Sioux leaders hopeful for Black Hills settlement
Leaders of Sioux tribes in North Dakota and South Dakota are hopeful President Barack Obama will live up to a campaign promise to settle the status of the Black Hills.

Tribal leaders discussed the issue generally when they met with Obama in May 2008. He promised "to do everything in his power to work with the tribes to bring about a settlement," Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Chairman Michael Jandreau told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Obama's campaign released a document that said he would support "innovative solutions" regarding the Black Hills. That could include the return of some land and co-management of other parts.

But tribal leaders are adamant they won't accept money. They oppose a lawsuit that seeks to distribute a trust fund of about $900 million that has piled up from an Indian Claims Commission ruling that said the tribes lost the Black Hills.

"That is an issue that the Supreme Court has ruled on," Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota), who supports tribes on a number of issues, told the paper. "The money was set aside and continues to accumulate interest. That, in my view, is the resolution. I don't have any intention of wading back into that."

Three Sioux tribal members -- Jodi Gillette, Yvette Roubideaux and Wizipan Garriott -- work in top posts in the Obama administration.

Get the Story:
Obama welcomes Black Hills discussion, tribes say (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 8/30)
Timeline on claim to the Black Hills (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 8/30)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Tribes unite over the Black Hills (8/28)
Spiritual leaders to discuss Black Hills lawsuit (7/15)
David Swallow: The Black Hills are everything (7/7)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe opposes Black Hills lawsuit (6/9)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe lobbies Obama on Black Hills (5/18)
Lawsuit seeks distribution of Black Hills trust fund (4/23)