An Advocacy Opportunity
From Sr. Bea Hernandez, JPIC Coordinator:
In the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890, over 350 children, women and men lost their lives. In September 2022, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe purchased the field where the atrocity occurred. In October 2022, both Tribes signed a covenant stating that this site shall be held and maintained as a memorial and sacred place without any development. The proposed legislation will place the purchased land into restricted fee status, allowing both Tribes to own the land outright, while restricting its sale or transfer. The key is that this new status will prevent it from being sold without the consent of Congress and both Tribes. 21st century sovereignty in action!
Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Ryman LeBeau, and survivor descendants Manny & Renee Iron Hawk all hailed the proposed protected status as a much needed recognition of the sacrifices suffered by the ancestors, honoring the sacrifices of the 350 Lakota who were attacked and killed after being disarmed by the Seventh Cavalry. In the words of the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, “Memorializing the Lakota lives lost will ensure this site remains sacred for generations to come.”
Please send a letter urging your member of Congress to pass this important legislation to guarantee the protection of this sacred place now.