The sacred Bear Butte can be seen in the background of property acquired by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. Courtesy photo

Native Sun News Today: Tribes acquire land at sacred Bear Butte

Tribal Land Purchase at Bear Butte “Noavose” (no-wah-wiss)
By Clara Caufield
Northern Cheyenne Correspondent
Native Sun News Today

LAME DEER, Mont. - In December 2018, the members of the Northern Cheyenne, Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes (long-time allies) received a wonderful holiday gift, which will benefit generations to come: 1,020 acres of land at the northeast corner of Bear Butte, located in Meade County, South Dakota.

The three tribes came together to purchase this land for two million, 320,000 and 500 dollars, ($2.3 million) learning of the land sale just the day before Meade County held an auction for overdue taxes. That property was formerly owned by the Lower Brule Farm Corporation which preferred to acquire other land near their reservation.

The lands acquired are, according to Gene Small, Executive Director of the Northern Cheyenne Land Authority and lead staffer on the project are good productive farm properties. He Worked on this acquisition project under the direction and approval of the Tribal President, Council and Land Authority Board. However, more important, is the spiritual significance.

“This is where Sweet Medicine, our traditional prophet, studied with the spirits, learning the spiritual covenants and code of ethics which guide the Cheyenne people,” he said. “Sweet Medicine was to us what Moses is in the Bible.”

Gene, is one of many Cheyenne who has fasted at Bear Butte, completing three out of the necessary four times knows, thus knowing the power of that place.

“I now know that future generations will be able to do the same, carrying on our Cheyenne ways,” he remarked. “That gladdens my heart.”


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