Home About us Reports Congratulations Defenders!!! Six years and still going strong!!

Congratulations Defenders!!! Six years and still going strong!!

Dear Defenders,

The picture of our logo was drawn in the Fall of 2002 by artist, Corbin Conroy, after he listened for an entire afternoon as we all gave our ideas of what Unci Ina Makoce (Grandmother Mother Earth) and the Black Hills meant to us. When he brought in the final picture a few weeks later, we all felt he captured Her beyond our imaginations. I still get a lump in my throat whenever I see our logo. The printing at the bottom says “Sponsored by Tetuwan Oceti Sakowin Treaty Council Standing Rock” who paid for its printing on a large banner…which we still use.


It seems only fitting as we begin our Seventh Year, to begin with a new format for sending out information. For those of you on our snail mail list, maybe now we that we are using bulk mail, we can send out more information to you. (If you do not wish to receive our information, please let us know at the above address. For those receiving this on email, our email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you do not wish to receive our emails.)

My Congratulations and Gratitude to the other Board members, to the Elder Advisors, to those who constantly pray for us, to our donors, and to those who give whatever they can so we can keep doing this work. We are all still volunteers and we have accomplished a lot. My special thanks to all who contribute so freely of their time and abilities whether it‘s cooking, security, singing, researching information on the internet, intellectual and educational skills, selling raffle tickets or buttons, or just being present at a meeting.
Looking back over the years, I know I‘m going to miss some of the things we‘ve done, but the following are a few of our accomplishments:

stopped the building of the Bear Butte Shooting Range along with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribes, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, and the Yankton Sioux Tribe, while exposing corruption in the South Dakota government of the misuse of federal Housing and Urban Development Funds;
accomplished an outdoor Black Hills Summit with guests: Winona LaDuke, Julia Butterfly Hill, and film producer of “In Light of Reverence”, Toby McCloud;
conducted 4 Uranium Summits, the last one at SD School of Mines and Technology;
conducted 5 years of monthly meetings and sent reports to more than 800 recipients;
challenged the SD Board of Minerals and Environment’s approval of a Uranium In Situ Leach Mining Permit with assistance from the Oglala Sioux Tribe for an attorney;
instrumental in the SD Water Board conducting an additional hearing in Rapid City on well permits;
working with the SD State-Tribal Relations Committee, pushed the SD Department of Environment to conduct water tests for Uranium and radionuclides at a number of sites (not enough but at least some) in the West River Area;
submitted many comments at hearings and in writing on logging, mining, road building, other types of permits that would impact the environment;
worked with the region’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officers to protect sacred and burial sites;
conducted many prayer gatherings at burial and sacred sites;
instrumental in the Region’s 17 Tribes declaring the Reservations to be nuclear-free areas;
received the international “Nuclear Free Future Award for Resistance” in Oct. 2007;
and organized a number of Gatherings for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council.
Thank you, Defenders, for these accomplishments and so much more. Without your prayers and support, we could not have come this far. With all we have learned, we still have a long way to go. Now, on to the work.
Sincerely, Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

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