beliefs and values

9 petition

Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to Michael Ballard (Full Throttle Saloon), South Dakota Governor, South Dakota State Senate, South Dakota State House

Protecting The Sacredness of Bear Butte: 'Owekchiza Ikipi" (Worth Fighting For)

Opening Statement; Here we are again making a decision on how we can protect the sacredness of Bear Butte. Again the Biker bars are getting closer and closer to Bear Butte. Lakota’s and other local tribes hold Bear Butte a sacred place we have come here to pray for many years, we come here to “Hamblecha” (Vision Quest) before we Sundance. For the last ten years we have been called to come and protect this sacred place and there has been many meetings, protest rally’s Lots of frustrations because these people don’t care about us and our spirituality all they care about is Money, Beer and the big party! What must we do to protect this sacred site from the encroachment of sleazy Biker Bars around its base? The noise, chaotic energy, increased human presence, and subsequent pollution caused by the development around Bear Butte currently make it increasingly difficult for the silence so necessary in meditative prayer.  The sacredness of the Black Hills is almost completely profaned. The sacredness of Bear Butte is in peril again. As many may remember a few years back we fought "Jay Allen" who started this Venue, and it failed! It has been limited to a glorified camp ground for the last few years and was tolerable at best. Now after Full throttle “The self proclaimed largest biker bar burnt to the ground “Michael Ballard" has purchased this venue (Broken Spoke Campground) only Two miles from Bear Butte! What can we do now? What must we do? We may need to fight for Bear Butte! We need to stop Mead County! Or they will just continue to push us out! We will call on all activist groups to make this stand! All options are on the table! It must be stopped! We will not ask mead County for permission and we will march where we choose to march! If we must get arrested then so be it!   What is Bear Butte; (Native History) On the Northeastern edge of the Black Hills, just a few miles from the small town of Sturgis, off Highway 34, is one of the most sacred mountains to the Plains Indians from the United States and Canada. Up to 60 different tribes traveled to Bear Butte to fast and pray. Separated by about 8 miles of prairie from the greater Black Hills, which are also considered sacred by these same nations of people, Bear Butte looks like a sleeping bear lying on its side with its head pointed toward the northeast. Today, people from all over the world come to Bear Butte to pray, to meditate, to try to experience some of the spiritual connection that has been there from the beginning of time.  More than 4,000 years ago, a Cheyenne man named Sweet Medicine received guidance and gifts for the Cheyenne people at Bear Butte. Today, the Cheyenne people continue to come to Bear Butte to fast and pray. Some of the Southern Cheyenne must travel hundreds of miles from Oklahoma where they were displaced by the United States cavalry in the late 1800s when the Cheyenne nation was under threat of extinction. All the tribes of the Sioux people: Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota, came to Bear Butte to pray...and still do. The months of May, June, and July will see families camped at the base while a relative is standing on the side of the mountain fasting in deep meditation. Small colored pieces of cloth containing pinches of tobacco are wrapped around trees and bushes as prayer gifts to the Creator. Larger flags of red, white, black, or yellow, the sacred colors, also are tied to trees to carry the prayers to all the directions. Bear Butte, the mountain proper, is currently a National Historic Landmark managed by the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department.    What we do there during the summer months; (Sundance Season) A Native American person usually undertakes a vision quest in an isolated area, generally without food or water. The "seeker" remains isolated as long as it takes to achieve the desired goal; the quest may last up to three or four days. Quest design varies according to the tribe's culture and the purpose for seeking a vision. A successful vision quest will produce contact with a spirit helper or guide. This guide’s presence is often signaled by a visionary experience or contact with an animal. All men and women can "cry for a vision" or what Black Elk calls "lament," but only the worthy will receive one. To undertake a Vision Quest in the proper way, a Wicasa Wakan - Holy Man - should advise the seeker and interpret the vision. The most important reason for the Vision Quest is so a person can understand better his/her oneness with all things and gain knowledge of the Great Spirit. A person undertaking a Vision Quest first goes with a filled pipe to the holy man. He enters and asks that the holy man be his guide and prays for him. Everyone present smokes the Pipe. The Inipi ceremony is conducted to purify them. Traditionally, the seeker builds the sweat lodge by himself. The seeker then takes his pipe and some tobacco and goes to his isolated place, often on a high mountain or bluff. Helpers go ahead to prepare the sacred place. The seeker stays at the sacred place and prays for a vision. Visions often come to the seeker in the form of an animal, and dreams carry the most powerful visions. At the end of the Vision Quest, the helpers return and take the seeker back to the sweat lodge. The seeker tells all he has seen and heard to the Wicasa.   What we are petitioning for? 1) We want to stop the encrochment around Bear Butte. 2) We want a 3-mile buffer zone applied around the base of Bear Butte from Live Outdoor concerts and large bar venues. And we want them enforced if not we will enforce them. 3) We want to “STOP” The attempt to build such a noisy, destructive, alcohol & Drug  induced  playground near such a pristine, beautiful and sacred site is blasphemy and sacrilegious.  4) We demand the state of South Dakota take measures to stop their citizens from trying to build offensive, disruptive, obnoxious and detrimental enterprises near Bear Butte and all/any Venues such as these at the base of Bear Butte. Your people would not want to see these venues next to their churches, the Wailing Wall, or even Mt Rushmore etc.   We encourage concerned Native peoples and Supporters to share this petition and to let the world know of  this flagrant violation of Article VI of the Constitution, the 1851 Treaty, and people’s right to gather, pray, seek solitude, and maintain their culture without disruption and annoyance.         United Urban Warrior Society 605-381-8612 P.O. Box 14 Rapid City, South Dakota 57709-0014        

