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Old 04-25-2009, 08:50 AM   #1
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Angry Lawsuit would let Sioux take money for Black Hills

Lawsuit would let Sioux take money for Black Hills
By Chet Brokaw, The Associated Press
Rapid City Journal - 24 April 2009
Rapid City Journal | News » Local | Lawsuit would let Sioux take money for Black Hills

PIERRE -- Members of eight Sioux Tribes should be given their share of hundreds of millions of dollars awarded in old court cases for the improper taking of the Black Hills, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in South Dakota.

Even though the Sioux tribes have refused the money and have continued to demand the return of the land in southwestern South Dakota, the courts cannot give back that land, the lawsuit says.

The only remedy available for the loss of the Black Hills is money, said Wanda L. Howey-Fox of Yankton, one of the lawyers who filed the class-action lawsuit.

Howey-Fox said tribal members are wrong if they believe taking the money amounts to selling the Black Hills.

"There is no selling to be done because the court determined it was an improper taking and all the court can give as far as a remedy is money," Howey-Fox said. "They can sit and hope and pine away that the government is going to give the Black Hills back, but that is never going to happen."

But Charlotte Black Elk, who has been active in traditional issues including the Black Hills, said she would never consider taking money for the Black Hills, which the Sioux hold sacred.

"To take the money would bless the theft," said Black Elk, who lives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

"This is obviously a move by people who just want a check," Black Elk said of the lawsuit. "I believe some of them are not fully aware of the significance of the Black Hills and what taking money for it would mean."

Black Elk and Mario Gonzalez, a lawyer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said they believe federal law prevents a court from ordering federal officials to disburse money from the old court cases. Congress would have to approve any spending of the money, they said.

The dispute is more than 130 years old.

In an 1868 treaty, the United States government agreed the Black Hills would be set aside for use by the Sioux. After gold was discovered there, miners and other fortune-seekers flocked to the area. That led to military battles that culminated in George Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn in 1876.

When the Sioux refused to sign a new treaty giving up the Black Hills, Congress passed a law taking the land in 1877.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1980 upheld a lower court ruling that awarded eight Sioux Tribes $106 million in compensation, the 1877 value of $17.5 million plus interest. The justices said the government had to pay for taking the tribal property.

However, all the Sioux tribes have refused to take the money, insisting instead on the return of the land.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Sioux Falls, also seeks the distribution of money from another case that awarded the Sioux compensation for the taking of timber, water and mineral rights in the Black Hills.

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to decide how to allocate the money among tribal members and to order the U.S. Interior Department to release the money from trust funds.

Howey-Fox, the lawyer for those filing the lawsuit, said the court rulings that awarded money for the Black Hills are final and cannot be appealed. That means money is the only remedy tribal members can get for the loss of the land, she said.

The trust funds recently held about $900 million, she said.

The lawsuit lists only 19 plaintiffs, but Howey-Fox said about 5,000 tribal members have signed up. Many who live on reservations do not want to be named plaintiffs because they fear retribution from those who oppose taking money for the Black Hills, she said.

Howey-Fox said the money should be disbursed to individual tribal members.

"There are people who actually think the Black Hills are coming back. I can pretty much guarantee that's not happening," Howey-Fox said.

Gonzalez, who has represented the Oglala Sioux Tribe for several decades in legal issues involving the Black Hills, said he expects the lawsuit will be dismissed under a federal law dealing with the disbursement of such funds. The tribes refused to accept the money during the time allotted, so the Interior Department can now disburse the funds only with the approval of Congress, he said.

Black Elk said tribal members who agree to take the money would be giving up their identities as Native Americans. Anyone who wants money for the Black Hills should not live on the reservations, she said.

"You're not just taking money. You're prostituting yourself," Black Elk said.

*******

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Old 04-25-2009, 10:00 AM   #2
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Not being Lakota I don't have an opinion but if I did have an opinion it would be never never never never never sell and say goodbye to those crazy presidents heads. Who the heck turns a mountain into a man.




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Old 04-26-2009, 12:15 AM   #3
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I'm not Lakota. But I do know that accepting recompense for an illegal taking is not the same as selling. Its like the money that is paid to other victims of crime.

