A bit of history to start with, 

 On December 15, 1890, U.S. Indian policemen arrested Sitting Bull in an effort to quell the “messiah craze” of the native ceremonies. The arrest turned unintentionally violent in ways that retrospectively seem inevitable. Sitting Bull was killed, along with seven of his supporters and six of the policemen. Fearing a backlash, another leader, Big Foot, fled south with his band under cover of night to seek asylum with Red Cloud on the Pine Ridge Reservation.Nearly two weeks later, on the morning of December 28, 1890, a nervy U.S. Seventh Cavalry unit found Big Foot’s band at Porcupine Creek and escorted them to Wounded Knee Creek. The following morning the cavalry attempted to disarm the Indians. What happened next on that frozen-prairie morning isn’t entirely clear. It is said that a medicine man, Yellow Bird, began to perform a dance, throwing handfuls of dirt in the air. A scuffle ensued, a gun was discharged, the Army opened fire, and by the time the smoke cleared, Big Foot and at least 145 members of his band had been killed (the Oglala argue many more), including 84 men and boys, 44 women, and 18 children. A reported 25 U.S. soldiers also died, some possibly as a result of friendly fire.Testifying to the commissioner of Indian Affairs in February 1891, the Oglala leader American Horse said of that day, “There was a woman with an infant in her arms who was killed as she almost touched the flag of truce … Right near the flag of truce a mother was shot down with her infant; the child not knowing that its mother was dead was still nursing, and that was especially a very sad sight. 

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was originally established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation. Article 2 of the Treaty of Fort Laramie of April 29, 1868 described the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation, as commencing on the 46th parallel of north latitude to the east bank of Missouri River, south along the east bank to the Nebraska line, then west to the 104th parallel of west longitude. (15 stat. 635). The Great Sioux Reservation comprised all of present-day South Dakota west of the Missouri River, including the sacred Black Hills and the life-giving Missouri River. Under article 11 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the Great Sioux Nation retained off-reservation hunting rights to a much larger area, south to the Republican and Platte Rivers, and east to the Big Horn Mountains. Under article 12, no cession of land would be valid unless approved by three-fourths of the adult males. Nevertheless, the Congress unilaterally passed the Act of February 28, 1877 (19 stat. 254), removing the Sacred Black Hills from the Great Sioux Reservation. The United States never obtained the consent of three-fourths of the Sioux, as required in article 12 of the 1868 Treaty. The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history.” United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371, 388 (1980).



APRIL 29, 1868
ARTICLE 1. From this day forward all war between the parties to this agreement shall forever cease. The Government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it. The Indians desire peace, and they now pledge their honor to maintain it.
If bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States, shall commit any wrong upon the person or property of the Indians, the United States will, upon proof made to the agent and forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washington City, proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also re-imburse the injured person for the loss sustained.
ARTICLE 12. No treaty for the cession of any portion or part of the reservation herein described which may be held in common shall be of any validity or force as against the said Indians, unless executed and signed by at least three-fourths of all the adult male Indians, occupying or interested in the same; and no cession by the tribe shall be understood or construed in such manner as to deprive, without his consent, any individual member of the tribe of his rights to any tract of land selected by him, as provided in article 6 of this treaty.
ARTICLE 16. The United States hereby agrees and stipulates that the country north of the North Platte River and east of the summits of the Big Horn Mountains shall be held and considered to be unceded Indian territory, and also stipulates and agrees that no white person or persons shall be permitted to settle upon or occupy any portion of the same; or without the consent of the Indians first had and obtained, to pass through the same; and it is further agreed by the United States that within ninety days after the conclusion of peace with all the bands of the Sioux Nation, the military posts now established in the territory in this article named shall be abandoned, and that the road leading to them and by them to the settlements in the Territory of Montana shall be closed.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been locked in a legal battle to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from impacting it’s cultural, water, and natural resources. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,168-mile long crude oil pipeline that will transport nearly 570,000 barrels of oil each day from North Dakota to Illinois. The Army Corps of Engineers green-lighted several sections of the process without fully satisfying the National Historic Preservation Act, various environmental statutes, and its trust responsibility to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. This is another chapter in the long history of the federal government granting the construction of potentially hazardous projects near or through tribal lands, waters, and cultural places without including the tribe. The current proposed pipeline route crosses under Lake Oahe, just a half mile up from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. While the Tribe is waiting for a federal court decision on a preliminary injunction to stop the pipeline construction, the pipeline company is waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers to grant an easement to drill under Lake Oahe. The Army Corps of Engineers, the White House, and Congress must halt the easement because the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s waters and sacred places must be protected.
Who are the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate, also known as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who stand in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline which threatens Mni Wiconi, the water of life? First of all, this isn’t the first time the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate has stood up against a powerful entity that sought to endanger the health and welfare of its people. And it isn’t the first time an alliance has been formed between them and other Indian nations in resistance.The ancestors of the Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate along with other bands of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Oyate were notorious for being the “last of the holdouts,” and referred to by the United States Government as “hostiles” because of their resistance to signing Treaties and their unwillingness to abrogate their right to live and hunt freely on their sacred homelands. The Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, which straddles the central border of North and South Dakota, is the land of Wicasa Wakan Tatanka Iyotake (Holy Man Sitting Bull), one of the most prominent Indian leaders of his time.

