Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa Kin Wiyopeya Unkiyapi kte sni yelo!!
We will Not Sell the Black Hills!!
Source: The Crazy Horse Advocate, Martin SD. 2000

Paha Sapa, called this by the Lakota, is one of the oldest geological formations in the Western hemisphere. The hills ar considered the "basis" of the great plains, where fresh water, vegetation and lush beauty abound.

The Lakota Nation have considered the Paha Sapa sacred, the center of our nation, for as long as the people can remember. The significance of the land to the Lakota people has resulted in struggle for over 100+ years to protect the land for the future generations. As native people say, "it is not the land that belongs to the people, it is the people who belong to the land."

Paha Sapa History Since 1858:

1858 - The Warren Expedition, a military survey team enters the Paha Sapa, the first non-natives to do so.

1868 - Lakota Nation forces the United States to sign the Fort Laramie Treaty, United States cannot afford more losses on the Bozeman Trail. The treaty guarantees the greater part of five states to the Lakota Nation, in the center of which is He Sapa.

1872 - U.S. Congress passes the 1872 Mining Act - applying to lands in federal domain. Act
states that, for a small filing fee, an unlimited number of claims may be filed by prospectors.
Claimant must prove at least $100 worth of work to the area annually and after five years,
may file for a patent. If granted, the patent transfers the land from public to private property.

1874 - General George Armstrong Custer leads a military expedition into the Black Hills.
Custer "rediscovers" what the Warren Expedition had President Grant is told
of the discovery which attracts national press attention.

1875 - President Grant sends the Allison Commission to negotiate with the Lakota Nation. After four months of unsuccessful discussion, the commission leaves its offer of $6 million for the land rejected. In late 1875, President Grant orders the Army not to enforce provision of the 1868 Treaty prohibiting non_indians from entering the Paha Sapa. Combination of the 1872 Mining Act, and public knowledge of the wealth of the Paha Sapa encourages many prospectors to enter the area.

1876 - Congress states that the Lakota (Sioux) will not receive any more treaty-guaran-
teed rations until they agree to sell the Paha Sapa. The Lakota call this the "Sell or Starve"
option. On June 25, the Lakota and other allies defeat Custer and the celebrated 7th
Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. Later in the year, another commission comes to the Lakota
Nation. From sworn statements from those present, the following facts emerge: About
one-half of the nation is in the north on a hunting trip, thus, representation of less than
10% of the people meet with the commission. An agreement was signed, understood as
a lease on the land. Later that year, George Hearst purchases a prospecting claim in Black
Hills for $70,000 he has borrowed from his mother.

1877 - The United States passes the Black Hills Act, unilaterally transferring the Black hills to the United States.

1886 - George Hearst's claim is now worth $6 million. He adds processing equipment to the Homestake Gold Mine.

1887 - Dawes Act - the Allotment Act is passed. The law applies to all reservations (except Pine Ridge until 1902) dividing the land in 160 acre individual allotments.

1890 - Congress unilaterally reduces the Lakota reservations to six separate tracts. Homesteaders enter the region in greater numbers, seeking to make a living off the land. In late December, the U.S. Cavalry destroys 350+ men, women, and children at Wounded Knee.

1916 - After this year, mineral rights to homestead land are retained by the government.

1920 - U.S. "gives permission" for the Lakota to file a court claim for land tken from them. Lakota are not told until after the case is filed that the claim is for money-instead of land contrary to the wishes of the Lakota.

1924 - Indian Citizenship Act recognizes Indians as U.S. Citizens despite the Treaty affirmations of the inherent sovereign status of tribes.

1934 - I.R.A. establishes "tribal council" government on the reservations. These governments
are subject to approval of the U.S., undermining the authority of the traditional governments.

1942 - The Black Hills Claim Case dismissed, along with 17 related claims at approximately the same time.

1946 - Indian Claims Commission Act is passed, allowing monetary compensation for taken
land, but no possible return of it. A claim is initiated again "on behalf" of the Lakota. again,
the Lakota state that the land is not for sale.

1951 - Uranium is discovered near Edgemont by Jerry Brennan, a local lawyer.

1953 - Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) establishes a station near edgemont to purchase ore produced in the area. Ongoing uranium reconnaissance study continues under the AEC. Large resource bodies are found in western South Dakota and in the Silliston Basin. Results of study are released to the energy industry. Ranching and tourism continue to be major state industries.

1964 - State of South Dakota proposes initiative to terminate South Dakota Reservations, but proposal fails.