If somehow the courts attached to this "illegal taking money" the stipulation that land bought by the Lakota in the Black Hills would be considered part of the reservation trust then maybe a way would be cleared in which everyone could get what they desire. The courts grant the money - the Lakotas redeem it for the Black Hills (admittedly a piece at a time, but eventually everything wasichu claim is theirs - they sell).

The silly system would be satisfied and the Black Hills would return to the People for whom it has meaning.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:48 AM   #4
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Tim Giago: Resolving ownership of the Black Hills
Indianz.com - Monday, April 27, 2009
Filed Under: Opinion
Indianz.Com > News > Tim Giago: Resolving ownership of the Black Hills

When U. S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote his brief on a case that had dragged on for 60 years before reaching his desk in 1980, a case dealing with the illegal taking of the Black Hills from the Sioux Tribes, he wrote in describing the role of the United States government in the theft of the Hills, “A more ripe and rank case of dishonest dealings may never be found in our history.”

Twenty-nine years have elapsed since the Court awarded the Tribes of the Great Sioux Nation $105 million in a case marked as Docket 74A. Although these tribes are among the poorest people in America (three of the reservations in the suit were among the top 10 of the poorest counties in America in the 1980 U. S. Census) they have refused to accept the monetary award.

For most of those years they have faced an unfavorable Republican regime and when they did get a Bill introduced by Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ) in the early 1980s, the lack of a united front by the tribes caused Bradley to withdraw.

Many elders of the Sioux Nations believe that it now a most favorable time to introduce new legislation. President Barack Obama promised them during his campaign that he would not force a monetary settlement upon them. He is open to discussion on this most touchy of topics, at least touchy in South Dakota.

Attorney Mario Gonzalez, an Oglala Lakota, said that the time to negotiate a settlement is now, while there is a favorable administration in Washington, DC. His idea bears serious consideration by the leaders all the Sioux tribes involved in the settlement. Gonzalez suggests that the tribes nominate one of their strongest leaders, perhaps Rodney Bordeaux, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and then select a strong representative from each of the remaining tribes to put together a list of realistic demands and suggestions.

He believes that if the tribes found a powerful spokesman, former President Bill Clinton for example, to take their points of negotiation to President Obama, and once the negotiating points are discussed and approved, they could then introduce a bill to finally settle the Black Hills Claim. In this fashion all of the sticking points would have been decided and clarified with assistance from the President of the United States before introducing a bill to Congress.

Every tribe of the Sioux Nation would have to be in agreement on all of the negotiating points. Of course the return of some land and a monetary settlement would head up the negotiating points. And all of this would have to be done with an eye on the realistic evaluation of America as it stands in 2009.

One consideration that several prominent Lakota have put forward is that the Black Hills be considered as property of the Sioux Nation (I used the term Sioux Nation as it is written in all of the legal documents concerning the Black Hills) and that a lease or rental agreement be enacted that would provide annual income to all of the tribes and that a portion of the Hills under the control of the U. S. Forest Service be returned to the Tribes to be used as a religious sanctuary. In other words, the Sioux Nation would become the “landlord” over the Black Hills.

I believe Gonzalez and other prominent tribal members when they say that this is a window of opportunity that must not be wasted. My newspaper, Native Sun News, is presently running a survey that would give every Native American that is an enrolled member of the tribes involved in the Black Hills Claim, to vote. The survey is intended to let the United States government know once and for all the feelings of the People of the Sioux Nations.

The results of the survey will be announced on May 20, 2009 and without giving away the results, let me say that so far the votes are leaning heavily in favor of those who honestly believe that, “The Black Hills are not for sale.”

Much too often in the past the people involved in this settlement decision have been inexplicably divided. And that is hard to decipher because, in the long run, all of them are reaching for the very same goal. They just have a variety of ways to approach that goal and too often end up lining up behind someone who can only lead them to division and eventually defeat.

The most opportune time to strike is now and this will require a lot of rethinking of objectives and a strong pull towards communicating with those among the people with different views. The only way the Black Hills Claims Settlement will ever be resolved is if the people of the Sioux Nation finally unite behind a common theme and a common negotiating platform.

Through all of these years I have heard so many say, “The Sioux people are their own worst enemies.” We can only hope that this accusation is false, and if not, that it can be overcome. Perhaps the majority of Americans will support a reasonable bill if the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation can unite and also support it.

{Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the publisher of Native Sun News. He can be reached at editor@nsweekly.com }
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by By Chet Brokaw, The Associated Press
However, all the Sioux tribes have refused to take the money, insisting instead on the return of the land.
Which is never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never...going to happen.

Take the $$$, do something positive with it, and grow.

Not doing so is similar to getting the shaft at 25 and being stunted there, emotionally, when you're much older: always lamenting and looking backwards, never forwards.

We pity those people, right?

That's what is happening.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:28 PM   #6
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I agree Zeke-- the land will never be given back

In Mi'kma'ki, we are BUYING land back from the government... literally, that is the only way we are "getting it back"--- we are buying it.

So...the Lakota need to take the money and BUY land with it..

or... distribute the money and let people have an equal shot and spending it wisely or foolishly..

OR..

.. use it to buy up a supply of weapons and mercenaries and take the land back--- which probably wont work--- but its an option --- LOL

But honestly... just sitting their poor and waiting is the LAST option that makes sense to me...


but, as I pointed out before--- I'm Ilnu, not Lakota.

I would take the millions and establish small Lakota towns--- towns own and run by the tribal members ..

.... this is the route to actual power--- owning your own small towns. 'cause the tribe would control the mayor, the city council, the police, the hospital, etc.etc...

Literally--- that is how you achieve true autonomy.

Why? Because the city council a.k.a. Tribal leaders would have ACTUAL jurisdiction over their "town"...

That is what I would do anyway.... I would buy private land and start my own "Indian Town".... and bask in the glory of having actual political power.. mwahahahahaha !

Last edited by IlnuSoldier; 05-01-2009 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:54 PM   #7
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Exclamation Black Hills lawsuit

Lakota,
NEVER trust these guys.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamseeker View Post
Lakota,
NEVER trust these guys.
But be willing to trust yourself.

Which means take the $$$ and use it.

GROW.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:32 PM   #9
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I agree... I just felt like saying it again.

Take the money and use it. Grow. Become strong. Don't just survive--- THRIVE.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:52 PM   #10
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When I say don't trust them I mean they will never GIVE you the money!!!
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:51 PM   #11
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Actually...they probably would get the money. But, even if they did not---then at least the Lakota ACCEPTED IT... the fault would then be on "the other" for not honoring the ruling and damages..... and NOT on the Lakota for not taking it.

As it stands--- the NDN is the reason there is not 100s of millions of dollars. Do you not see how ***-backwards that is ?

The money is NOT a pay-off... it is an award for the damages. It is ALL they will ever be awarded--- they will NEVER be given their land back.

$900,000,000.00 divided among 5,000 people.. umm.. I think $180,000.00 PER PERSON !!!

That means pretty much that every family will --as a family-- instantly become millionaires--- overnight.

Then, they could invest their money in high yield savings accounts and safe stocks--- BAM--- the family would be finacially set for generations.

So... again... why not ?
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:40 PM   #12
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The People

Well seeing as people like Frank Fools Crow and Mathew King were and I imagine are dead set against it there must be some compelling reason on a spiritual level.
Obviously the right thing would be if the US government 1)gave back The Black Hills and then paid for the unlawful seizure and exploitation of said land.
Once again not that any of this is any of my business.
All I know is apparently everyone was and is in agreement to not sell.
And that is all I have to say about that which I shouldn't have said in the first
place. The people decide what is best for themselves and someone like me can only stand in awe of such strength.

annie
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_griffin View Post
Well seeing as people like Frank Fools Crow and Mathew King were and I imagine are dead set against it there must be some compelling reason on a spiritual level.
Why?

Serious.

I don't know who these folks are -- they're not MY leaders -- but, unless they are cultural/spiritual martyrs (like those that some worship), they're wrong.

There is no compelling reason, on Earth, to NOT accept reality.

If the compelling reason is spiritual, now is a good time for them to assert their Divinity.

"No?"

They can get bent. Take the $$$ and make your people stronger.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlnuSoldier View Post
I agree Zeke-- the land will never be given back

In Mi'kma'ki, we are BUYING land back from the government... literally, that is the only way we are "getting it back"--- we are buying it.

