( – promoted by navajo)

Kevin Woster:

Many years ago, the federal courts ruled that the Black Hills of western South Dakota had been taken illegally from the American Indian tribes –

As governor, would you consider transferring Bear Butte State Park land and management to a consortium of American Indian Tribes as a gesture of reconciliation from the state?

Mike Rounds, Republican candidate in 2006:

“I do not believe that Bear Butte State Park, and it is a state park,
should be transferred to a Native American tribe.

I’m not sure which Native American tribe you might suggest (that) you hold
that they are all sovereign.

SD Governors Discuss Bear Butte

Why is the Bear Butte issue more critical than ever?

From Protect Bear Butte:

(Seems only first link in bulletin is still working)

Contact us at

—————– Bulletin Message —————–

From: NDN News

Date: Apr 23, 2008 10:17 PM

Hello Everyone,

Please forward this flier widely! If you can, print them out, distribute them, post them, whatever you can think of! Please help spread the word! If you want it as a Microsoft word document, for easier printing, email me! We appreciate all of your help and support to protect sacred sites!

Thank you!In peace & solidarity,(name not posted)

www. NDNnews. com

www. ProtectSacredSites. org http://bearbutte. blogspot. com/“Providing news and information about Native American Issues & Causes” “Helping to make a difference for our people in Indian Country, one day at a time.

What will you do today to help make a difference?” “Our sacred lands are all that remain keeping us connected to our place on Mother Earth, to our spirituality, our heritage and our lands; what’s left of them. If they take it all away, what will remain except a vague memory of a past so forgotten?”

Join our friends list on my space at http://www. myspace. com/ndnnews and

Also, join our yahoo group at Protecting our Ancestors & Sacred Sites


Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation is a grass roots organization, which works towards protecting our sacred sites across the country. We are a local organization actively working on the Protection of Bear Butte, in South Dakota.

BEAR BUTTE ISSUE MORE CRITICAL THAN EVER! SACRED SITES ARE WORTH THE FIGHT! Greetings to all my relations, I am writing to you today to alert you to the commercial desecration of land held sacred by nearly all the Plains American Indian Nations, Bear Butte.  This blatant disregard for the spiritual beliefs and traditional and cultural treasure of thousands of people is evidenced by the continuing and mounting presence of bars, clubs, strobe lights, a proposed stadium, and other venues of crass commercial entertainment. Bear Butte is a sacred site located eight miles west of Sturgis, South Dakota. It is registered as a National Historical Landmark. Bear Butte is sacred to the Plains Tribes, many continue to travel to the mountain each summer to pray and hold their annual ceremonies. Instead of praying in peace, traditional people are forced to pray with loud music from bars, mufflers and flashing strobe lights over the mountain. For the past few years there has been a continual encroachment of bars and venues heading towards the sacred mountain. In the summer of 2006, the massive two story bar opened just one mile from the mountain, called Sturgis County Line. Their goal is to have a 50,000 seat concert stadium and a RV park, in addition to the newly built two story bar. The owner of this location, Jay Allen has been disrespectful from the start. He initially wanted to call the location “On Sacred Ground” and erect an 80-foot Indian statue pointing towards the sacred mountain. Of course this was not viewed lightly, there has been a major battle to shut Jay Allen down, ever since.

There have been several developments since the summer of 2006, expansions are in progress and things are potentially getting worse. On April 14, 2008, Jay Allen announced a new partnership with a travel corporation from Boston, MA. In addition to this new partnership, they announced their plans to open the Sturgis County Line, year round. Biker rally events are NOW scheduled in June, July and August for the Sturgis Rally. So far, over a thousand bikers are scheduled to attend each event in June and July. The concert venue will be moving forward, by next summer they could have a 50,000 seat concert stadium, one mile from Bear Butte! With this new year round expansion, it will virtually become impossible ALL summer, to pray in peace at Bear Butte.  This issue has escalated and is now, more critical than ever. We are continuing the struggle to Protect Bear Butte and hope you will join us in these efforts!  

What YOU can do to help! Help us create awareness for the continual desecration of sacred sites, including Bear Butte. Get actively involved! Take Action! Help spread the word! The goal is to create public awareness across the country about desecration of our sacred sites! Being proactive and creating awareness, is one of the many ways, WE EACH can help to make a difference. Join our Bear Butte Working Group! We need pro-active, dedicated people who are willing to help in this continual struggle. Email us to find out how YOU can help Protect Bear Butte!  Talk with as MANY BIKERS as you can! Ask for their support on this issue, to not endorse Jay Allen’s Sturgis County Line.

The motto is Bikers for Bear Butte!

Sign up for our email updates! We send out announcements, updates, action alerts, upcoming meetings, hearings and information about current status.

Contact us at


  1. (name not posted by WR)
    Could be construed as me being the author of the bulletin. I was not and have just passed it on. I was in a rush this morning and did this all in 15 min.

