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Native Sun News Today Editorial: A call for Lakota warriors at bison roundup in South Dakota

It is time for the Lakota warriors to join in on the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

By Native Sun News Today Editorial Board

Are there any Lakota warriors out there who can still ride horses?

If there are we would like you to go to your tribal council and tell them to contact: Lydia Austin, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Custer State Park, 13329 US Highway 16A, Custer, SD 57730, phone number 1-605-255-4515 and ask them to open up the Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup to Lakota riders also.

Every year this Roundup is held and the buffalo are herded by white cowboys. The first hunters and roundup riders were the Lakota warriors. Why have they been excluded from participating in this Roundup every year since its inception?

Thousands of tourists come to South Dakota every year to watch this spectacle. Can you imagine how the crowds would double and triple if the true hunters of the buffalo, the Lakota warrior, is allowed to ride in the Roundup?

Last year, several weeks before the Roundup, Native Sun News Today, contacted Ms. Austin and requested that she research a plan to include the Lakota cowboys in the Roundup. She said she would bring it up at their next meeting. We have never heard from her since and of course, in 2017 it was the same old, same old; a plethora of white cowboys riding herd on the buffalo.

The only way we can get the SD Game, Fish and Parks to include the Lakota riders is to have the Tribal Chairmen and Tribal Councils from every Tribe in South Dakota send a request by mail or by phone to Lydia Austin and make that request.

The Buffalo Roundup is part of Custer State Park's management plan to maintain a healthy balance between the number of bison and the available rangeland forage. The park can only sustain a certain number of bison, based on the condition of the grassland and how much food is available. The Buffalo Roundup also allows for some of the animals to be sorted out of the herd, they are then sold at an auction in November.

Imagine if you will a dozen Lakota warriors in full regalia riding as they have for centuries in a roundup of a herd of buffalo. It would be a spectacle that would draw visitors from all over the world. We wonder why this is so hard for a tourist-minded state to understand. The last time we saw anything close to this was in the movie Dances with Wolves. We wonder if anyone from SD Game, Fish and Parks saw that movie and if so, why didn’t get their creative juices start flowing?

Gov. George Mickelson would have seen the common sense here. When he and Tim Giago came up with the Year of Reconciliation in 1990, we are sure this would have been included in his long range plans of reconciliation if he had not died so tragically in a plane crash.

We encourage all of you Indian warriors still able to sit a horse to go to your tribal presidents and councils and ask them to start the ball rolling. We want to see Lakota warriors riding in the next Buffalo Roundup and we want to have the time to get the story out to the international press. The way to contact the SD Game, Fish and Parks is listed above. Let us know what kind of responses you get.


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It is time for the Lakota warriors to join in on the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup
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