Home News Latest SPECIAL UPDATE: Sept. 5, 2009

SPECIAL UPDATE: Sept. 5, 2009

Dear Defenders,

This Special Update is being sent to alert everyone to the new actions being planned for the last wilderness area in the Black Hills, and to update everyone on upcoming activities of the Treaty Council. There are also reminders of the WMAN Conference, and the Black Hills Pow Wow.

Black Hills Update
The US Forest Service is once again developing plans to log the Norbeck Wilderness Area in the Black Hills. This is the only and last wilderness area in the Black Hills and encompasses about 1% of the entire forest. Their rationale is to protect interests OUTSIDE of the wilderness boundaries! This is totally opposite of the purpose of having a wilderness area. We will let everyone know as soon as the DEIS is available for public comments. In the meantime, we want to discuss other strategies.

Every Fall we try to have a Prayer Gathering in the Black Hills to offer our thanks and gratitude for all the Hills still give us. We also pray for protection, restoration, and preservation of this large sacred area. In order to have more direction of what other actions we can take to help preserve the Norbeck and Black Elk Wilderness Area, we will be meeting in the Hills on Sept. 26, 2009, for a Prayer Gathering followed by lunch and a meeting. If you wish only to attend the meeting, it will begin at 1:00 pm in the coffee room of St. Isaac Jogues Church, 221 Knollwood Dr., Rapid City, SD. Flyer for printing and posting is attached. Hope you can attend.

Tetuwan Oyate Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council
A lot of activity has been happening with the Treaty Council and in order to keep everyone updated, the people from the Wakpala Community on the Standing Rock Reservation are planning a TSNTC Meeting on Sept. 18 & 19 at the Grand River Casino, Mobridge, SD, beginning at 9:00 AM both days. (Flyer included in this message) The recent Tetuwan Oyate & Kakisiwew-Ochapowace Nehiyewak Agreement will be one of the main topics of discussion. (See Attached Resolution and Agreement.) A Press Release was previously sent.

WMAN Conference
Oct. 1-4, 2009, Defenders will host the Western Mining Action Network Conference at the Alex-Johnson Hotel, 6th & St. Joe St., Rapid City, SD. A Welcome Dinner will be held at the Mother Butler Center on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 PM. Anyone wishing to help, please call xxx-399-1868. As always, monetary and food donations are welcome. For more information contact Lilias Jarding at: 970-412-1924

Black Hills Pow Wow
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.

Final Request
Many of you, Defenders, whether you live nearby or far away, can still help. You know who we are always up against: big business, the state and federal governments, and many people who do not understand the meaning of sacredness, or the relationship that we have with all of the environment. Please keep us and the activities of Defenders in your prayers and good thoughts. This is one of the most powerful actions that can be made. We are going into our 8th year based on "Let the Spirit Lead."

Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement.
Submitted by 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