|By Chase Iron Eyes
Last Real Indians
Article by Brenda Norrell
Photo copyright Chase IronEyes
The Great Sioux Nation today celebrated the reacquisition of Pe’ Sla, sacred land in the Black Hills. Chase IronEyes, Lakota, initiated the effort to reclaim the land online at Last Real Indians.
IronEyes said today, “From the bottom of my heart and spirit I know the world is a better place because of the Pe’Sla campaign. Lastrealindians, Inc. has contributed over $900,000 toward the total purchase price of $9 Million.”
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which raised $8.1 million, said in a statement that Pe Sla is sacred because it is related to the Lakota Creation, is the site of annual ceremonies, and historically, hosted many village gatherings. Black Elk, the Lakota visionary, sought his vision at Pe Sla.
IronEyes said, “The unthinkable has happened! The world has shown its support and the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) has provided a powerful new narrative for Indigenous people."
“Our ancestors are watching us, expecting us to fulfill our roles and reach our potential,” IronEyes said.
IronEyes thanked Lakotas and those around the world who made it possible, including Hollywood stars and music makers.
“The Pe’Sla effort was driven and shared by many throughout the world, including Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle, Dana Lone Hill, Ruth Hopkins and all who donated time, energy, money and artwork for perks in the first campaign. There are simply too many people in too many capacities to thank. What a whirlwind when we activate. LRI wants to extend its gratitude to the bands of the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) who stepped up to make this happen along with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation.
“We owe a special shout out to DJ Two Bears, Sol Guy, Ezra Miller, Anneliese Vandenberg, and Piet Suess who helped spring the movement back into consciousness with the second campaign. Additionally, thanks to celebrities P. Diddy, Bette Midler, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rosanne Barr, Whoopi Goldberg, Ashley Judd, and Susan Sarandon who retweeted to raise awareness to help save Pe'Sla. Most thankfully, we send a voice to our spiritual leaders who answer the call to travel to our sacred sites to perform obligations on our behalf.”
Pe Sla is a high mountain prairie in the Heart of the Black Hills, just north of Deerfield Lake and west of Harney Peak. Historically, Pe Sla and the entire Black Hills was protected by the 1868 and 1851 Sioux Nation treaties. The United States violated those treaties and took the Black Hills in violation of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. So, today, the reacquisition is a healing and historic event for the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people, the Sioux Nation said in its statement.
These are times of prophecy. White buffalo calves are being born, earthquakes and tsunamis abound, droughts ravage our lands, we as humans have lost our way; but there is still hope. We want hope and our spirits require more than what money, oil, and pop “culture” can offer us. As Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, says, “We humans send sacred energy, we have power, but we don’t use it and we need to in these times; our prophecies tell us to return to the Black Hills.” It is time we come together as one. When we are at our center we are one with the Universe. There is nothing more powerful than dedicated humans strong in their love for Creator. Indeed, this is the only thing that will save us. I believe this is a sign that humans are returning to their center as Crazy Horse said they would:
“Upon suffering beyond suffering; the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again. I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become one circle again. In that day there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things, and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be as one.” –Tasunke Witko (Crazy Horse)
Read Chase IronEyes full statement:
The Sioux Nations released this statement
Historic Reacquisition of “Pe-Sla Sacred Site” Was Signed Today
By Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community gathered in a historic assembly of related Tribes to reacquire the sacred site, Pe Sla. Pe Sla is sacred because it is related to the Lakota Creation, is the site of annual ceremonies, and historically, hosted many village gatherings. Black Elk, the Lakota visionary, sought his vision at Pe Sla.
Pe Sla is a high mountain prairie in the Heart of the Black Hills, just north of Deerfield Lake and west of Harney Peak. Historically, Pe Sla and the entire Black Hills was protected by the 1868 and 1851 Sioux Nation treaties. The United States violated those treaties and took the Black Hills in violation of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. So, today, the reacquisition is a healing and historic event for the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people.
The Tribes will work together to form an Oceti Sakowin Sacred Lands Protection Commission to protect Pe Sla and preserve the sacred site for traditional and cultural ceremonies in a pristine state for our future generations.
President Scott, Chairman Vig and Chairman Sazue issued a joint statement, “Today, we are grateful to stand together before the Creator to help heal our people through reclaiming one of our most sacred sites.”
“We did not wait for the United States to deal with us justly on our Black Hills rights. We acted now, exercising our inherent sovereign authority to protect this most sacred site. We must perpetuate our way of life for our future generations.”
“We thank the members of the public that donated to the cause of justice for our people. Now, we are more determined than ever that the United States must provide justice to our people and honor our treaties.”
This afternoon at 2:00 pm MST in Rapid City, South Dakota, full ownership and control of the sacred site Pe’ Sla, located in the Black Hills, was officially returned to the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation). We would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt congratulations to the Oceti Sakowin on its return of the control of this sacred site to all the people of the Nation and its relatives today and for all future generations.Many of you have been following the collaborative effort to raise the $9 million purchase price for the 1,942 acre parcel of land that contains Pe’ Sla since it was first announced in August that the Reynolds family planned to sell the land at auction to the highest bidder. The area known as Pe’ Sla by the Lakota is one of five holy sites for the Nation and the only one not on public land. This area is particularly important in that it is the site of the Lakota origin story and star knowledge. While recognizing that the ownership of this land and the remainder of the Black Hills is still disputed by non-Indians, gaining control of this site was an opportunity too good to pass up and too important not to fight for.
It has truly been an honor for Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Indian Land Capital Company to be a part of this remarkable effort and to work with the Lakota and Dakota nations and other partners over the past few months. Indian Land Capital Company, ILTF’s affiliate lender, was able to provide $900,000 in rapid financing in order to help the tribes secure the initial purchase agreement.
In the end, all of the tribes of the Oceti Sakowin will have contributed time, effort and scarce funds to make this transaction possible. It is anticipated that each tribe will also participate in the oversight and management of the land to ensure its spiritual and cultural values.
We have been extremely humbled by the outpouring of support from across the country and the world. Our many thanks to all those who contributed to the Pe’ Sla fundraising efforts of LastRealIndians and ILTF. Whether large or small, each contribution meant a great deal to the effort and said much about the donors’ commitment to righting a long standing injustice.
As Indian people, we are faced every day with the loss of our sacred lands and the way in which this has impacted our communities, families and cultures. History being what it is, we recognize that our struggle to recover these lands will be difficult and long but we do not accept that these losses are permanent. The return of Pe’ Sla today has renewed our spirit. To see so many people willing to support the rights of American Indians and the return of Indian land makes us hopeful that there is a growing number of people that understand the magnitude of what we have lost.
We are truly grateful for your support.