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Old 03-29-2006, 01:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation URGENT!! - Bear Butte Update (29 March 2006)

Beer-license protesters plan rally
Rapid City Journal - 29 March 2006

STURGIS, SD -- An American Indian coalition will host a rally and prayer ceremony to protect an intertribal sacred site Tuesday, April 4, in Sturgis and at Bear Butte.

The Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte, a group consisting of environmentalists, Indian tribes and community members opposed to development of land near Bear Butte State Park, will host the "Protect Bear Butte Rally," beginning with prayers at 10 a.m. at Bear Butte.

The coalition march will begin in Sturgis at 1 p.m. at the corner of Fourth and Lazelle streets. Participants will march from Lazelle Street to Main Street to a rally at 3 p.m. at Meade County Courthouse, 1425 Sherman St. The Meade County Commission will meet at 3:30 p.m. to consider the application of Arizona businessman Jay Allen for a malt-beverage license for a new bar he plans to build near Bear Butte.

A lunch will be served at noon at Sturgis Community Center at Fourth and Lazelle streets.

For more information, contact the Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte at [email protected].

****************************************

Debra White Plume
Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way
Manderson, SD 57756-0325
605-455-2155 Voice Ph
605-455-1287 Fax Ph
[email protected]
www.bringbacktheway.com

28 March 2006

Greetings: Attached are two items. An announcement, and an email card about the desecration of our Sacred Mountain and how we can oppose it at the level of the Meade County Commissioners on April 4, 2006. We will have a prayer at Bear Butte, and a rally before the hearing at Sturgis, SD. If you can email the comment card to the commissioners before April 4, we would really appreciate it, and forward it on to your contacts who may have time available to also email it to the commissioners as well as forward it to their contacts, etc. etc.

Pilamiya (thank you)--Debra White Plume

COMMENT CARD

TO: The Meade County Commissioners
[email protected]

RE: Bear Butte

This is to notify you that I support the effort to have a Buffer Zone around Bear Butte. Bear Butte is a Sacred Place to many American Indian peoples such as the Lakota, Arapaho, Ponca, and Cheyenne and many more Tribal Nations. Bear Butte is a place of prayer (church), a place to learn tribal way of life (school), and a place of healing (hospital) to these Tribal Nations. Laws exist in America to protect churches, schools, and hospitals and most governments have buffer zones around such places in order to protect the integrity of such places. Creating a buffer zone around Bear Butte is not a radical action, but rather is an accepted practice across the United States and other countries.

I am aware that from the perspective of the South Dakota citizenry Bear Butte is a is a National Historic Site, a State Park that holds much Cultural Relevancy for many Plains Indians Tribes, that Bear Butte Lake is a National Wildlife Refuge. With such designations, I feel it would be most beneficial to create a Buffer Zone around Bear Butte to protect it from further destruction that will come with the development of more campgrounds, bars, amphitheaters, saloons and the heavily trafficked highways that inevitably become part of such developments.

Since most of the existing and the proposed developments will house, seat, or provide services to as many as 30,000 to 70,000 people at a time, I feel this is a matter of urgency regarding the creation of a Buffer Zone around Bear Butte – you can contribute to such an effort through your action to disapprove any future licensing of bars, saloons, liquor stores or pornographic establishments around Bear Butte. There are already more than 50 businesses that sell liquor and/or beer in Meade County.

Bear Butte, as a State Park and National Historic Site, and Bear Butte Lake as a National Wildlife Refuge, are a concern to many American citizens, the attitude of wanting integrity for such places is not limited to the American Indian People who hold Bear Butte as sacred. It is a concern of many other people as well.

