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Opinion
Opinion: Land use plans ignore tribal traditions


"Tradition is important to people here. County land use plans drafted across the state of South Dakota cite custom, culture and tradition as important components of establishing land use. The tradition of private property rights in Meade county means that it has become a habit to allow people to do what they want to with the property they own.

The culture and traditions of Native Americans and public land advocates continue to be discounted in Meade County. Northern Cheyenne, Rosebud Sioux and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribes own substantial tracts of land around Bear Butte. Lands placed in trust designated for American Indian peoples lie adjacent to Bear Butte. There are many other acres of designated public lands in the vicinity of Sturgis as well.

I've heard people say that negating the different values of land use in Meade County happens because people do not care. It is not because people don't care, folks care a lot. The custom that steers the disrespect in Meade County clearly expresses to American Indian cultural advocates that our differing land use values do not share an equal voice in the land use planning conversations."

Get the Story:
Nancy Kile: Meade County ignores Indian traditions (The Rapid City Journal 12/10)

Relevant Links:
Defenders of the Black Hills - http://www.defendblackhills.org/defenders

Related Stories:
Editorial: Permanent protection for Bear Butte (11/28)
Proposed bar near Bear Butte still under fire (10/31)
Man to change name, location of Bear Butte bar (10/28)
Respect urged at Bear Butte during high season (08/13)
Non-Indians press for access at sacred Bear Butte (07/16)
Plans for shooting range near sacred site scrapped (01/12)
Developers: Shooting range near Bear Butte still on (12/16)
Plans for shooting range near Bear Butte on hold (12/02)
Developers face deadline on proposed shooting range (11/14)
S.D. commission bans hunting at sacred site (11/07)
Janklow thought of shooting range by sacred site (10/17)
Janklow defends use of grant for shooting range (10/16)
S.D. governor says shooting range grant was OK (10/13)
Lakota group seeks protection of Black Hills (09/19)
S.D. to return grant for Bear Butte shooting range (09/19)
Protections for sacred sites called inadequate (06/19)
Federal funds used for shooting range near sacred site (03/25)
Judge to hear tribal suit against shooting range (3/19)
Four tribes file lawsuit to stop shooting range (03/04)