD 57709
Phone/Fax (605) 343-5387

Wopila (Thank You) Prayer Gathering

You are cordially invited to a Wopila (Thank You) Prayer Gathering on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004.
Prayers will be conducted on the southern side of Bear Butte beginning at 10:00 a.m. with a meal and honoring to follow at the Sturgis High School East Gym which is located on SD Hwy. 34 across the road from the Fort Meade VA Hospital. This prayer ceremony is in appreciation for the abandoning of a proposal to build a rifle shooting range four miles north of Bear Butte.

Please join us for this happy occasion.

Defenders of the Black Hills
Charmaine White Face, Coordinator
79th Session, 8th day
State of South Dakota
House of Representatives, Pierre
Friday, January, 23, 2004

HB 1226 Introduced by: Representatives Bradford, Bartling, Burg, Elliott, Engels, Gassman, Hargens, Hundstad, Kroger, Lange, Nesselhuf, Olson (Mel), Peterson (Jim), Thompson, and Van Norman and Senators Nachtigal and Koetzle

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to--direct the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to enter into negotiations with Indian tribes related to the management of Bear Butte State Park.

Was read the first time and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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