Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Condemns the Rochford Mining in Black Hills: Committing to Additional Action

Published February 20, 2018

GREEN GRASS, SOUTH DAKOTA -The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe passed two (2) resolutions on 8 February 2018 opposing gold mining operations in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mineral Mountain, LLC is a Canadian-based mineral extraction company preparing to drill hundreds of holes in the Black Hills in the search of gold.

 “It’s important that we protect and take care of Unci Maka “Grandmother Earth” as she has taken care of us. She has not only provided us a good life but all South Dakotans,” commented Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier. South Dakota should wake up and see what is being done to our land. It must be a priority for all of us that live here in South Dakota to oppose all threats that would harm her. I am proud we are taking a stand and thinking about what our grandchildren will inherit from us.” 

Resolution 17-2018-CR directly opposes the Canadian-based company’s operations on the Black Hills. It begins by explaining the situation that has allowed the occupation of the Black Hills from Treaty to unconstitutional Acts by the U.S. Congress and how the land is managed by the Forest Service in violation of treaty agreements.

The resolution goes further to explain the proximity of the drilling to Pe Sla which is within a couple of miles of the proposed drilling and calls for government to government dialogue between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation. The resolution continues to remind the Federal government of its responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Act while opposing the exclusions this activity enjoys at the expense of Unci Maka “Grandmother Earth”.

Resolution 17-2018-CR calls on the Federal government to provide funding for the Great Sioux Nation to employ professionals to investigate the environmental and archeological impact of the Rochford Mining Project while authorizing litigation regarding the operations.

Resolution 18-2018-CR alliterates the history of pollution and environmental disasters associated with mining operation in the Black Hills that still plague the Black Hills today. It calls upon congress to withdraw the Black Hills National Forest form the scope of the 1872 Mining Act. The resolution also authorizes the securing of experts to assist the Tribe in understanding the full scope of the operations impacts and urges the other Sioux Tribes to join in a movement to resist. Finally, the resolution authorizes an initial amount of $200,000 to fight the Rochford Mining Project.


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