Home Meetings Meetings February 29, 2004

February 29, 2004

February 29, 2004

Defenders of the Black Hills Regular Meeting notes - Feb. 29, 2004

Opening Prayer: Frances Bernie

Opening Remarks: Charmaine
This meeting is specifically to discuss the direction Defenders wish to take on the many issues regarding the Black Hills. Waived reading of minutes and treasurers report. [A report on the Bear Butte Thanksgiving event will be sent separately.]

Introductions: Each person gave an introduction of themselves and explained their reasons for being at the meeting. The following are the recommendations and actions.

1. Long Range Protection of Bear Butte: A land buffer zone designation under First Nations management through federal legislation. All tribes must be included, could be similar to Medicine Wheel Coalition work.

a.) Phase I - Two-day planning meeting by members from as many of the nations that use Bear Butte. Scheduled for May 29-30, funded by SEVA Foundation.

* A Planning Committee to do the logistics of such a gathering will be convened.

b.) Phase II - Sacred Sites conference in the Fall

c.) Bear Butte has been nominated as one of the 11 Most Endangered Sacred Sites by Defenders.

2. Francis Bernie is submitting an application for an environmental preservation award for Defenders. It is due tomorrow, March 1.

3. A postage stamp recognizing endangered sacred sites particularly Bear Butte was recommended as a way to increase the awareness by the larger public. Billy Stewart will coordinate this project, gathering information on the process, etc.

4. A postage stamp was also recommended for the 11 Most Endangered National Forests. The Black Hills are probably THE most endangered national forest. Jake Kreilick was asked if National Forest Protection Alliance would work on this.

5. The Black Hills: The rapid urbanization and development within the Black Hills, along with the fire scare fanned by the US Forest Service and timber industry, directs us to focus this years' campaign efforts on the desecration that continues to occur in the Black Hills.

(a) Francis Bernie suggested that legislation, rather than litigation would be the best way to protect wilderness within the Treaty territory.

(b.) Increasing Outreach through:

(1) Expanding the website. Carl Meyer is the new webmaster. Ellen will edit the 24 issues to a couple of paragraphs each so they can be put on the website. Charmaine has published editorials on most of the 24 issues.

(2) Increasing student involvement: Brian has a place in the Hills that he is building which could be used for summer youth educational camps. Jake recommended a coalition effort and suggested a conference call to plan such an effort.

(3) A Black Hills Action Camp is being planned by the Lakota Action Network under Nick Tilsen with Ruckus, Greenpeace, and NFPA. No action was taken by the group for Defenders to be involved.

(4) Billy offered to help set up distance conference meetings to educate others on the Black Hills issues.

(5) The Oglala Sioux Tribe is planning a treaty enactment on April 29th, the 136th anniversary of the Fort Laramie Treaty Signing. We have been discussing hosting a candidate forum also on that date. SD will be holding a special election combined with the general election in June. Candidates will be given a set of questions regarding the treaty, the return of the land, the degradation of the Black Hills, and questions about other issues. This could be a large media event and time to educate more people about the issues as Sen. Minority Leader Tom Daschle is also one of the candidates. It was the Lakota vote that put Sen. Tim Johnson in office by 400+ votes. Defenders will plan details and logistics at our next regular meeting, Sat., March 27, St. Isaac Jogues coffee room, 1-5 p.m.

(6) Sandy Little will work on a new version of the brochure.

(7) Media outreach needs to be expanded. [If there is anyone that wants to help with this, please let Charmaine know. She writes the press notices so it would be a matter of getting them to more outlets.]

(8) One of the recommendations for federal legislation was a tribal Black Hills National Park. This would require an entire campaign for federal legislation until the Treaty is upheld.

6. The proposal that was submitted for a national speakers road show about the Black Hills to travel in the Upper Midwest and DC area was not funded.

7. Debbie Little asked "how does the issue of 638 (school funding) tie into Defender issues and focus?" [Defenders has been asked to become involved in many issues. Our mission statement speaks specifically to the physical environmental issues. Although the human interaction is also part of the
larger environment, it was the destruction of the Black Hills that spurred the creation of Defenders. To be effective, we must stick to our original focus. As it is now, there are ideas that we are unable to accomplish due to the lack of personnel.]

8. Eric has contacts with Arapaho and Shoshone in Wind River and will tell them about our efforts. He also has contacts with local Meade County radio station manager who could get our messages out to the Meade County community.

Closing Prayer: James Black Bear

Potluck meal

Submitted by Nancy Kile, Secretary
Additions and Concurrence 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