Monday, June 19, 2006

Bear Butte

Have You not seen how to Allah bow all who are in the heavens, and all who are on the earth, the sun and the moon, the stars and the mountains, the trees and the animals, and many of humanity. (Qur'an 22:18)

I wish it were possible for us Indian people to tell the world how much sacred places mean to us. To explain that no man-made cathedral or mansion can inspire within us the feeling of sacredness inspired by those places generations of our grandparents worshipped. At no place is the culture gulf that separates the European and the Indigenous people greater than in our native regard for this lands' sacred places and the European-Christian inability to understand that certain places are sacred and should be protected from human interference. What we gaze upon with reverence they look at with greedy calculation and lust.
Over the years these venues have crept closer and closer until one event has its filthy toilets on the slope of the Sacred Mountain itself! Each year thousands of motorcycles roar around and upon Bear Butte as America displays it's version of "Sodom and Gomorah" within yards of the spot from which Chief Crazy Horse spoke when he told us never to sell the land.

"Bear Butte is 'Nowah'wus' to the Cheyenne Nation, It is 'Mato Paha' to the Lakota. Across the Great Plains over thirty indigenous Nations acknowledge the sacredness of this Brutte and its surrounding areas...
While we all as a people hold the entire Black Hills to be sacred, Bear Butte is under direct attack at this time and we are preparing to do our best to defend the sacred mountain again. We have learned of plans to build enormous biker bars and campsites all around our sacred mountain. In addition existing beer bars and concert venues are expanding and edging closer and closer into sacred grounds. Today one has dug outdoor toilets on the very slopes of the north side of our Sacred Mountain for their annual drunken binge!
Over 600,000 motorcyclists are expected to attend the "Sturgis Bike Rally" in 2006 and they pay millions of dollars into the local economy of the people who claim to license and permit them on behalf of the public. Never since Custer discovered gold has our Mato Paha been threatened by such a combination of greed, government and legal adversity...."

for more information see the Defend Bear Butte website, and an article by the late Vine Deloria Jr. on Sacredness Among Native Americans.

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