Home News Latest UPDATE: August 17, 2009

UPDATE: August 17, 2009

This past summer has been very busy. On July 27 & 28th, Defenders sponsored the meeting for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council. The Meeting Notes of that meeting are enclosed. As there were many issues to be discussed and follow-up on some activities, the next meeting was scheduled for Aug. 24 & 25 at Wolf Creek but had to be canceled. The next TSNTC meeting will be held Aug. 31 & Sept. 1 at the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City. We encourage all the people of the Great Sioux Nation to attend these important meetings. Defenders organization sponsors the meetings for the Treaty Council as part of our mission to preserve, protect and restore the environment of the 1868 and 1851 Treaty Territory.

Also in July, a film crew from Aegis Films was here developing a documentary about the uranium issue. The film will not be ready until next summer but we will let everyone know when it is completed. It is planned for broadcast on PBS and other venues. Many interviews were conducted with people affected by nuclear radiation pollution as well as scientists knowledgeable in the field. They were able to film some of the abandoned uranium mines, contaminated water, and filmed nuclear engineering students conducting soil studies.

We were especially honored with the presence of Professor Kimberley Kearfott, Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, and 13 students from the University of Michigan who spent 3 weeks living with host families on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Professor Kearfott's students helped at the IHS clinics in Kyle and Wanblee, assisted with students during a Math Camp, worked at KILI Radio station and at Oglala Lakota College as well as helping their host families. The Professor and the students also learned more about the abandoned uranium mines near Cave Hills in northwestern South Dakota, and discovered a high reading of 1770 microRems per hour at one of the abandoned mines. The average background nuclear radiation for this region is 12-15 microRems per hour. The average background for Michigan is 6-7 microRems per hour. They also attended the Oglala Lakota Nation Pow Wow and manned a table for Defenders. Thank you to Professor Kearfott and her University of Michigan students. Wopila. Thank you also to the host families on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Coming up this Fall, the first part of October, Defenders is the host for the Western Mining Action Network Conference at the Alex-Johnson Hotel, Oct. 1-4th. We will be welcoming their Board and participants at an evening meal at the Mother Butler Center on Thursday, Oct. 1st. Anyone wishing to help, please call xxx-399-1868. As always, monetary and food donations are welcome.

Volunteers are always needed to help man the table during the Black Hills Pow Wow. The Black Hills Pow Wow will be held this year on Oct. 9-11. Items for the Fall Raffle are needed. If you have something you wish to donate, please call xxx-399-1868. Thank you.

Submitted by Charmaine White Face, Coordinator

Schedule of Events

Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council: July 27th & 28th 2009

Next Teton Sioux National Treaty Council meeting: 31st August - 1st September 2009

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