Home Meetings Meetings April 30, 2005

April 30, 2005

April 30, 2005

Defenders Meeting Notes - 4-30-05

Opening prayer: Janice Badhorse Larson

Opening remarks: Charmaine White Face


Minutes: Nancy read Defender?s March upcoming events mailing and e-mail alerts. There was no regular meeting in March. Charmaine gave a brief summary of Halcyon Lapoint?s, Feb. 26th Cave Hills slide show and presentation. She is the archeologist from the USFS, Custer National Forest.
Archeologists consider this area to be "the richest and most diverse site record in the Northern Plains." The Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Kiowa consider the Cave Hills area to be a sacred place and have used it for the past 13,000 years, to the present day. Ms. Lapoint will give her slide presentation to communities if asked. She needs at least 2 weeks notice. Her phone number is (406) 657-6220 Ext. 250, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Halcyon is an archeologist and not technical about the uranium? mines or plans for oil well drilling.

Treasurers Report:? Brian? - We have enough funds to operate through the middle of June.

Cave Hills and Other Uranium Mines Discussion:

Charmaine and Aveleena talked about the Cave Hills Prayer Gathering held April 2. Charmaine pointed out the importance of these prayer gathering as Defenders begins to focus on an issue. TheForest Service has posted that there is a 20 hour exposure limit per year in this area due to the high levels of radiation. Aveleena reported her observation of? animal and plants presence or absence at the site.? She also reported the phone calls and personal accounts she has received from people who are living in the Buffalo, Ludlow and Cave Hills area. Harold One Feather from the Rock Creek community told us about his ten year struggle to get attention to this issue. He has lost many of his relatives? to cancer.

Defenders have grave concerns about the fact that children are taken to this area on field trips. People go there to get cultural objects for ceremonies, locals cut pine trees for Christmas. Why did the federal agencies in 1992 only attempt to administratively clean up such a contaminated area? No tribes were notified at that time.

Handouts:?? Winona LaDuke?s article about radiation in the Madison aquifer underlying the Pine Ridge Reservation called, The Political Economy of Radioactive Colonialism,? from a book published in 1992,? The State of Native America, Genocide, Colonization and Resistance, edited by M. Annette Jaimes, South End Press, Boston, MA.

Radiation Basics, prepared in 1999 by Cindy Folkers, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, 1424 16th St., NW, #404, Washington, DC 20036.? www.nirs.org

Uranium in water under scrutiny? by Jomay Steen,? Rapid City Journal,? Feb. 27, 2005, reporting on information received from the Defenders of the Black Hills? Feb. 26th, 2005 meeting.

?Old uranium mining echoes in our health? by Linda Stephens March 31, 2005, The Black Hills Pioneer.? Linda Stephens, is the editor of the Nation?s Center News in Buffalo, SD.

Riley Pass Abandoned Uranium Mines, Sioux Ranger District, Custer National Forest, gives federal background information and forest service future plans.

Anyone? wanting copies of the? handouts by mail, please call the office at (605) 399-1868, or send a note to Defenders, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709.

Action Strategy:

Defenders has named the Abandoned Uranium Mines in the Treaty Territory? as the top priority. These abandoned mines must be cleaned up at all cost.? This is a human rights issue.

1.? We need to keep educating the public by keeping the information in the spotlight so no further coverup is possible.

2. Warning signs are needed along the Grand River at Bullhead, Little Eagle, and Wakpala.

3. We need a Geiger counter.

4. Defenders will begin organizing hard data on environmental and health impacts, and

5.? seeking grants for funding this campaign.

6.? We will need a legal team.

7. Outreach for allies is needed.

ATTENTION:?? The Custer National Forest Service is sponsoring a Cave Hills Meeting? for Wed., May 11, 2005, at 6:00 PM at Harding County Recreation Center, N. Side of school, Buffalo, SD.? Take Hwy? 85 N of Belle Fourche.? Defenders limo will leave Mother Butler Center? parking lot at 2:30 PM for anyone needing a ride.

Bear Butte Preservation Task Force:

Nancy read the minutes prepared by Aveleena of? the April 9th Task Force meeting? which also included a report on the Bear Butte Forum. The location for the plant walk scheduled for May 22 has been changed to the Bureau of Land Management land along the gravel road going east off? I-90 behind Fort Meade VA Hospital. At exit 34 (National Cemetery exit) SD Department of Transportation is proposing a bypass road to link with Hwy 34 which runs east of Sturgis. Medicines must be surveyed for protection as Meade county and the State of South Dakota wish to build this two lane paved road on federal land which is also Treaty territory. Four lanes are proposed to be built alongside? Bear Butte.? Anyone wishing to receive the? BBPTF reports? call Nancy at (605) 720-0282, or send a note to the office.

Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad SEIS:

The? Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement has been received.? The? impacts of noise, the potential of increased coal consumption in the Power River Basin which is within the Treaty territory, and the historic review required by the National Historic Preservation Act are the only issues which the Surface Transportation Board will address.? For further information on DM&E, a Defender priority, call the office at (605) 399-1868, or send a note to the office.


Defenders will conduct a raffle for general operating expenses. Items include a star quilt, a? shawl, an original painting, and two professional photo prints of Bear Butte. Aveleena will coordinate the raffle. Pictures of items will be available on the web. Call the office for tickets to sell at (605) 399-1868, or send a not to Defenders Raffle, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709.



Nominated by Defenders of the Black Hills, the entire Black Hills were designated number 6 of the World?s Ten Most Endangered Sacred Sites.

Handout:? Newsletter of Sacred Sites International Foundation, or checkout www.sacred-sites.org
2005 Most Endangered Sacred Sites by Nancy & Leonard Becker.

2.? USFS, Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board designated Nancy Kile as an alternate to the position of nationally recognized environmental organizations. Next meeting is Wed., May 18, 1-5 PM at the West River Ag. Center, 1905 Plaza Boulevard, Rapid City, SD. The BHNF Advisory Board meetings are open to the public, for more information call Frank Carroll (605) 673-9200 or e-mail? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

3. A Gathering of the OCETI SAKOWIN, Sat. May 14th, 2005, 9:00a.m.- 5:00 PM at the Lower Brule Convention Center, 120 Crazy Horse St., Lower Brule, SD 57548.

Agenda includes a panel of elders discussing the revival of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Great Council Fires, or the Great Sioux Nation, Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, power point presentation by Harvey White Woman, and the International Work with the United Nations report by Charmaine White Face, Spokesperson for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council.? The Gathering is co-sponsored by: Lower Brule Treaty Office, Hunkpati Oyate, Defenders of the Black Hills, and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation from Canada.

Closing prayer: Clifford White Eyes, Sr.

Pot luck meal.

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