SD Dems should advocate for renaming, putting BHNF under tribal stewardship

On September 22, 2015, the Pennington County Democratic Party passed a resolution calling for the renaming of Harney Peak, the highest mountain [*] in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The resolution states that public comments received by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names included support of the name change by a descendent of General William S. Harney and a descendent of Little Thunder, a leader of a Lakota village destroyed by Harney in 1855. The resolution further states that the existing name of the peak is highly offensive to Native people. [press release]
* Odakota Mountain is the highest natural peak in the Black Hills.

Of course, the South Dakota Democratic Party should urge President Obama to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest, move management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior; and, in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management, rename it Okawita Paha National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

From Ernestine Chasing Hawk:
In 2008, during a campaign stop in Sioux Falls then Sen. Bara[c]k Obama gave Great Plains Indian tribes a ray of hope on the outcome of the century’s long legal battle over “theft of 48 million acres of their homeland.” However one of the key elements to resolving the issue is “bringing together all the different parties” and with each passing day their “window of opportunity” shrinks as time ticks away for the Obama-Biden administration.
Attorney Mario Gonzales has been litigating the "Black Hills Claim" for most of his life. He contends that the commission charged to make peace with tribes inserted language into the document signed in 1868 that Red Cloud had neither seen nor agreed to in negotiations.

Several tribal nations manage mixed forest/rangeland, some in cooperation with other states.

Case No. 1, the first USDA Forest Service timber sale, was conducted by the BHNF near Nemo. Now, the Mountain Pine Beetle is vigorously opening view sheds, doing its part to keep even Box Elder and False Bottom Creeks running as September overtakes the Black Hills making a mockery of humanity's best efforts at forest policy.
The BGN’s policy is that if a public presentation is made, a vote on that issue will automatically be deferred until at least the next meeting. After months of public meetings and comment periods, the South Dakota Board on Geographic Names (SDBGN) voted 4-1 to leave the name of William S. Harney attached to the peak. The original name submitted for the name change was Black Elk Peak, which was later changed to “Hinhan Kaga (Making of Owls),” by the SDBGN. The SDBGN forwarded its final recommendation as well as packets of materials including comments from a large number of interested parties, results of its meetings and audio files to the U.S. board for consideration. A vote is not anticipated until early 2016. [Carrie Moore, Harney name still up in air]
Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) returned to Lakota ways after he realized the Roman Church was committing crimes against his people.
Damian Costello's monograph on Black Elk, the Oglala holy man, is the latest in a growing number of scholarly contributions to the controversial topic of Black Elk's religious identity. Was Black Elk truly a wicasta wakan, a holy man, who only became a Catholic convert as a result of the colonial pressures endemic to the reservation system? Or was Black Elk actually a devout catechist, whose "Great Vision" was unnecessarily bereft of its Christian message because John G. Neihardt desired a romanticized and non-Christian Indian narrative? First, tribal nations such as the Lakota are still under the yoke of colonialism and, as such, are engaged in a process of decolonization rather than postcolonialism. Second, taking [Lamin] Sanneh's perspective and arbitrarily applying it to early twentieth-century Lakota history only serves as a way of making excuses for historic wrongs that both Protestant and Catholic churches committed against the Lakota people. [excerpt, Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism (review)]
This blogger has been arguing for Lakota names on South Dakota's geological features for at least twenty years. It is the opinion of this blog that if the mountain is named for Black Elk it should be in the Lakota language: loosely translated as Paha Heȟáka Sápa.

In the early days of South Dakota statehood Indian agents embezzled federal funds meant for tribal nations, just like James McLaughlin did.

Little has changed.

Back in July, a group representing dwarves asked the McLaughlin High School to change the name of its mascot. Now, the school on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation has voted to discontinue the school's mascot after receiving a request from a national group representing Little People. There was little opposition in the community to removing the "Midgets" from its roster.

Yet, white people still misappropriate American Indian themes in Watertown, Sisseton, Estelline and in other South Dakota towns.

One professional football player said it this way:
“The Native American perspective, just like the Afro-American perspective, was left out of the history classes I took in school. I knew when I was growing up there was slavery in my own culture, but they never talked about that in the history books. They mentioned it, but they swept aside what it was like for the people that actually lived it. So it’s nice to be able to come here and learn the other side of the story from an Indian perspective.” [Indian Country Today]
The spectacle of thousands of hybrid buffalo being rounded up by white people is fifty years old: Ki-Yi on steroids.
But the image of white students dressed in Indian regalia and carrying spears amid a backdrop of drumbeats rubbed many the wrong way. Tribal leaders are represented by a chieftain and princess, who initially wore mock headdresses and eagle feathers during a pageant that for years also included simulated scalpings, presumably to honor Native culture. [Stu Whitney]
"There is a lure, a fascination with the Old West and visualizing what it might have looked like hundreds of years ago when there were millions of bison roaming the Plains," said Craig Pugsley, head of visitor services at the park. Bison by the millions once roamed the Great Plains and were a foundation of Native American culture, but the coming of the white man to the region caused the species to be hunted to the brink of extinction. [Pierre Capital Journal]
Get a war criminal's name off a South Dakota state park, a county and a town? What a great idea!

Meanwhile, homicides in Rapid City are overwhelmingly represented by American Indians and a white family is selling a tourist trap once camp for Sitting Bull.

It's no secret that South Dakota wants to wipe out the cougar population in the state but allowing the killing to continue on federal lands serves nobody but Republican donors who graze cattle for little or nothing. If deer and elk numbers are down it's because South Dakota motorists have been killing them at rates far higher than the national average.
The lone Native American voice at public hearing Oct. 1 on the South Dakota’s mountain lion hunting season, asked the Game, Fish and Parks Commission to end the licensed killing of Puma concolor. “It’s not hunting; it’s just killing,” said Lloyd Goings of rural Lawrence County. “I spent two tours in Vietnam, and I know what hunting is. There’s a lot more challenge to hunt a person than to hunt a mountain lion,” he said. Spearfish resident and environmentalist Tatyana Novikova also called for closing the upcoming mountain lion hunting seasons due to lack of hard data on population.
Read more about red state collapse here.
According to State Farm insurance records, South Dakota is always among the top 10 in deer vehicle crashes, despite a low human population. In 2015, according to State Farm, South Dakotans face a one in 73 chance of hitting a deer on the road, especially during autumn.
Read that here.

The northern long-eared bat is headed for extinction but Dennis Daugaard doesn't care even though the Black Hills critter preys on the mountain pine beetle as does the threatened black-backed woodpecker.
He says that organizations unaffiliated with South Dakota make important decisions on wildlife and other matters dear to the people of South Dakota. He mentioned that not all of these groups know what is best for his state. The federal government inserts itself and overlays another level of regulation,” said Daugaard. "Not because the federal regulation is better or the state regulation is inadequate, but just because the federal government can, and does.” [KSFY teevee]
It should come as no surprise that Daugaard denies living in the Anthropocene.

Brown County has seen steady outbound migration of intellectuals and other Democrats leaving fat, white, graying Republican zombies dying in nursing homes to turn out the lights while Indian County is solid blue.

Habitat destruction, watershed ruination, native species extirpation, rampant ecocide, statewide corruption: this is today's South Dakota.

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.

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