In 1890, 500 women and children were murdered by the 7th Calvary Regiment of the USA army at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty guaranteed the Sioux possession of the hills, but after gold was discovered there in 1874, prospectors swarmed in, and the U.S. government quickly seized the land. The Sioux refused to accept the legitimacy of the seizure and fought the takeover for more than a century. On June 30, 1980, in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an award of $17.5 million for the value of the land in 1877, along with 103 years’ worth of interest, together totaling $106 million. But the Sioux rejected the payment, insisting that the Black Hills would never be for sale.
In ensuing period, worldwide attention focused on Pine Ridge and Rose Bud in 1973. During a 53 day occupation by the American Indian Movement, the Soiux were attempting to assert treaty rights under the Laramie Treaty. That time, the mining interests had focused their minds on the uranium also found in the Black Hills. Leonard Peltier still remains in a USA prison for his actions in 1973.
Historical events are quickly forgotten so it seems. Today the territory covered by the Laramie Treaty (1868) is again the target of corporate eyes. This time, with shame I acknowledge that it is a Canadian corporation (Transcanada Pipelines) that has its eye on land in and around the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. It seems that Transcanada has its mind set on building a pipeline to transport tarsands oil from the Athebasca region into the refineries in Texas. Along the way, the planned XL pipe will cross hundreds of streams and rivers. The danger of fresh water contamination can/should not be underestimated should a leak take place in the pipeline.
I recently learned from a friend in Pine Ridge that, despite environmental concerns, XL is busy purchasing rights of way for this pipeline even though the project has yet to receive USA governmental sanctions. A group of XL trucks was prevented from entering the Reservation last year and, at that time a spokesperson for XL pretty much summed it up when he said, “our laws (the pipeline) supersede any national laws or treaties”.
Joan Spotted Bear sent me this link to her prayer and I share it in the hope that it will open eyes.