1971 - North Central Power Survey, outlines plans for thirteen 10,000 megawatt coal fired power plants, along with coal and other resource mining and development. Homestake Mining Company obtains license to remove minerals (uranium) from 1,040 acres of state land in Custer and Fall River counties, claims transferred to Westinghouse in 1976.

1973 - Wounded Knee Occupation, lakota reaffirm commitment to self-determination.

1974 - In August, mineral prospecting permits issued by the Commissioner of School and Public Lands, cover 21,076,067 acres of state land.

1975 - A reconnaissance study is done on Pine Ridge and other reservations. A large uranium deposit is discovered in the Northwestern corner of the reservation. On June 25, FBI ground forces attack a traditional camp at Oglala on Pine Ridge. Two FBI agents and one native man are killed. The same day, Oglala Sioux Tribe President Dick Wilson is conducting secret negotiations with the government for transfer of 1/8 of the reservation to the United States. The area contains the uranium ore deposit.

1976 - U.S. Bicentennial celebration.

1977 - U.S. offers the Lakota Nation $17.5 million for the Black Hills as a claim settlement. The offer represents the value of land in 1877. The offer is rejected, the Black Hills Are Not For Sale! In April, Union Carbide announces it has located a significant uranium deposit in Craven Canyon, Black Hills National Forest.

1978 - Homestake Mining Company announces that gold production is over 50% of national annual output, and over $1 billion has been removed to date. Homestake's profits have been used to finance the Hearst Newspaper and mining empire and, recently the ventures of United Nuclear-Homestake Partners, the third Largest Uranium-reserve holding company. engineering and Mining Journal (November) reports that there are over 8 million pounds of uranium, worth $800 billion, in South Dakota, mostly in the Black Hills.

1979 - January: SD Governor Bill Janklow abolishes the Dept. of Environmental Protection-both energy development and environmental protection are now under the same department. Some 25 corporations, holding claim to approximately 1 million acres, are known to be in the area. U.S. offers the Lakota $105 million for the Black Hills, again traditionalists reject this offer; Pine Ridge rejects in June; other councils still discussing.

1980 - Court decision by Judge Blackmon awards the Lakota $105 million for the Black Hills as settlement. Settlement is refused.

1990s - Dockets 74A and 74B discussed throughout the Great Sioux Nation. All tribes refuse the settlements. Honeywell gives 1200 acres of sacred Black Hills back to the Oglala.

2000 - In a new age when technology is all around us and money is needed, we as Lakota people must remember to never give up our homes or our lands. If we sell the Black Hills, it will be prostituting our mothers and grandmothers.

This He Sapa Information is provided from the
Archives of deceased AIM Nebraska leader Bob Yellowbird, of Gordon Nebraska. It was furnished by his son Clint Yellowbird of the Lakota Student Alliance. Clint Yellowbird is also editor of the Crazy Horse Advocate, a paper created in 1970s by Bob Yellowbirds family. Crazy Horse Advocate is currently based in Martin SD (Lacreek) district.
Mato Tipila: Wasicu caje kin "Devils Tower" keya pi...Makoce kin He Lila Wakan !
Fort Laramie, Wyoming circa 1868. Site of 1851 Treaty Negotiations with the Lakota. (Artist Sketch)
Tatanka Iyotaka he Wokiksuyapo.
U.S. Armed Forces General George Armstrong Custer
Kangi Witko, Traditional Chief of the Oglala Lakota (deceased). Kangi Witko was a traditional leader of the Lakota Treaty Council.
2 Warriors stand guard at Wounded Knee Liberation 1973.
Paha Sapa kin Wiyopeya unkipi kte sni yelo!
Statement of the Lakota Student Alliance Regarding
Mt Rushmore and the Sacred Black Hills

December 2 1996
To Contact Us:
Lakota Student Alliance
PO Box 225
Kyle, SD 57752
Paha Sapa Chronology   |  Paha Sapa: Ku Klux Klan in 1920s Black Hills   |   Janklow: Old Indian Fighter or New Advocate?  |  Laframbois Island 1999Pine Ridge Reign of Terror 73-76Anonymous Person Discusses 6.26.75 OglalaWiping of Tears: Incident at Oglala 2000Indian Humor 2Independent Oglala Nation Declaration 1973   |  A Fire That Burns: Wouned Knee 73-98Its All About the Land: Real Issue Behind Wounded Knee 73Tashunke Witko BrigadeLink
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