Home Meetings Meetings March 25, 2006

March 25, 2006

March 25, 2006

March 25, 2006, Meeting Notes

Opening Prayer: Clifford White Eyes, Sr.

Opening Remarks: Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

Ms. White Face has moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation but will be in the office on Tues. and Fridays, 9:00-5:00. We have received a donation from the Tierra Madre Fund for $1,000.00 so will be able to keep the office open through April.

The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Mr. Lee Pedro, representative from the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, who worked with Defenders for the past three years, and was recently working on raising funds for the past due legal fees from the Bear Butte Shooting Range case. He will be greatly missed. Condolences will be sent to his wife and Tribe. Ms. White Face stated that our work is very serious and we must pray for everyone's health and protection every day.

Introductions were made individually by those present.

Minutes of the past meeting were not available. Ms. White Face forgot to bring them after hearing the news of Mr. Pedro's death just prior to the meeting.

Treasurer's Report: Brian Brademeyer

Special Guest: Theresa Glinski, Dakota Plains legal Services, gave a presentation regarding Indian land trust issues. She invited everyone to a Community Education Meeting at 6:30 on Thurs., March 30, at the Mother Butler Center. Also, anyone wishing to find out about land ownership issues can write or visit the Office of Special Trustee, 801 Mt. Rushmore Road, Rapid City, SO 57701. A question and answer
session followed.

1. Bear Butte - Information was given regarding the Rally that is planned by some other organizations. It was the consensus to send a letter to the Meade County Commissioners and the media reaffirming our position of no development, not just no liquor, within a five mile radius of Bear Butte as we already approached the Commissioners last Fall with our concerns. (Attached)

Congratulations to the Northern Cheyenne Nation for their recent acquisition of 36 acres on the west side of Bear Butte!

Also, Donations can be sent to the Defenders of the Black Hills Bear Butte land Trust Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, 825 St. Joseph, Rapid City, SO 57701; or at the website, www.defEmdblackhills.org. through the DonateNow button and stating the donation is for the land Trust Fund. This is also a way for teachers, parents, grandparents and others to educate children and students about Bear Butte as well as help raise funds to preserve and protect the land around this holy place.

2. Black Hills Committee: Garvard Good Plume Jr. and Ted Ten Fingers are co-chairing the committee which met once prior to the meeting. This committee was established at the Special and last Regular Meeting in Feb. Discussion centered on plans for an 1868 Treaty Commemoration Gathering on April 29, 2006, at the Mother Butler Center. The purpose is to inform everyone about what is happening in the Black Hills and to begin some efforts at protection. The Committee will meet again on Sunday at 1:00 at the office to finalize the agenda. (Sent in separate email)

3. Uranium Mines: Charmaine gave an update.

a. An interview was held with WBAI radio in New York City via telephone on Thursday and we will try to get an audio copy of that interview.

b. Meetings need to be set up with all the Tribal Councils asking for passage of a resolution protecting the people and natural resources on the reservations from further nuclear radiation pollution.
c. Minutes from the State Tribal Relations Committee meeting are available.
(Please write or call the office if you wish a copy.)
d. A national information campaign must be waged to get federal legislation passed for the cleanup of all the abandoned uranium mines and prospects in this region as this radioactive pollution is affecting the food and water of many states, not just South Dakota. Special federal legislation is needed as we do not want to be put on the Superfund list which will take another 20 years or more to complete. This issue was created when our Treaty territory was declared a national sacrifice area in 1972 and must be cleaned up now. It is affecting too much: land, water, food, and human beings. Funds must be raised to complete this, possibly large benefit concerts on the East and West Coasts. At the same time, information can be given about the Bear Butte issue.
e. A video similar to the Defenders' Black Hills video needs to be made on the abandoned uranium mines issue.
f. Ted will check about some cards people signed in Nebraska near the Crow Butte Uranium Mines.
g. Brian will check with Brett about if we need a 501(C)(4) arm. This is legislative business, not endorsement of a candidate.
h. The auction of items on Ebay needs to begin.
i. Consensus was reached designating Harold One Feather the moderator for Defenders on My Spaces. Also check out http://spaces.msn.com/uraniummine/ to view Harold's pictures and descriptions of the abandoned mines and erosion at the Cave Hills Riley pass mine.
j. A Press Conference needs to be held to inform people of the passage by the South Dakota legislature of two bills. 1.) to allow In Situ Leaching of uranium anyplace in SO. Four legislators including Tom Van Norman, Cheyenne River Reservation, and Jim Bradford, Pine Ridge Reservation, voted against this. We were unaware of these so did not raise the issue before this.
2.) A House Concurrent Resolution was passed to allow the building of nuclear power plants anyplace in SO, HCR 1010, which doesn't state the requirement of any regulations. This was passed without a public hearing.
k. We need to get a small grant to do a mail-in campaign for tourists that wanted to visit SD but are afraid to now because of the nuclear radiation in the water and air. "Corporations are eating their own children." Johnson Holy Rock

