South Dakota lawmakers kill bill to support return of land to tribes

A view from the top of Harney Peak in the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. Photo by Jake DeGroot

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee killed a bill that called on the state to support the return of land within the Black Hills to tribes.

The Black Hills was promised by treaty to the tribes of the Sioux Nation. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians confirmed that the federal government illegally took the land. The tribes, however, have refused to accept an Indian Claims Commission judgment for the taking. They have instead sought the return of some lands, including those within the Black Hills National Forest, an idea embraced by HCR 1010.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: Debate on HCR1010, Calling for a policy to provide a full and fair resolution of the claims to the Black Hills by the Sioux Nation tribes

"The Black Hills, if we could get one acre back, would be a big thing for our tribe and for the generations to come," State Rep. Shawn Bordeaux (D), a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said at the committee meeting, The Mitchell Daily Republic reported.

Even though Bordeaux's measure merely called on the state to support "full and fair compensation " along with the return of some of the federal forest lands, lawmakers voted 13 to 0 to defer the bill, effectively killing it for the current session.

Get the Story:
Legislators reject tribes' resolution seeking return of some treaty lands (The Mitchell Daily Republic 2/11)

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