So...the Lakota need to take the money and BUY land with it..

or... distribute the money and let people have an equal shot and spending it wisely or foolishly..

OR..

.. use it to buy up a supply of weapons and mercenaries and take the land back--- which probably wont work--- but its an option --- LOL

But honestly... just sitting their poor and waiting is the LAST option that makes sense to me...


but, as I pointed out before--- I'm Ilnu, not Lakota.

I would take the millions and establish small Lakota towns--- towns own and run by the tribal members ..

.... this is the route to actual power--- owning your own small towns. 'cause the tribe would control the mayor, the city council, the police, the hospital, etc.etc...

Literally--- that is how you achieve true autonomy.

Why? Because the city council a.k.a. Tribal leaders would have ACTUAL jurisdiction over their "town"...

That is what I would do anyway.... I would buy private land and start my own "Indian Town".... and bask in the glory of having actual political power.. mwahahahahaha !
Dude...you ever been to Pine Ridge? Where are you going to put these 'Indian Towns. And how are you going to set up the infrastructure? Water, electricity, etc..?

The way you describe it...all that's missing is a white picket fence! Hmmm...now what kind of people think like that?
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

Mr. Rossie Freeman
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:56 AM   #15
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The way you describe it...all that's missing is a white picket fence! Hmmm...now what kind of people think like that?
Which is why we have to throw out the model: it is NOT sustainable.

But that scares people.

In the face of reason, I have -- always -- wondered why...
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:08 AM   #16
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You know Zeke...we can give opinions until we're proverbial 'blue in the face'. I live in an urbanized environment, I would imagine you do also, and probably have a whiter picket fence than I.

Let's say the Lakota leaders refuse to settle for monetary pay or repayment.

Are the leaders better for refusing the money and believing in themselves, or are they worse for not taking the money and building little 'Indian towns'? Do you know in the geographical area of Pine Ridge, it takes 20 acres to feed one cow?
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

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Old 05-04-2009, 02:39 AM   #17
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Are the leaders better for refusing the money and believing in themselves, or are they worse for not taking the money and building little 'Indian towns'?
Take the $$$ and "believe in themselves."

My recommendation is NOT to build little "Indian towns." Conduct research. Find a sustainable enterprise. Invest. Educate children. Purchase property. Build infrastructure. Foster economic growth...

Essentially, do everything that you or I would do if we won the lottery: because I presume that we are both too old and intelligent to spend it all on hookers and nose candy. (It's a bad investment.)

Little Indian towns are a bad investment, it's what Reservations are, now.

With capital, blow it ALL up and start over.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:58 PM   #18
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Yes...NDN Town = Rez ....

Yea, the whole point of my "NDN Town" idea was to draw out the critism of the idea... which dove tails with the entire reservation system--- period.

If "Indian Towns" are a bad idea--- what the hell do you think the reservation is ?

I would say that this circle puts an end to that arguement.

Ever arguement against my "Indian Town" is actually an arguement against the Reservation.





Anyway, in terms of the money---- again, I don't know why the Lakota are not willing to accept the money... I guess they feel like in the future they can "get the land back" if they keep their hands off all money...even damage-awards...

... but again, they will not be getting their land back.

The WORLD HAS CHANGED--- just like when the Ice Age ended and we all started moving and shifting around...

the world has changed..

CORPORATIONS dominate the land... they "own" the land and if you try to hard or to long to oppose them---they send tanks and soldiers to move you.

MONEY is the power that they understand... take their money, grow strong--- wait and patiently survive and thrive... then, in the future, you will have a chance --MAYBE-- to regain the land via the rules of THAT time..

But as the world is now--- the land will NOT be given back..

--- where are the tacticians in the Lakota nation ?

Grow strong--build resources--- become a player and out play the enemy.

Oh well--again, it is not my issue. I'm not Lakota and the Black Hills never have "belonged" to me.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #19
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I am taking this post down... even though I do believe what I wrote, I feel that it was too harsh and too direct ---and that it would only spark anger and venom rather than insight.

Last edited by IlnuSoldier; 05-04-2009 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:44 PM   #20
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refreshing

That was very well said. Were you looking to go on the war path against me.
Kind of refreshing.






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