your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Uranium mine near Pine Ridge not a done deal

Filed Under: Environment | National
More on: native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota, uranium

The following story was written and reported by Talli Nauman, Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor. All content © Native Sun News.

Uranium mining not done deal
Community info meeting set for Dec. 13 in Rapid City
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

HOT SPRINGS — An Oglala Sioux Tribe natural resources technician guaranteed listeners at a recent Fall River County Commission hearing that the protection of cultural resources is an outstanding obstacle for Canadian investors’ effort to reinstate uranium mining at Powertech (USA) Inc.’s Dewey-Burdock site in Fall River County adjacent to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“As far as the tribes are concerned, we want a TCP (Tribal Cultural Preservation) study done on the whole 10,000 acres, not just the 2,637-acre area of potential effect,” tribal natural resources technician Dennis Yellow Thunder told commissioners.

“According to our treaties and stuff, that’s still aboriginal homeland, and we don’t agree with your going out there and disturbing ancestral homeland,” Yellow Thunder said.

He received a hearty round of applause from the standing-room-only, non-Native American crowd gathered at the meeting held to inform commissioners’ decision to intervene in an upcoming state hearing on South Dakota’s first proposed in-situ leach (ISL) injection mining for uranium.

Two grassroots organizations subsequently scheduled a community information meeting for this Dec. 13 in Rapid City to discuss the history, current status and effects of uranium mining in the Black Hills.

The meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the City/School Administration Center features a panel of Black Hills environmental and legal experts on a program to address technical, humanistic and legal issues of Powertech’s applications for mining and water rights.

The nonprofit Dakota Rural Action and the Clean Water Alliance are hosting the event to help the public learn about Powertech’s plans to use groundwater to extract uranium, water demand and drought, public health and radioactive waste, the organizations said in announcing the date.

The Clean Water Alliance describes itself as “citizens concerned about the health, environmental and economic impacts that proposed uranium mining projects would have on our communities, people, economy and natural resources.” Their goal is to prevent uranium mining in the Black Hills region “and protect our valuable resources - especially water - for future generations.”

Dakota Rural Action is a “family agriculture and conservation group that strives to build leadership through community organizing by giving people a strong voice in decisions affecting their quality of life,” it says. The Black Hills Chapter addresses issues of local food, community, agricultural land preservation, energy and natural resources.

The meeting was set to take place at the First Floor Community Room of the City/School Administration Center in Rapid City, at 300 6th St.

According to the draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the 11,000-acre Powertech project along the Cheyenne River in the extreme southwestern corner of South Dakota, the state Office of Tribal Government Relations told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009 that “tribal governments would be most interested in potential harm to the environment from the proposed project.”

Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, NRC is required to conduct consultation with Native American tribes to determine whether proposed federal actions will affect historic properties.

The South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office identified 20 Native American tribes that might attach historic, cultural and religious significance to properties within the proposed Dewey-Burdock ISL boundaries.

The NRC staff contacted the tribal governments by mail and solicited information regarding any such properties from the: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Yankton Sioux Tribe, Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation) of North Dakota, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota, Spirit Lake Tribe of North Dakota, Lower Sioux Indian Community of Minnesota, Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Montana, Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana, Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming, Eastern Shoshone Tribe of Wyoming, Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Formal government-to-government consultations began in 2010. However, a mutually agreeable Scope of Work document for identification and evaluation of sites remains to be attained. Powertech spokesman Mark Hollenbeck told county commissioners at the meeting held Nov. 26, “There is a Section 106 process with NRC that’s ongoing that is looking for traditional cultural properties.”

However, Yellow Thunder noted, “That hasn’t been concluded yet, and according to our information, you won’t get anything done out there at least until spring because the field season is over now. So as far as the cultural resources are concerned you’re not even close to accomplishing that task.”

The Archaeology Laboratory of Augustana College in Sioux Falls has conducted cultural resource evaluations on the land leased by Powertech for the mining, but many more remain to be done. Tribal officials want access to the Dewey-Burdock site so that studies are conducted with tribal involvement.

“The job that Augustana did is inconclusive,” Yellow Thunder said. “What it found out was not even close to what a team of people of special expertise did find out there, so right now as far as cultural resources are concerned, we are at a standstill.”

Included in archeologists’ findings at Dewey-Burdock are hundreds of potentially significant sites, including rock cairns, stone circles, hearth features, scrapers, points and other tools and artifacts.

(Contact Talli Nauman at

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe presses Obama on Dakota Access (10/25)
Lakota Country Times: Shooting pushes Pine Ridge into action (10/25)
Native Sun News Today: Sisters want police help for stolen car (10/25)
Delphine Red Shirt: Teach the language like our elders wanted (10/25)
Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe keeps making bad decisions (10/25)
Harlan McKosato: Just what are Indians supposed to look like? (10/25)
ICT series continues with George W. Bush's sovereignty gaffe (10/25)
Cherokee Nation schedules job fairs for newest gaming facility (10/25)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe faces legal fight over modest casino (10/25)
Donald Trump embraces big energy projects like Dakota Access (10/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe can pursue own #NoDAPL complaint (10/24)
Democracy Now: New resistance in fight against Dakota Access (10/24)
Tim Giago: No one feels honored by racist & offensive mascots (10/24)
Mark Trahant: North Dakota takes #NoDAPL battle to extremes (10/24)
Cedric Sunray: Cherokee Nation tries to 'Trump' Indian arts law (10/24)
Native Sun News Today: Republican won't agree to tribal forum (10/24)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe opens nursing home (10/24)
Clara Caufield: Tribute to outgoing Northern Cheyenne leader (10/24)
Mary Annette Pember: North Dakota on #NoDAPL crackdown (10/24)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Native women deserve to be respected (10/24)
Steven Newcomb: Getting to the origins of federal Indian law (10/24)
Peter d'Errico: Seminole Tribe embraces limits on sovereignty (10/24)
Pregnant woman on Muckleshoot Reservation killed by police (10/24)
Federal authorities investigate shooting deaths at Pine Ridge (10/24)
Bus returning from Torres-Martinez Band casino in fatal crash (10/24)
Jamul Indian Village refinances $460M in casino related debt (10/24)
Firm cites 2009 National Indian Gaming Commission opinion (10/24)
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye backs Hillary Clinton (10/21)
Twenty-Nine Palms Band disputes 'Trump, You're Fired' story (10/21)
Repatriation review committee announces additional meetings (10/21)
Native Sun News Today: Ping-pong continues in #NoDAPL case (10/21)
Lakota Country Times: 'Reel Jobs' school nurtures Lakota talent (10/21)
James Giago Davies: Drugs and crime overrun our reservations (10/21)
Dana Lone Hill: Becoming a grandmother is life's highest honor (10/21)
Misty Perkins: Indigenous voices are lost in colonial translation (10/21)
John Leguizamo: Who was 'mistreating indigenous people' first? (10/21)
Bureau of Land Management confirms repatriation for ancestor (10/21)
Cowlitz Tribe opposes coal export terminal on aboriginal lands (10/21)
Crow Tribe signs agreement to resolve long-running tax dispute (10/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.