Book Review: The Lakotas and their struggle for 'The Black Hills'
"The legendary Black Hills encompass an area about 120 miles long and between 40 and 50 miles wide. Most of this often wild and beautiful terrain lies in southwestern South Dakota. A portion is across the border in Wyoming. It's a region that has long been in deep dispute, as University of Oregon history professor Jeffrey Ostler shows in his lucid and always even-handed "The Lakotas and The Black Hills," subtitled "The Struggle for Sacred Ground."

The Lakota regard the area as sacred, the place where their holy men and women have visions. The tribe, Mr. Ostler shows, sees the Black Hills as the spiritual "center" of its history, territory where the Lakota should be sovereign.

But Lakota land it is not, except for a small portion. Much of the region is state and federal land, and when the land isn't government property, it is privately owned - a network of ranches and towns that have been in the hands of non-Lakotas for many generations.

Even more directly insulting to many Lakota, notes Mr. Ostler, is that each year more than 3 million tourists visit Mount Rushmore."

Get the Story:
BOOK REVIEW: 'The Lakotas and the Black Hills' (The Washington Times 9/3)