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Opinion: Bear Butte Coalition won't give up fight

"I can tell you, as an individual member of the Bear Butte Coalition, that I will struggle, even with my life, even until the day I die, to protect this sacred land from destruction and desecration. When we pray, the best place, the most sacred place to pray is Bear Butte.

It is an honor to pray there. Our people go there to pray when they need to make decisions about which path to take in our lives at that point in our lives. So this is where we pray when we are at turning points in our lives, where we pray when we make the monumental decisions in our lives, about what we will be, what we will do with our lives from that point forward. Only our Creator can tell us the answer to questions of this significance. For we must use our lives to do good things for others, and only the Creator knows how each of us can best do good things for others.

To pray this seriously about matters of this significance, we need to be alone with our Creator, and with our Creator's messengers in nature - our animal relatives, and the sky, the sun, the stars, the moon, the wind, the rain. We must listen undisturbed for voices of the Spirits, or the voices of the animals or the wind. We must watch uninterrupted for signs in the sky or on the earth, or in the movements of the birds or other animals. We cannot bring anything with us that would distract us, even food or water or clothing or covering from nature's elements.

How can we achieve this level of concentration and pure communication with the Spirits if things we regard as impure, as interfering with the pure Spirits, or keeping them away, such as alcohol, or other people, who do not believe as we believe, are nearby? If our eyes and ears are filled with the sights of these things and the sounds of these things instead of the messages we are there to receive?"

Get the Story:
Jennifer Lehmann: How can we have hollow bones? (The Rapid City Journal 7/8)

Relevant Links:
Bear Butte International Alliance -
Defenders of the Black Hills -

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