  2. Winter Rabbit, two summers ago I organized and led a month long encampment and gathering on Rosebud tribal land on Bear Butte. We camped there all month and demonstrated during the “rally”, it was a great success and got pretty exciting. Indian leaders and people from all over came to support. Anyway much of the legislative and other activity around the Butte stems from our efforts there. Below I’ve put some of the letters I sent out to the tribes and people before the event. I’ve removed the contact info… I don’t want anyone to think the gathering is this summer, it’s over but the struggle goes on.
    Sorry this is so long, I hope it informs…

    Dear Relations, below are two important announcements concerning our struggle to defend Bear Butte. Grassroots people are planning and organizing a major gathering of traditional Indian people at Bear Butte during the months of July and August. I’m creating a website this week that will hopefully keep everyone informed. We’re just getting up and running so we need to do a lot of basic organizing in Indian Country. The Oglala, Rosebud and Northern Cheyenne have passed resolutions of support along with the Teton Nations Treaty Council. We’re preparing a packet to send to every tribe of the over thirty that have sacred connections to Bear Butte. It is also our hope to personally visit as many as possible, I plan on coming to Oklahoma as soon as we raise some travel money. I intend to first visit with the C & A to inform them and seek their support because of the close ties they have to Bear Butte to this day. Then I plan on doing some good ole ndn organizing by going from tribe to tribe and seeking their support and attendance. A big part will be the IEN/Ponca Pa-Tha-Ta this May in Oklahoma. Anyway the following letters explain it better. I need your help on this crucial issue and I hope to hear from each of you. Let’s get to work! Carter


    This is a “Call” to all Indian people. For two centuries our people have struggled to preserve and defend our sacred mountain, Bear Butte. It seems like every year some Indian group or Tribe is protesting, or going to court, or appealing to the Governor, to protect Bear Butte from some new destruction and desecration. Each year sees Indian people attempting to use every available avenue to prevent the further destruction of Bear Butte and its surrounding lands. Today our sacred mountain is threatened as never before, immense venues of drunken revelry are being carved into the land around her slopes and the worlds biggest “Biker Rally” will bring almost a million loud, polluting motorcycles and their thrill seeking riders, to the sacred mountain. They seem eager to dirty and disrespect our sacred lands in search of an escape from an empty American life.
    At first they came into our sacred grounds as trappers killing animals for their pelts, we fought them then and drove them away. Then more invaders were sent under Custer to dig for gold and take the land from our forefathers. Soon they were too many to resist and the Chiefs had to make treaties with them in order to protect the people’s lives and our lands. Always they have been told: “The Black Hills are sacred and Bear Butte is sacred also” and it was included in the treaties as land that would belong to the People forever, never to be sold. Our ancestors clearly explained to the Americans that our sacred lands must remain within the care of the people and the Americans agreed, their Congress ratified it and their President signed it. It is only because the Americans have broken their own Treaty(s) with our Nations that today we must continue the struggle our forefathers began.
    Recently the announcement of a 600-acre “Biker Bar/Campgrounds” and a giant, man-made amphitheater and concert venue next to Bear Butte alarmed Indian tribes all across the Great Plains. Even more insulting was the promoters plan to name it “Sacred Ground” and construct a giant statue of an “Indian” facing Bear Butte! Indian people began once more to rally to protect the mountain from this development. Several Tribes passed resolutions and once more groups and individual people began attending meetings and trying to persuade the County and State governments to prohibit this development. That part of the struggle goes on and we are still attending meetings and filing our arguments against the development and against granting it a liquor license. We fully intend to continue to use these bureaucratic remedies in hope that we can establish some legal zoning and stop any development that way.
    At the same time it has become more and more obvious that the immense amount of money Meade County and the State of South Dakota make off the “Sturgis Bike Rally” means that once again our pleas will fall on deaf ears. As we began exploring ways to stop the “Sacred Grounds” developer we found out that he is far from alone in his intentions to develop biker bars and concert venues on grounds surrounding Bear Butte. We now know of at least a half a dozen major campgrounds and concert venues being planned and at least one under construction. These, in addition to some smaller ones already in existence that are getting ready to expand and a giant one called “Buffalo Chip” that is approximately four miles away, mean that soon our sacred mountain will be surrounded by noise and drunken partying. Mega speaker systems, giant TV screens, fireworks and 800,000 roaring motorcycles will drive Animals, Indians and Spirits away from the mountain. They will destroy the land and dirty the water. Already her lake is drying and the water from her spring barely flows.
    We are traditional Indian people. When a crisis like this one threatens the people we turn to our sacred ways to give us guidance. Since the announcement of the latest development many prayers have been offered and many ceremonies done on behalf of our efforts to defend Bear Butte. Like so many of our ancestors we ask that our words and actions be blessed before we decide how to go forward and we pray that our decisions will be the right ones. As we continue in our efforts to defend Bear Butte we intend to follow this way of doing things so in the end we can do things in a good and respectful way.
    In past days when matters of great importance were to be considered a “Call” went out to the people to gather together to make decisions that would affect all the people. Bear Butte, Nowa’wus, Mato Paha, our Sacred Mountain is that important to the people and the decisions made to defend her will affect all the people. A traditional Call is now being sent out for all traditional societies to bring together their people at Bear Butte during the summer. We invite our own traditional Chiefs, Headsmen and Headswomen to come to lead and guide the people and we will prepare a place for you. We invite our Sacred Men and Women to come pray for our efforts and for us in a ceremonial way and we will prepare a place for you. We invite our Elders to come stand with us and bless us with your knowledge, we have a place for you in our circle. We ask all who Sundance and follow the sacred Pipe to come lend your prayers and power to our struggle. We ask our youth, our future, to come stand beside us, we ask you to come early to lend your energy and strength to the sacred circle of your people. In the end our “Call” must be heard by all Traditional Indian People and we must gather together in unity, in prayer and with determination to make this one grand effort to defend Bear Butte.
    Our gathering will be called the “Great Inter-Tribal Gathering of the Nations” and it will be coordinated by the ” INTERTRIBAL COALITION TO DEFEND BEAR BUTTE” as explained in the following letter. In early July an encampment will be established at Bear Butte and soon after the “Sacred Staff” will be placed in its own Tipi and ceremonies will begin and will continue until the “bike rally” is ended. The date of the Council meetings and other activities is yet to be decided and all important decisions will be made as our circle grows and the time nears. Finally we ask you to remember that ours is a society that values the drum, songs and dance of our people, so bring your drums, we’ll dance and make our gathering a joyous wacipi as we take care of serious business for our people.
    “Owe Aku” a traditional group working on the Oglala reservation at Pine Ridge has been given the task of preparing the “Sacred Staff” and taking it to the Tribes. “Owe Aku” means “bring back the way” in Lakota and in this beginning they will act as our contact point and fiscal agent for fund raising. As a 501 c-3 organization, Owe Aku is able to receive tax exempt donations from individuals and Tribes and to be accountable for using it for the encampment and Council. A larger meeting of all concerned is planned for early spring, at that time a more formal organization can be formed to be more inclusive and to make the decisions necessary for the Gathering. If you or your society wishes to join with us in defending Bear Butte this summer feel free to contact us.
    I am Carter Camp of the Ponca Nation.


