Black Hills & “The (Real) Supreme Law of the Land”

( – promoted by navajo)

…Among the Courts’ cases, 240 of 375 recognized American Indian treaties have been cited 992 times in 342 opinions between the years 1884 and 2004.

Constitution Background



This Constitution, and Laws of the United States which shall be made Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United Stated, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding

So, why is Pe Sla in the Black Hills likely to become a “Sea of Houses?”

The first reason, is that treaties must not be “the supreme Law of the Land.”


In the 1868 treaty, signed at Fort Laramie and other military posts in Sioux country, the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. In 1874, however, General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills accompanied by miners who were seeking gold. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners were soon moving into the Sioux hunting grounds and demanding protection from the United States Army. Soon, the Army was ordered to move against wandering bands of Sioux hunting on the range in accordance with their treaty rights. In 1876, Custer, leading an army detachment, encountered the encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Custer’s detachment was annihilated, but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.

A second reason is, the Forest Service and the Pennington County Highway Department are ignoring that fact thatthe Lakota Nation has never accepted any money for the Black Hills; it legally belongs to the Lakota Nation.


Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Laramie, in the Indian Territory, between D. D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian affairs, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent, commissioners specially appointed and authorized by the President of the United States, of the first part, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves of the following Indian nations, residing south of the Missouri River, east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of the lines of Texas and New Mexico, viz, the Sioux or Dahcotahs, Cheyennes, Arrapahoes, Crows, Assinaboines, Gros-Ventre Mandans, and Arrickaras, parties of the second part, on the seventeenth day of September, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. (a)

– snip –

ARTICLE 3. In consideration of the rights and privileges acknowledged in the preceding article, the United States bind themselves to protect the aforesaid Indian nations against the commission of all depredations by the people of the said United States, after the ratification of this treaty.

– snip –

The territory of the Sioux or Dahcotah Nation, commencing the mouth of the White Earth River, on the Missouri River; thence in a southwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; thence up the north fork of the Platte River to a point known as the Red Buts, or where the road leaves the river; thence along the range of mountains known as the Black Hills, to the head-waters of Heart River; thence down Heart River to its mouth; and thence down the Missouri River to the place of beginning.

Last of all that I’m mentioning, is that they need to especially adhere with common sense to the first, third, and fourth points made by Judge Elmer Dundy in his decision after the trial of Standing Bear.

(emphasis mine)

“First. That an Indian is a person with the meaning of the laws of the United States,
and has therefore the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court and before a federal judge, in all cases where he may be confined, or in custody under color of authority of the United States, or where he is restrained of liberty in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States.

– snip –

“Third. That no rightful authority exists for removing by force
any of the relators to the Indian Territory, as the respondent has been directed to do.

   “Fourth. That the Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation as well as the more fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’
so long as they obey the laws and do not trespass on forbidden ground.

As I said before.

To conclude and once again, “It is only a matter of time that further abuse and possible desecration will take place so that we must tell the story of this sacred site.  Action must be taken to preserve this prairie for future generations;” and, if they were considering condemning hundreds of churches for the sake of “development” or uranium for that matter, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

So, what’s the real “supreme Law of the Land” when it comes to the United States dealing with the American Indian Nations?

Red Cloud

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land and they took it.”


  1. from your cross-post on this topic over at dkos. So glad I did! I was not aware of this blog at all.

    thank you for posting about it. I was really hoping your diary would draw more a lot of attention and get a really good dialog  going on the topic of land rights and broken treaties, unfortunately, myself and only a few others took the challenge. I think it’s a topic too many are uneducated on and so refrain from discussing. But education is the only cure for ignorance. Keep up the work. I’ll be cheering your on and doing my part as well. 🙂

    – Annie

  2. We used to depend on the SC to bring some justice to treaty matters. But now with this far right court they are more of a threat than congress. In fact Scalia and the buffalo soldier(thomas) both want to eradicate our rights by fiat and if they get the right case they will and screw the Constitution. To them the constitution is a mere impediment to good nazi laws.

  3. just thankyou and I’m very glad you came over here.
    How true that “education is the only cure for ignorance,” indeed it is.

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