Environment | National

Rosebud Sioux Tribe 'holding breath' over sale of sacred land





The Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is taking a cautious approach after an auction for a sacred site in the Black Hills was canceled unexpectedly on Thursday.

The tribe allocated $1.3 million to bid on Pe’ Sla. Lakota activists at LastRealIndians raised an additional $250,000 over the Internet to contribute to the campaign.

But amid heightened media scrutiny, Brock Auction Company pulled the sale of about 1,943 acres. No explanation was provided so the tribe doesn't know what might be happening behind the scenes.

“Right now we are all holding our breath. It is more of a sigh of relief because this puts an end to the auction, which is good, but on the other hand we are still very cautious because this could also mean there is a private sale going on," Alfred Walking Bull, the communications specialist for the tribe, told Indian Country Today.

The Black Hills was taken from the Sioux Nation, according to a decision from the Indian Claims Commission. The body was not authorized to return the land to the tribes.

A monetary award to compensate the tribes has grown to more than $1 billion,
Tim Giago reported in April 2010. The tribes have refused to take the money out of their jointly held trust accounts.

The courts have refused to return the land and Congress has not acted to return the land.

Get the Story:
Black Hills Sacred Site Auction Cancelled (Indian Country Today 8/24)
Auction called off for private land considered sacred by American Indians in South Dakota (AP 8/23)

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Jodi Rave: Countdown to auction of sacred site in Black Hills (8/23)
Lise Balk King: Sacred site sale poses test for United Nations (8/23)
Johnny Flynn: Lakota people look to buy stolen sacred lands (8/22)
Winona LaDuke: Sacred site in Black Hills on the auction block (8/17)
Native Sun News: Rosebud Sioux Tribe leads fight on sacred site (8/16)
Ruth Hopkins: Saving a sacred Black Hills site from auction block (8/15)
Blog: Activists need help to prevent sacred site from being sold (8/15)
Native Sun News: Venerated Lakota site put up on auction block (7/11)