Thank you for taking time to read this. The vicinity of Bear Butte is the wrong location for the type of development that you will be considering at the hearing for Jay Allen’s liquor license on April 4, 2006.
__________________

"Be good, be kind, help each other."
"Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

--Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)

Last edited by Historian; 03-29-2006 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:34 PM   #2
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part 2 of 3

*******************************************
ANNOUNCEMENT

Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte
www.bringbacktheway.com

Contact Information:
Alex White Plume
605-455-1142 (after 6pm) - [email protected]
Debra White Plume
605-455-2155 - [email protected]
Carter Camp
605-455-2508 - [email protected]
Vic Camp
605-867-1941 - [email protected]
TJ Afraid Of Hawk
605-964-4642 (after 6pm) - [email protected]
Rocky Afraid Of Hawk
605-538-4134 - [email protected]
Floyd & Natalie Hand
605-867-5762 - [email protected]

Bear Butte is "Nowah'wus" to the Cheyenne Nation. It is "Mato Paha" to the Lakota. Across the Great Plains over thirty indigenous Nations acknowledge the sacredness of this Butte and its’ surrounding area. It is a mountain inhabited by spirits and spiritual powers that are well known to our people. For this reason Bear Butte is central to our ceremonial life as people of the Great Plains and is necessary for the continued health and well being of our people. All life on Bear Butte must be respected and defended. No people have a right to destroy or disrespect our sacred mountain.

While we all as a people hold the entire Black Hills to be sacred, Bear Butte is under direct attack at this time and we are preparing to do our best to defend the sacred mountain again. There are plans to build enormous biker bars and campsites all around our sacred mountain. In addition existing beer bars and concert venues are expanding and edging closer and closer into sacred grounds. Today one has dug outdoor toilets on the very slopes of the north side of our Sacred Mountain for their annual drunken binge! Over 600,000 motorcyclists are expected to attend the "Sturgis Bike Rally" in 2006 and they pay millions of dollars into the local economy of the people who claim to license and permit them on behalf of the public. Never since Custer discovered gold has our Mato Paha been threaten by such a combination of greed, government and legal adversity.

Our struggle to preserve Bear Butte has lasted for centuries. In 1876 Chief Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Lakota gathered over 6,000 Indian people at the Butte to urge them to defend our sacred lands. Chief Crazy Horse spoke from the mountain to remind his people that the Paha Sapa is not for sale. In each year and decade since those days our people have engaged in efforts to save and protect the sacred mountain. In the early 1980's Chief Fools Crow of the Oglala Lakota fought to save the mountain in the U.S. court system (Fools Crow vs. Gullet, 706 F.2d 856 [1983]). The case was lost after it went all the way to the Supreme Court (464 U.S. 977 [1983]. Other traditional people have fought to save the mountain from treaty times until now.

The Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte is a group made up of the Tribes and their Traditional Societies who are joining together to unite our people and our Tribes to protect and defend our right to pray and have our ceremonies in peace. We are calling on all who value the heritage of our people and still practice the ancient ways of your tribes to join with us in defense of our ways. In the traditional way of our people we know that our circle will begin small and grow as the people hear our words and respond to the threat. In the summer, we will ask the people to gather in a Gathering of the Nations to Defend Bear Butte to sit in Council and decide what our people and their Nations can do to defend the Sacred Mountain.

Our various Nations have acquired land for the ceremonial use of their people near Bear Butte. This land is an important part of our sovereign Nations because with it we preserve a link to the sacred mountain even though it has been taken from within our borders. We bought the land with the intention and right to utilize it in peace and quiet and this right predates the city of Sturgis, Meade County, the State of South Dakota, and in particular the "Sturgis Bike Rally". We have a right to use our land for sacred purposes during the entire year without interference from the above named entities. Therefore we ask our Nations and their Traditional Societies and People to preserve these rights by gathering together during July and August upon our own sovereign lands at Bear Butte. As a people we will gather together to form a spiritual encampment as a place for our Societies to once again sing their ancient songs and renew their vows. Within our encampment we will ask our holy men and women to bless us with their ceremonies and prayers and give us guidance in our quest to defend our sacred mountain.

