Opinion: County allows defiling of sacred Bear Butte
"I am a Custer County resident, who happened to spend 5 nights & 6 days at the foot of Mato Paha (Bear Butte).

I had never been to the Butte before, but had heard stories about the problems associated with the bars in & near the vicinity of the Butte, & how it affected those who come to do sacred ceremony/prayer,etc.

The sacredness of Mato Paha really came to me while we were camped at the base: my young son even climbed the Butte (without proper humbleness; I am grateful the Butte accepted those who climbed the Butte & wandered around on the sides & top). I sat one evening the night that 8 people from our camp had climbed the Butte, smoking a canupa & asking for forgiveness & understanding that is was done in all innocence. I believe the Butte gave us an acceptance, after over an hour of intense prayer.

Then the 1st of July I accompanied Susan Mary Cee, wife of Charles Rambow, to the County Commissioners meeting at City Hall. I was floored by what I heard & saw there. So amazed, that when I stopped at my friends' home in Sturgis to pick someone up & head home, I was told, “Don't fall asleep while you drive home!” To which I replied, “I'm too darned MAD to even think of falling asleep!” And that was the truth.

The Commissioners didn't seem in the slightest fazed by the comments made by the true People's of the Land here: the Cheyenne & Lakota. It was as if they had no claim on the Land, which the Treaty of 1866 never was ratified legally; so the gentleman who claimed the North American Natives had no claim on the Land has obviously not done his history reading.

And to allow Black Water to build within 2 miles of the Butte? A company that services mercenaries in the Mid-East? What kind of insanity is that? Are they mixed up with Haliburton? Has anyone researched that? I want to know. Not from Black Water Brass~ I wouldn't trust them to tell the truth. Our military keeps too many secrets, which is another reason to keep them from building so close to Mato Paha."

Get the Story:
Gena McNamara: Custer County woman brings up Bear Butte issues (The Meade County Times-Tribune 8/13)

Related Stories:
Sen. McCain snubs tribes on South Dakota visit (8/12)
Jodi Rave: McCain's stop at Sturgis bike rally (8/6)
Sen. McCain to campaign at Sturgis biker rally (8/4)
Bar near sacred Bear Butte wins liquor license again (7/2)
Gathering promotes spiritual unity at Bear Butte (6/30)
Editorial: Address protections at sacred Bear Butte (6/27)
Editorial: Support protections for Bear Butte (2/19)
South Dakota governor seeks to protect Bear Butte (12/17)
Prayer planned at Bear Butte during biker rally (7/26)
Bar near sacred Bear Butte a headache for owner (6/19)
Owner of bar near Bear Butte faces unpaid bills (06/06)
Views: Middle school students debate Bear Butte (04/16)
Bill to create Bear Butte alcohol buffer zone killed (02/14)
Bill to ban new bars near Bear Butte considered (2/9)
Bill to block new liquor licenses near Bear Butte killed (2/1)
Bill would bar new liquor licenses by Bear Butte (1/29)