    Bear Butte is “Nowah’wus” to the Cheyenne Nation. It is “Mato Paha” to the Lakota. Across the Great Plains over thirty indigenous Nations acknowledge the sacredness of this Butte and it’s surrounding area. It is a mountain inhabited by spirits and spiritual powers that are well known to our people. For this reason Bear Butte is central to our ceremonial life as native people of the Great Plains and is necessary for the continued health and well being of our people. All life on Bear Butte must be respected and defended. No people have a right to destroy or disrespect our sacred mountain.

    While we all as a people hold the entire Black Hills to be sacred, Bear Butte is under direct attack at this time and we are preparing to do our best to defend the sacred mountain again. We have learned of plans to build enormous biker bars and campsites all around our sacred mountain. In addition existing beer bars and concert venues are expanding and edging closer and closer into sacred grounds. Today one has dug outdoor toilets on the very slopes of the north side of our Sacred Mountain for their annual drunken binge! Over 600,000 motorcyclists are expected to attend the “Sturgis Bike Rally” in 2006 and they pay millions of dollars into the local economy of the people who claim to license and permit them on behalf of the public. Never since Custer discovered gold has our Mato Paha been threatened by such a combination of greed, government and legal adversity.

    Our struggle to preserve Bear Butte has lasted for centuries. In 1876 Chief Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Lakota gathered over 6,000 Indian people at the Butte to urge them to defend our sacred lands. Chief Crazy Horse spoke from the mountain to remind his people that the Paha Sapa is not for sale. In each year and decade since those days our people have engaged in efforts to save and protect the sacred mountain. In the early 1980’s Chief Fools Crow of the Oglala Lakota fought to save the mountain in the U.S. court system (Fools Crow vs. Gullet, 706 F.2d 856 [1983] ). He lost after taking it all the way to the Supreme Court (464 U.S. 977 [1983]). Traditional Indian people have fought to save the mountain from treaty times until now.

