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Feds are now targeting Indian land in Washington's latest massive land grab, in an effort designed to kill off Indian cattle ranchers

Feds Threatening ‘Third Wounded Knee’ with Eminent Domain Land Grab on Sioux Indian Reservation


By —— Bio and Archives--June 25, 2014

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In the wake of a Bundy Ranch crisis sparked by a militarized federal land-grab effort in Nevada, it seems that the Department of Interior has set its sights on a new prize - this time targeting once protected Indian reservation land on Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

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The Oglala Sioux and Lakota Sioux of the reservation have been told by the Federal Government that the National Parks Service will be taking land that comprises the South Unit of the Badlands National Park as a new ‘Tribal National Park’, only the wording in the bill clearly indicates that it will be a federally managed national park under the Department of Interior, giving mere lip service to its tribal title. The Congressional bill has already been written, and if passed through Congress, both tribal members and non tribal members will be stripped of their deeded land – at a price set by the federal government. If owners do not accept Washington’s offer (expected to be a meager one), the land can be acquired at no cost because the measure has waived all appraisal rights and stipulates that Washington can simply take Indian land by force under eminent domain’.

Thousands of tribe members will be affected by the land-grab. Some residents will be forced to relocate, and many more others will lose their income from grazing allotments on the land – a result which will ultimately force any remaining independent cattle ranchers out of business. In addition to all this, Tribal members will lose their share income from entrance fees collected at the adjacent North Gate fees of the Badlands National Park – a punitive measure which will further compound the existing economic depression on a reservation where the average annual income is around $8,000 per year.

Washington may be pining for yet another ‘Wounded Knee’, as many residents and tribal members are prepared to stand their ground in the face of a federal imperialist policy inside US borders - a trend which many Americans have experienced first-hand, particularly in western states like Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Tribal member and local cattle rancher Bud May believes the issue is not confined to Pine Ridge.

May states, “There is a feeling of common cause between attached parties on this issue – namely tribes and other reservations. The bottom line is we’ll all be under dictatorial control if something is not done quick”.

The federal move initially gained traction after a Tribal Ordinance passed by the Tribal Council in the spring of 2013. Many Tribal members have been frustrated with the tribal council, which has gone against the will of the people to back the park. All 9 districts on the reservation have passed unanimous resolutions against the park along with the Shannon County Commissioners and several South Dakota State legislators.

To add insult to injury, it appears that all landowners were only notified of the measure until after it had passed, with their first news of the federal plan coming in the form of eviction notices issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Land Operations department in the fall of 2013.

The Tribal Council of 19 has yet to allow a democratic referendum on the federal takeover, although sources confirm that the referendum option is on the agenda for next month’s council meeting.


Badlands’ located on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota (Photo Credit: Bud May)

‘Cowboys and Indian’ in Common Cause

The federal land-grab crisis was elevated to national news in April when Nevada independent rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters stood toe to toe in an armed standoff with the the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over Bundy’s private property and land rights which trace back to 1870’s.

More…

READ MORE LAND GRAB NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Bundy Ranch Files


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Patrick Henningsen -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Patrick Henningsen is Founder of 21st Century Wire

21st Century Wire is News for the Waking Generation™. We are an independent media voice for geopolitical news and analysis, working with an array of contributors aggregating news and opinion from around the world.


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