"In what is being called a federal land “buyback” program, the federal government is poised to seize land belonging to Indians and Cowboys.The Oglala Sioux and Lakota Sioux of the reservation have been told by the Federal Government that the National Parks Service will take over land in the South Unit of the Badlands National Park.
Interior claims it will be a “Tribal National Park” in an effort to camouflage the theft. They will hold the land in “trust” for the Indians, many of whom are agreeable because they want to see it put back to its pristine state and they have been promised a whole host of benefits.
The congressional bill authorizing the buyback means that tribal members and non-tribal members will be robbed of their deeded land at whatever price the government thinks it’s worth.
If owners refuse, the government will merely take it at no cost as the bill is written."
Thousands of tribe members will be affected in countless ways, including losing their share of the income from the entrance fee to North Gate of the Badlands National Park which will increase the economic depression in Pine Ridge, the eighth-largest reservation in the United States and the poorest. About 49% of the population live below the federal poverty level. Also residents will be forced to move, others will lose their grazing income from the land and this will push cattle ranchers out of business. It is bad enough that we lost the Black Hills, will this be the next Wounded Knee?
We are asking you to not pass this bill that will strip tribal members and non tribal members of their deeded land.
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