Protect – Preserve – Defend Mato Paha
Gathering of Nations
Opening Ceremonies July 4, 2006 at Bear Butte
28 June 2006
Greetings Mitakuyepi: (my relations)
Today the “Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council”, “Owe Aku”, and the “Intertribal Coalition to Defend Bear Butte” moves to Mato Paha, our Sacred Mountain. We begin preparations for the July 4 Opening Ceremonies of the “Gathering of Nations to Defend Bear Butte”.
With sending our voice to the Universe at sunrise, we make our move. We look upon participation in the making of a design of a pivotal moment in our history as Indigenous People and our struggles to protect our ways of life and our Sacred Places.
While all of Mother Earth is Sacred, while all of the He Sapa (Black Hills) is Sacred, Bear Butte is the mountain under the most direct threat so we gather there to send our voice to our Creator and our Ancestors and ask them to stand with us, to ask our Sacred Mountain to stand with us, in this effort to protect our destiny as Lakota people and the many other Tribal Nations who hold Bear Butte as Sacred. We go in a humble way, we go as the humble two-legged, to stand with our Relatives of Creation.
Why do the developers and their supporters around Bear Butte expect us to willingly give up our destiny? Why do they think they are greater than the destiny of the Lakota Nation? Our identity is interwoven in our Creation Stories with our Sacred Places, this includes our Mato Paha.
In many ways, this is our final defense. For if they wipe out our Sacred Places, they wipe out the Lakota Nation. Without our connection and relationship to Mother Earth and our Sacred Places, we cannot be Lakota anymore. We go to a peaceful camp, to gather our relatives from the four directions to make important decisions, together, collectively, about our future and our future generations. We go in a respectful way to our Sacred Mountain to protect Her and to protect our Human Right to pray there, learn there, receive healing there. This pivotal moment in history is a time for Indigenous People and our Allies to come together, to take courage, to stand together to protect our Sacred Places and our destiny.
–Debra White Plume
Debra White Plume
Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way
Manderson, SD 57756-0325
605-455-2155 Voice Ph
605-455-1287 Fax Ph
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.