Members of the Sioux Nation are attempting to raise $1 million dollars to buy back a section of South Dakota land known in their culture as “the Center and heart of everything that is.”
About 2,000 acres of land in the state’s Black Hills is scheduled to go up for auction next week, including what’s known to the Sioux as Pe’ Sla. A local auction company posted that 1,942 acres of the land, known as Reynolds Prairie, after the family who owns it, is slated to go up for bid on Aug. 25.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has teamed up with the Native American blog Last Real Indians for an online fundraising campaign that began Monday, with an Aug. 23 deadline. As of Friday afternoon, the campaign had accrued just over $59,000.
“It’s not like a resistance movement or a militant thing,” Last Real Indians’ Chase Iron Eyes told Raw Story. “We have to protect these things. That’s what we’re on this Earth for.”
The land is central to the Sioux way of life, Iron Eagles said. Not only is it the site where, elders say, the Morning Star slew a creature that had killed seven women and took their spirits to create the Seven Sisters constellation, but it’s still used for religious ceremonies to this day. However, he added, the tribe bears no ill will toward the current owners.