As an inter-tribal organization we intend to concentrate on informing our own people and our Tribes about the danger infringing upon the sacred mountain and asking them and our traditional societies to use all their resources to defend Her. We believe our traditional spiritual ways can have a tremendous beneficial effect for the Sacred Mountain and we seek to help gather traditional people together to use those spiritual ways on our sovereign lands at Bear Butte. We are asking our traditional tribal societies to come add their prayers, songs and ceremonies to those of the other Nations so the powerful unity of our sacred ways can guide our steps. We ask all to come, sit in Council with us, and join our growing Circle of traditional Indian people who are determined to save the "The Mountain that Teaches".

In beginning this effort we were advised by respected Elders to construct a traditional "Staff" which is to be blessed and dedicated to defending Nowah'wus, Mato Paha. This sacred staff will be taken to the Tribes, respected Elders, Chiefs, Society Headsmen, Matriarchs, and Clan leaders to explain our message and to seek their help. In July the "Sacred Staff" will be taken to the Sacred Mountain to be placed in a "Ceremonial Tipi" and the Societies will begin to gather to prepare meeting grounds, ceremonial areas and campgrounds. Each Tribe and Society can move into camp on their own timetable during July to prepare themselves for the Gathering. By the time the "Rally" begins in August we must be unified in a plan of action to peacefully and spiritually defend Nowah'wus, Mato Paha, our Sacred Mountain, Bear Butte, all our Relations.

The Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte was formed on Nov 5, 2005 in order to develop & engage in action to protect our sacred site of Mato Paha & our way of life. Among the people we determined that our vision could best be realized through the formation of an intertribal collaborative effort. Through the Coalition, we will work collectively with others on sacred site protection, & with other groups with a diverse but common focus such as Human Rights, Cultural Preservation, & other indigenous peoples’ issues.

continued...
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Old 03-29-2006, 01:39 PM   #3
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part 3 of 3

Historical relationship to Mato Paha (Bear Butte)

The Lakota Nation has a history of struggle with the US, first over territory and resources, then genocide, next the battle was about sovereignty, finally followed by Treaty Rights. The Oceti Sakowin entered into the 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties with the United States, and the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty was ratified by US Congress, thus establishing an international relationship between these indigenous nations and the United States. Territorial boundaries were clearly defined in the Treaty. Mato Paha is located in the Black Hills, which are held sacred to the Lakota, and are inside Treaty boundaries. The Lakota people have an inherent relationship with Mato Paha as instructed by our Creator and inalienable rights to pray there and preserve our culture there. From time beyond memory, our people have gone to Mato Paha for prayer and other distinctly Lakota activities. When our people were eventually forced onto reservations, we came with two items. One, the sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe brought to us by Grandfathers’ messenger, Pte San Win. The Pipe is to guide us, and to protect us in times of hardship and tragedy. The other, a Star Map, which identifies sacred places in the Star Nation and their corresponding places on Earth. Mato Paha is one of the places our ancestors fought to retain for future generations and for the Lakota Way of Life to exist. This concept is known as Sacred Above Is Sacred Below, and it is imbedded in our identity as Lakota Oyate. Through this ancient philosophy, we are to defend Mato Paha.

Summary of Encroachment on Mato Paha (Bear Butte)

While our Nation, and many other indigenous Nations, holds Bear Butte sacred, Bear Butte, in the eyes of most Americans, is a South Dakota State Park, and the nearby Bear Butte Lake is a Wildlife Refuge. Mato Paha is located near the town of Sturgis, SD, about 30 miles north of Rapid City. As the largest urban area in western SD, Rapid City is the center of tourism for the Black Hills region, which is the target destination for much of the tourism in SD. Sturgis is another target destination for much of the tourism, during August, it is the location of the annual 7-day “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally”, which draws up to half a million bikers. Much of this population converges around Mato Paha, where there are a large number of alcohol stores and bars, concert venues, camping grounds, pornographic establishments and other such businesses developed solely to celebrate the Rally. We are finding that many area residents oppose the rally as it does little to add to their economy, as most business owners are residents of other locales, while it does much to disrupt their lives, and adds to the cost of the taxpayer through cleanup costs like, sewer, water, and trash. Sturgis is located in Meade County, which does not have zoning laws, enabling a liquor store, bar, or pornographic establishment to be built anywhere in the county. They also have a policy which allows for the transfer of a liquor license from one location to another without an administrative process. (There are more than 50 businesses in Meade County that sell alcohol).

