indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Uranium mine near Pine Ridge not a done deal

Filed Under: Environment | National
More on: native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota, uranium
   

The following story was written and reported by Talli Nauman, Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

Uranium mining not done deal
Community info meeting set for Dec. 13 in Rapid City
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

HOT SPRINGS — An Oglala Sioux Tribe natural resources technician guaranteed listeners at a recent Fall River County Commission hearing that the protection of cultural resources is an outstanding obstacle for Canadian investors’ effort to reinstate uranium mining at Powertech (USA) Inc.’s Dewey-Burdock site in Fall River County adjacent to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“As far as the tribes are concerned, we want a TCP (Tribal Cultural Preservation) study done on the whole 10,000 acres, not just the 2,637-acre area of potential effect,” tribal natural resources technician Dennis Yellow Thunder told commissioners.

“According to our treaties and stuff, that’s still aboriginal homeland, and we don’t agree with your going out there and disturbing ancestral homeland,” Yellow Thunder said.

He received a hearty round of applause from the standing-room-only, non-Native American crowd gathered at the meeting held to inform commissioners’ decision to intervene in an upcoming state hearing on South Dakota’s first proposed in-situ leach (ISL) injection mining for uranium.

Two grassroots organizations subsequently scheduled a community information meeting for this Dec. 13 in Rapid City to discuss the history, current status and effects of uranium mining in the Black Hills.

The meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the City/School Administration Center features a panel of Black Hills environmental and legal experts on a program to address technical, humanistic and legal issues of Powertech’s applications for mining and water rights.

The nonprofit Dakota Rural Action and the Clean Water Alliance are hosting the event to help the public learn about Powertech’s plans to use groundwater to extract uranium, water demand and drought, public health and radioactive waste, the organizations said in announcing the date.

The Clean Water Alliance describes itself as “citizens concerned about the health, environmental and economic impacts that proposed uranium mining projects would have on our communities, people, economy and natural resources.” Their goal is to prevent uranium mining in the Black Hills region “and protect our valuable resources - especially water - for future generations.”

Dakota Rural Action is a “family agriculture and conservation group that strives to build leadership through community organizing by giving people a strong voice in decisions affecting their quality of life,” it says. The Black Hills Chapter addresses issues of local food, community, agricultural land preservation, energy and natural resources.

The meeting was set to take place at the First Floor Community Room of the City/School Administration Center in Rapid City, at 300 6th St.

According to the draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the 11,000-acre Powertech project along the Cheyenne River in the extreme southwestern corner of South Dakota, the state Office of Tribal Government Relations told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009 that “tribal governments would be most interested in potential harm to the environment from the proposed project.”

Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, NRC is required to conduct consultation with Native American tribes to determine whether proposed federal actions will affect historic properties.

The South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office identified 20 Native American tribes that might attach historic, cultural and religious significance to properties within the proposed Dewey-Burdock ISL boundaries.

The NRC staff contacted the tribal governments by mail and solicited information regarding any such properties from the: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Yankton Sioux Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation) of North Dakota, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota, Spirit Lake Tribe of North Dakota, Lower Sioux Indian Community of Minnesota, Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Montana, Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana, Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming, Eastern Shoshone Tribe of Wyoming, Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Formal government-to-government consultations began in 2010. However, a mutually agreeable Scope of Work document for identification and evaluation of sites remains to be attained. Powertech spokesman Mark Hollenbeck told county commissioners at the meeting held Nov. 26, “There is a Section 106 process with NRC that’s ongoing that is looking for traditional cultural properties.”

However, Yellow Thunder noted, “That hasn’t been concluded yet, and according to our information, you won’t get anything done out there at least until spring because the field season is over now. So as far as the cultural resources are concerned you’re not even close to accomplishing that task.”

The Archaeology Laboratory of Augustana College in Sioux Falls has conducted cultural resource evaluations on the land leased by Powertech for the mining, but many more remain to be done. Tribal officials want access to the Dewey-Burdock site so that studies are conducted with tribal involvement.

“The job that Augustana did is inconclusive,” Yellow Thunder said. “What it found out was not even close to what a team of people of special expertise did find out there, so right now as far as cultural resources are concerned, we are at a standstill.”

Included in archeologists’ findings at Dewey-Burdock are hundreds of potentially significant sites, including rock cairns, stone circles, hearth features, scrapers, points and other tools and artifacts.

(Contact Talli Nauman at talli.nauman@gmail.com)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: An independent candidate awakens 'Party' zombies (9/22)
Mark Trahant: Huge crowd turns out for People's Climate March (9/22)
Doug George-Kanentiio: All children are gifts from the Creator (9/22)
Native Sun News: Native women take stand against violence (9/22)
Navajo Nation to announce trust fund settlement this Friday (9/22)
S.E. Ruckman: A remarkable day with arrival of Cobell checks (9/22)
Jon Tester: Bill protects Special Diabetes Program for Indians (9/22)
Ron Allen: Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe keeps workers engaged (9/22)
Dante Desiderio: Working together to address tribal tax issue (9/22)
Vena A-dae Romero: Asserting sovereignty through our food (9/22)
Mark Rogers: Leadership in Native America is at a crossroads (9/22)
Dave Lundgren: BIA must take a closer look at rights-of-way (9/22)
Peter d'Errico: Video uses humor to battle racist NFL mascot (9/22)
Opinion: Racist sports mascots preserve 'imaginary' Indians (9/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe won't share casino revenue (9/22)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe can't offer poker games pending appeal (9/22)
Lytton Band might purchase property next to gaming facility (9/22)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band reopens casino after electrical fire (9/22)
Editorial: Poarch Creek gaming deal deserves consideration (9/22)
Native Sun News: Tribes united against Keystone XL Pipeline (9/19)
Regina Brave: The earth that once was will soon be no more (9/19)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: A conversation about suicide (9/19)
Cobell settlement checks being cashed across Indian Country (9/19)
Congress passes measure for tribal general welfare programs (9/19)
Native Sun News: US Senate candidates debate Native issues (9/18)
Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes (9/18)
Sen. Walsh welcomes arrival of last Cobell settlement payout (9/18)
Rep. Daines praises House action on tribal general welfare bill (9/18)
Winnebago attorney joins BIA as a deputy assistant secretary (9/18)
NWIFC schedules briefing on 'Treaty Rights 101' on Capitol Hill (9/18)
Norbert Hill: It's past time to drop the Washington NFL mascot (9/18)
Peter d'Errico: Connecting mascots to racism and termination (9/18)
Opinion: Eliminating NFL team's racist mascot is just the start (9/18)
Student newspaper punished over refusal to print the R-word (9/18)
Officer investigated for 'drunk uneducated animals' comment (9/18)
9th Circuit rules against Chemehuevi Tribe in land deed case (9/18)
Mashable: Oglala Sioux man still pushing MazaCoin currency (9/18)
City won't allow vote on Tohono O'odham Nation casino plan (9/18)
9th Circuit poses tough questions in Big Lagoon casino case (9/18)
North Fork Rancheria banks on voter approval of casino deal (9/18)
KBIC judge dismisses lawsuit challenging plan for new casino (9/18)
Oneida Nation concerned about location of commercial casino (9/18)
Mashantucket Tribe's gaming executive to resign next month (9/18)
Column: Time for Mohegan Tribe to show its hand over casino (9/18)
Native Sun News: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe honors veterans (9/17)
Mark Trahant: Is independence in the future for tribal nations? (9/17)
Audio: SCIA takes up bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/17)
House approves bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/17)
House Natural Resources Committee sets markup on tribal bills (9/17)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on bill for Hualapai Tribe (9/17)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.