Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION - The PBS News Hour ran a segment last night about nine Sioux Tribes reluctance to take $1.3 billion for the Black Hills that has grown during the past 31 years from $105 million that was set aside for them from a 1980 US Supreme Court ruling in the tribes' favor.
The money was set aside to compensate the Sioux tribes for the taking of the Black Hills in 1877 by the US government. The Black Hills were rich in minerals, including gold.
To the Sioux Tribes, the Black Hills are the spiritual center of their tribal members. Many tribal members are adamant that the lands should never be sold.
While the billion dollars may be tempting, the per capita payout to each tribal member will amount to about $10,000.
At stake Ancestral Lands
Furthermore, the Sioux maintain the land is worth more than being offered by the government. The Black Hills are a major draw for tourists and bring in some $2 billion of economic activity annually for the state of South Dakota, according PBS correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, who reported the story for PBS News Hour.
At stake to the Sioux are the ancestral lands. They will continue on the 130 year holdout for the time being. Among tribal officials, there are conversations of attempting to come to a resolution.
Some tribal leaders have agreed to discuss the matter at tribal council meetings in the coming months, according to PBS.
posted August 25, 2011 7:45 am edt
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