Home Meetings Meetings March 24, 2007

March 24, 2007

March 24, 2007

Meeting Notes

Opening Prayer: Garvard Good Plume Jr.

Opening Remarks: Charmaine apologized for not having a written agenda as preparing for the Uranium Summit. We need an attorney for a lawsuit based on civil rights violations during the hearing at the SD Board of Minerals and Environment. We have filed an appeal in SD Circuit Court per procedures and a Court hearing is scheduled in Rapid City on April 6,2007. [Update: The Oglala Sioux Tribe assigned the Law Offices of Mario Gonzalez to handle the case. W. Cindy Gillis is the lead counsel.]

Charmaine will be giving a couple of speeches for donations to Defenders. Some video equipment was also donated to help videotape the Uranium Summit. We have a grant from Indigenous Environmental Network and Western Mining Action Network to help cover the costs of the Uranium Summit. Professor Kim Kearfott, Univ. of Michigan, is the keynote speaker and will talk about health effects from nuclear radiation. The website is back up and looking good.

Treasurer’s Report: Brian reported on how much is available from the 3 grants we received for the Uranium Summit and also from Honor The Earth to protect the Missouri River Watershed from Uranium pollution.

Minutes: Highlights from last report were given. Still need file cabinets, and lawyer. Garvard said the 12-minute video won an award, 2nd place, in Washington, DC from about 900 entries. He will get the information for our records.

1. Visitors: Danita Bald Eagle from the Lakota Child Rescue Project gave a report on the work they do to help stop the practice of illegally taking Lakota children from their families.

2. Earth Day Tabling at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 1- 4:00 PM (MT), Sunday, April 22, 2007. Charmaine will prepare copies of information but we need some worker bees to help man the table. Please call 399-1868, or 343-4224 if you can help. Also, any Native American drum groups or singers are invited to donate their performances. Contact Mary Jo Farrington at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 605-721-6133.

3. Regular April Meeting and Treaty Commemoration: Saturday, April 28, 2007, 1-5:00. to be held at St. Francis on the Rosebud Reservation, tentatively at the St. Francis Comm. Hall.

4. Other: Jesse Taken Alive reported on a clean air resolution was passed at Standing Rock. They are also looking at the problems regarding the Missouri River, their drinking water source. He will also contact the Three Affiliated Tribes about meeting about the Cotteau Mine situation and the 1700 burial sites to be destroyed this summer. We need to do another prayer gathering there, probably in May.

Also our heartfelt hanks to Jeremy Nichols for all his work on the Board, and for the EPA ruling on a petition challenging the air pollution permit for the Pope and Talbot lumber mill in Spearfish, SD. The decision is online at

Closing Prayer: Jesse Taken Alive

Potluck Meal

Recorded by: Janice Larson, and Submitted by: Charmaine White Face


April 14, 2007 - Sat: Rally to Stop Global Warming
10:00 - 11 :00 AM (MT) Memorial Park Bandshell - Haines and Omaha, Rapid City, SD Speakers: State Senator Tom Katus Charmaine White Face, Defenders of the Black Hills


April 17, 2007 - Tues: Interim Rules Review Committee
Hearing on In Situ Leach Mining Rules passed in Jan. 2007 11:00 AM (CT) -- Room 413, State Capitol, Pierre, SD


April 19, 2007 - Thurs: Archeological Hearing
1:00 PM (CT) on 155 Uranium Exploratory Drill Sites in the southern Black Hills SD Board of Minerals and Environment, 523 E. Capitol, Pierre, SD


April 22, 2007 - Sun: Earth Day Celebration
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 501 East St. Joseph St., Rapid City, SD
1:00 - 4:00 PM (MT) (Any Native American drums and singers welcome)


April 28, 2007 - Sat: Regular Meeting
“1868 Treaty Commemoration” 1:00 - 5:00 (CT) Potluck St. Francis Community Hall (Pending) St. Francis, SD - Rosebud Reservation



April 6, 2007

“Court Remands Archaeological Portion to Board”

“Uranium Exploration Permit on Hold”

Rapid City, SD (USA)- A South Dakota state circuit court judge ordered the archaeological portion of a uranium exploration permit back to the SD Board of Minerals and Environment, the same Board who admits they sent the State Archaeologist to the wrong place. The permit they issued is on hold until a valid permit is granted, although opponents want an injunction until the appeal process is finished.

Two volunteer environmental organizations, ACTion for the Environment and Defenders of the Black Hills filed an appeal to the state circuit court, according to the SD Administrative Procedures Act, after attending a hearing with the SD Board of Minerals and Environment on January 17 and 18, 2007. The groups were appealing a decision by the Board granting a permit to Powertech (USA) Inc., a Canadian company, to drill 155 additional deep exploratory wells in the southwestern Black Hills for uranium. The company already has 4,000 wells in this specific area. The Black Hills are considered sacred to many member of the Defenders organization, and also to many Native American nations from the North American continent.

The two organizations filed the appeal citing due process of law and equal protection of the law from the South Dakota laws and the US Constitution. Some of the issues presented to the court in the appeal are:

    -the signing of the permit by the Board prior to the plaintiffs being given the opportunity to present their objections,

    -the failure to consider the plaintiffs written exhibits that were given to the Board,

    -the failure to provide interpreters in the Lakota language for two of the elderly members of Defenders of the Black Hills, or for the Board to be able to understand the concerns of these elders,

    -and the Board‘s practice of allowing the mining company to present data on the quality of the underground water when the mining process will contaminate the water presenting a conflict of interest. It would be in the mining companies best interest for the water to already be contaminated with uranium and radioactive materials.

W. Cindy Gillis from The Law Offices of Mario Gonzalez is the lead counsel for the Defenders of the Black Hills and ACTion for the Environment courtesy of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The Tribe has already experienced pollution from past uranium mining in the southwestern Black Hills.

The Board is represented by SD Deputy Attorney General Roxanne Giedd, and Powetech (USA) Inc. is represented by Max Main, attorney from Belle Fourche, SD. The Board will conduct a hearing at 10:00 (CDST) on April 19, 2007, at the SD Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD.

Contact: Charmaine White Face, Coordinator, Defenders of the Black Hills, PO Box 2003, Rapid City, SD 57709, Phone: 605- 399-1868 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Iyuha upe mniunkiciakte!
Lela wounglakte!




Come and show your support !!


Hearing on possible Burial and Sacred Sites
in southwestern Black Hills
to be disturbed by Uranium Mining


Thursday, April 19, 2007
10:00 AM (CDST)
South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
523 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD


For more information contact Garvard Good Plume Jr.
from Defenders of the Black Hills at (605) 343-4224


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