the Sioux Are Refusing $1.3 Billion

BY FRANCINE UENUMA AND MIKE FRITZ August 24, 2011 at 3:57 PM EDTA young Lakota Sioux girl at the annual Pine Ridge powwow. Photo by Mike Fritz.RELATED LINKS
RAPID CITY, S.D. | Pine Ridge Reservation stretches across some of the poorest counties in the United States. Plagued by an unemployment rate above 80 percent, arid land, few prospects for industry, abysmal health statistics and life-expectancy rates rivaling those of Haiti, it’s no wonder outsiders ask: Why do the nine tribes constituting the Great Sioux Nation, including those on Pine Ridge, staunchly refuse to accept $1.3 billion from the federal government?The refusal of the money pivots on a feud that dates back to the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, signed by Sioux tribes and Gen. William T. Sherman, that guaranteed the tribes “undisturbed use and occupation” of a swath of land that included the Black Hills, a resource-rich region of western South Dakota. But in 1877, one year after Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s infamous defeat at the hands of Crazy Horse at Little Bighorn and without the consent of “three-fourths of all adult male Indians” stipulated by the treaty, the government seized the Black Hills, along with their gold, and began profiting from the protected land.
Fast forward to 1980. The Supreme Court agreed with the Sioux: The land, long since settled, had been taken from them wrongfully, and $102 million was set aside as compensation. The trust’s value continues to grow well beyond $1 billion, but the Sioux have never collected.One key problem: The tribes say the payment is invalid because the land was never for sale and accepting the funds would be tantamount to a sales transaction. Ross Swimmer, former special trustee for American Indians, said the trust fund remains untouched for one reason: “They didn’t want the money. They wanted the Black Hills.”
WATER PROTECTORS! A real threat and the history.
Drinking Water Quality Tests on Pine RidgeOn the Pine Ridge, Drinking Water Quality tests conducted from 1995 to the present by the United States Geological Survey, the Indian Health Service, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Rural Water Program and the Federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDDR) reveal contaminants in the groundwater. There are two serious threats to our drinking water, Arsenic, and Alpha Emitters (radiation emitting).Uranium Mining and Water Contamination — The Tests Reveal the Contaminants:

– Arsenic – Combined Radium 226 & 228 – Barium – Thorium 230 (not naturally occurring) – other Radioactive Alpha Emitters

For the Lakota Oyate (Lakota People) a clean environment is a matter of life and death. To expose our people to the deadly toxins of uranium mining is a threat to our survival as a people, we have no island from which we can draw more membership, this is environmental racism.
Without Water There Is No Life.
In Speaking of Radioactive Waste: “They have created something that cannot be destroyed” –Winona LaDuke
In the past decade, water tests on the reservation have revealed unsafe levels of arsenic, radium, barium, thorium, and radionuclides, all of which can be released during the uranium mining process. Studies are ongoing on the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of the most impoverished areas in the United States, but it is likely to prove difficult to identify the source of heightened levels of uranium and other toxic metals in nearby water.
Lot of info here:
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