United Urban Warrior Society
822 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Dr. Chuck Lepper, Shellie Enscoe

Save Real Inclusivity at Salt Lake Community College!

This all started with the Christmas Tree, and now more things have unfolded... Here at Salt Lake Community College on November 30, 2015 the auxiliary services put up a beautiful Christmas tree. The afternoon of the same day, all of the ornaments and beautiful decorations were taken off, and left the tree bare. I was very confused. The next day when I came to the campus, I noticed that replacing the ornaments we had snowflakes on our tree. The reason for this, was so that we could change some things on campus. We were to include other holidays by saying "Happy Holidays" and taking away the Christmas tree and by calling it a "Winter tree" and not the "Christmas tree." This seemed very weird to me, and took some time for me to be able to soak it in and understand, but by the end of that day I understood what was going on. The administration at Salt Lake Community College were trying to "include" other holidays by excluding Christmas. What? How does that even make sense? We feel that we are not receiving a fair amount of representation from the diversity leaders here on campus. This being because there are other communities that are being represented for the entire year, for example; The LGBT Community will be receiving a Rainbow Crosswalk in front of 4 SLCC campuses around the valley, that will be permanent. There has been provided a "Quiet or Meditation" Room for students in the Student Life and Leadership office to pray if needed. Also there is a Multi-cutural Student Council to create awareness about culture. Now, those of us who celebrate Christmas can't have a simple tree up for the two weeks we are in classes of December? So what have we done? The very first thing was, that very next day I started a petition here on campus, to bring back the Christmas tree. Now it has changed completely. The whole reason we celebrate Christmas is because it is for the birth of Christ, and what we should think about is what we are going to "give" for Christmas and not what are we going to "get" for Christmas. So that is when we realized we should not only fight for the Christmas tree back, but we should give the gift of the chance to celebrate ALL of the holidays that are celebrated at this time of the year. So we changed this petition to support all of the holidays being celebrated and received over 350 names, including the Student Senate, within just a couple days of students who agreed completely with us. We then presented it with the Vice President of Student Affairs Chuck Lepper, during the Executive Council of Students, who oversaw this decision to take the Christmas tree down, without even bringing it up with the Student Council thinking it was only affecting the couple of people who thought it was offensive, where as with these new policies, we have received many complaints by Students, Teachers, and other Administrators. We presented Dr. Lepper with this petition, and he took in our thoughts and told us he would get back with us in a couple of days. The Student Body President Carlos Moreno went to speak with Dr. Leppor concerning this matter but no compromise or solution was found.  So we now are moving to the next step. Before this equality is abolished for celebrating the holidays, cultures, people and our beautiful differences at the end of each year, we want to involve the community to help us with this effort in fighting for inclusivity where we include rather than exclude; where we add rather than subtract.    -We want to do this by having the Christmas tree to be set up for all to see, because it is a symbol for peace, love, giving, and much more to those who celebrate Christmas and those who don't. -We want to display special holiday symbols and/or items from all of the other holidays and have educational facts about what they symbolize so those who don't celebrate these holidays can learn about them. -We want to create an inter faith council that will act as a resource to teach about all faiths and what they have to offer. We need to educate our college and community about who our students are in efforts to create a more peaceful and loving environment. Knowledge is power, and by learning about our students and who they are, we learn how to embrace the differences rather than be afraid of the unknown.   If you are in support of this cause, please sign this petition. There are powers in numbers, and if you sign this petition you are supporting a more equal and friendly environment for the community at Salt Lake Community College. #InclusiveBruins Finally, please share with your family and friends to sign as well for this cause.

Connor Holt
315 supporters