    The ” INTERTRIBAL COALITION TO DEFEND BEAR BUTTE” is a group made up of the Tribes and their “Traditional Societies” who are joining together to unite our people and our Nations to protect and defend our right to pray and have our ceremonies in peace. We are calling on all who value the heritage of our people and still practice the ancient ways of your tribes to join with us in defense of our ways. If you, your society and/or your Tribe want to join us, our invitation is open. In the traditional way of our people we know that our circle will begin small and grow as the people hear our words and respond to the threat. In the summer, at a time we will all decide, we will ask the people to gather in a “Great Inter-Tribal Gathering of the Nations” to sit in Council and decide what our people and their Nations can do to defend the Sacred Mountain.

    Our various Nations have acquired land for the ceremonial use of their people near Bear Butte. This land is an important part of our sovereign Nations because with it we preserve a link to the sacred mountain even though it has been taken from within our borders. We bought the land with the intention and right to utilize it in peace and quiet and this right predates the city of Sturgis, Meade County, the State of South Dakota, and in particular the “Sturgis Bike Rally”. We have a right to use our land for sacred purposes during the entire year without interference from the above named entities.

    Therefore, we intend to ask our Nations and their Traditional Societies and People to preserve these rights by gathering together during the summer months of July and August upon our own sovereign lands at Bear Butte to convene a Council of Nations. As a people we will gather together to form a spiritual encampment as a place for our Societies to once again sing their ancient songs and renew their vows. Within our encampment we will ask our holy men and women to bless us with their ceremonies and prayers and give us guidance in our quest to defend our sacred mountain.

    In asking for the support of Tribal governments we do so with the knowledge that we the people will be the ones engaging in the effort. We ask our tribal governments to support us by passing official resolutions of support and providing material and financial support as you see fit. We also ask you to participate by naming a tribal liaison to interact with the coalition and provide input on behalf of the tribe. Each Tribe and Society will have a seat at the Council.

    Both as individuals and as an organization we continue our support for environmental organizations that are working to protect Bear Butte. The efforts of the “Defenders of the Black Hills” (an Indian-led coalition of environmental groups) and the “International Alliance to Save Bear Butte” (an Indian-led alliance of local people and concerned people worldwide) have taken the lead in organizing state and national opposition to the proposed developments around Bear Butte. It is our hope that we can work in harmony and support their efforts by adding our voice to theirs. In the future it may be our privilege to join them and the Tribes in further legal actions or in providing testimony in American political subdivisions and courts.

    As an inter-tribal organization we intend to concentrate on informing our own people and our Tribes about the danger infringing upon the sacred mountain and asking them and our traditional societies to use all their resources to defend Her. We believe our traditional spiritual ways can have a tremendous beneficial effect for the Sacred Mountain and we seek to help gather traditional people together to use those spiritual ways on our sovereign lands at Bear Butte. We are asking our traditional tribal societies to come add their prayers, songs and ceremonies to those of the other Nations so the powerful unity of our sacred ways can guide our steps. We ask you all to come sit in Council with us and join our growing Circle of traditional Indian people who are determined to save the “The Mountain that Teaches.”
    In beginning this effort we were advised by respected Elders to construct a traditional “Staff” which is to be blessed and dedicated to defending Nowah’wus. This sacred staff will be taken to the Tribes, respected Elders, Chiefs, Society Headsmen, Headswomen and Clan leaders to explain our message and to seek their help. In July the “Sacred Staff” will be taken to the Sacred Mountain to be placed in a “Ceremonial Tipi” and the Societies and youth will begin to gather to prepare meeting grounds, ceremonial areas and campgrounds. Each Tribe and Society can move into camp on their own timetable during July to prepare themselves for the coming Council and Ceremonial Gathering. By the time the “Rally” begins in August we must be unified in a plan of action to peacefully and spiritually defend Nowah’wus, Mato Paha, our Sacred Mountain, BEAR BUTTE.

    For all our Relations.

    Carter Camp, Ponca Nation

    I have been asked to act as a coordinator along with Debra White Plume, Oglala Nation

    “Owe Aku” a traditional group working on the Oglala reservation at Pine Ridge has been given the task of preparing the “Sacred Staff” and taking it to the Tribes. “Owe Aku” means “bring back the way” in Lakota and in this beginning they will act as our contact point and fiscal agent for fund raising. As a 501 c-3 organization, Owe Aku is able to receive tax exempt donations from individuals and Tribes and to be accountable for using it for the encampment and Council. A larger meeting of all concerned is planned for early spring, at that time a more formal organization can be formed to be more inclusive and to make the decisions necessary for the Gathering. If you or your society wishes to join with us in defending Bear Butte this summer feel free to contact us.  

  3. being a key reason I even became aware of it in the first place. My eyes started to become open to it as being current and not something just in the past, then I started writing about it and we talked over at Kos when that diary hit the rec list.

    There are just a few people I really, really admire and look up to Carter and you’re definitely one of them. Perhaps emailing you is long overdue. If the email you have in the post is still good, I’d like to contact you directly. I’ll leave that in your hands.

    In either case, I pray and hope for the protection of Bear Butte.

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