Current Desecration of Mato Paha (Bear Butte)

An entrepreneur from Florida who owns bars in Mead County proposes to build the Black Hills’ biggest bar and concert venue, right on the state park boundaries of Bear Butte. This development of 600 acres includes a 155,000 square foot asphalt parking lot, a 22,500 square foot Saloon, an amphitheater that will seat 30,000 (the amphitheater will use the sewer water brought in from Sturgis to irrigate its’ new landscaping) 24-hour dining, and an un-policed environment-all this in time for the August 2006 Motorcycle Rally.

Recently, Meade County applied for and received Housing and Urban Development funds to build a shooting range at Mato Paha, but they had to return the funds when it was uncovered that they submitted false information to the federal government in order to receive the funds. Officials have stated they will pursue this intent once they have identified funds, so we realize this will be further encroachment on Mato Paha.

There is discussion of the development plans of a new road to be built near Bear Butte, resulting in a four-lane highway which will create more noise and traffic to desecrate not only Mato Paha, but that will uncover a Ute burial ground also.

There are development plans to construct another amphitheater at the Glencoe Campground that will also seat up to 30,000-also in time for the 2006 Motorcycle Rally.

There is building going on now, for the construction of a 110 dry-cabin campground at the Full Throttle Saloon-in plenty of time for the 2006 Motorcycle Rally.

Sturgis is the site of one of the world’s largest motorcycle rallies held every August, drawing as many as half a million bikers and related tourism. Much of the celebration of the Motorcycle Rally is sprawling out of the town of Sturgis and approaching the Sacred Mountain of Bear Butte. This sprawl of the Motorcycle Rally is viewed by the Lakota and other Nations as encroachment on our Sacred Mountain. Business developers are making applications to Meade County for permission to build and operate Saloons, Bars, Campgrounds, Concert Amphitheaters, and other businesses that all will exist strictly to service the 7-day Motorcycle Rally.

We send out a Call to Action to all of our Nations and our Allies: Stop the Development around our Sacred Mountain. The Meade County Commissioners can deny the applications for liquor and beer licenses that are close to Bear Butte. We ask our Allies to support the designation of a Buffer Zone around Bear Butte to honor the Indigenous Nations who pray there and need this Sacred Land to practice our Culture and Way of Life. There is respect in America for the zones around Churches, Synogogs, Schools and Hospitals. We want that same respect given to Bear Butte. Bear Butte is our place of prayer, our school of Lakota way of life is taught there, we receive healing there, it is our hospital. There will be a Rally in Sturgis to Protect Bear Butte on April 4, 2006 that begins with a Prayer at Bear Butte at 10am. Rally at 1pm. at the Meade County Courthouse. Jay Allen alcohol application hearing is at 3:00pm at the Meade County Court House in Sturgis.

As long as this sprawl continues to encroach on Bear Butte, there will be continued development to support the sprawl such as more roads and Highways. The Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte calls on our Nations and our Allies to join us in an organized resistance against the encroachment on our place of prayer, our school, our hospital, our Sacred Mountain. We will have Opening Ceremonies of our Gathering of Nations to Defend Bear Butte encampment at Bear Butte on July 4, 2006.

Contact the Meade County Commissioners at [email protected] or fax in your support for the Buffer Zone to Protect Bear Butte to 605-347-5925. Tell them NO to the alcohol application for Jay Allen based on location.
__________________

"Be good, be kind, help each other."
"Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

--Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)
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