4. Cotteau Mines-Approval has been given to begin strip mining coal and destroy 1700 burial and sacred sites in North Dakota. The mining is to begin in 2007. We contacted the Native American Rights Fund but they will not assist us as the Three Affiliated Tribes from the Fort Berthold Reservation are agreeing to allow this development. Tex Hall, their chairman, wants to develop a coal fired power plant at Fort Berthold. The burial sites to be destroyed contain Lakota people from the Killdeer Mountain Battle in North Dakota but within the 1868 Treaty Territory.

Plans for a Youth Camp near the Cotteau Mines are continuing for George Iron Shield, Standing Rock, and Clifford White Eyes, Sr., Rosebud, to teach 20 boys and young men how to identify sacred sites and burial places. Mr. Iron Shield has been identifying the burial sites that the Cotteau Mining Co. plans to destroy but he needs help as there are so many.

The Environmental Summit planned for Bismarck is on hold due to the lack of funds and an organizer in that area. The reason for the Summit is to increase awareness of the massive amount of air pollution in North Dakota caused by the coal burning power plants. This air pollution then travels south and southeast to South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and other points East. Even with its small population, North Dakota ranks third in the fifty states in the amount of air pollution.

5. A small grant writing workshop was held at the office. The facilitator was Susan Balbas. A list of possibilities for grants has been generated. Her expenses were paid by a grant from the Environment Support Center.

6. The Spring Raffle will end at the regular May meeting. Flyers need to be made and tickets sent out. JoAnn offered to coordinate the table at the Black Hills State Pow Wow in mid-April. We need volunteers to assist her. Please call the office and leave a message if there is no answer.

7. Other: The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has been abolished. Their meeting is currently planned for March27 -April7 but will be procedural only. They are being replaced by a 16 member Human Rights Council representing the 8 regions of the world. We don't know what this means at this time for the passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Closing Prayer: Vincent Black Feather

Recording Secretary was Janice Badhorse Larson.

Concurred by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709
Phone: (605) 399-1868 Fax: (605) 399-1851

March 26, 2006

Meade County Commissioners
Meade County Courthouse
1425 Sherman Street
Sturgis, SD 57785

Dear Sirs:

This letter is to reaffirm our position of no development of any kind within a five-mile radius
of Bear Butte, a position we have held for a number of years. Our reasons for this position are:

1. Bear Butte is a sacred place to more than 60 Native American nations of the North American continent who have continually visited this shrine for religious/spiritual purposes for tens of thousands of years, and respect should be given to all peoples' places of worship in order to meet the foundations of the Freedom of Religion; and

2. Bear Butte is a National Historic Landmark whose impact for its historical significance and unique geological structure in this region is being eroded with the incursion of urban development.

We understand you will be considering the granting of a liquor license on April 4, 2006. Our position is not just against the granting of liquor licenses, but is against any development within a five-mile radius of Bear Butte. As we have already stated our position to you during your Oct. 4, 2005, meeting, and as our position does not single out anyone business owner or developer, we will not be attending your April 4th meeting. However, we respectfully request that our position in this written form be considered in any and all new and renewal of liquor licenses, building permits, or other development near Bear Butte that come under your review.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

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