Manataka® American Indian Council
The Heart of All that Is
by Corina Roberts with Rhea Turning Heart
The Great Sioux Nation is in an all-out race against time to raise millions of dollars to buy back Pe’Sla, The Heart Of All That Is, sacred land in the Black Hills.
To the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota nations, it is known as Pe’Sla, the heart of all that is. It is in the heart of the Black Hills, which lies at the heart of the patchwork of reservations that surround some of South Dakota’s most famous attractions, like Mount Rushmore.
To the rest of the world, it was known as Reynolds Prairies, and it was due to be auctioned to the highest bidder on August 25, 2012, to satisfy a tax lien.
Working furiously around the clock to make the world aware of what was about to happen, a group of young Native Americans who call themselves "The Last Real Indians", and a determined group of native people of the Great Sioux Nation got word of the auction out. The United Nations got involved. The property was pulled off the auction block.
But it is not over yet...the land is still for sale.
In a historic and prophecy-fulfilling action, the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation have come together to make an offer on the land. The Reynolds family is negotiating privately with a delegation of representatives. In the meantime, a world-wide effort to raise money is taking place, and that money is coming in primarily in small increments, ten and twenty dollars at a time. $302,310.00 have been raised on Indiegogo, the official donation site, as of 8:30 AM Thursday, August 30. The goal is one million dollars, and time is of the essence.
As of Thursday morning, details of the purchase agreement have not been released, but it is expected that the announcement will be made at any time.
Why bring world-wide attention to this one piece of land? Rhea Turning Heart of the Oglala Lakota Nation explains.
“Pe'Sla is the very heart of the HeSapa (Black Hills) and the Octi Sakowin (Seven Council Fires). It is the most sacred site of all the sites that the Oceti Sakowin hold dear to them. Pe'Sla is the most important part of our creation; this is where we come from. We come from Pe'Sla. It is a very sacred place Certain ceremonies where held there. In saying this, Pe'Sla is yet so much more than this.
“My Grandmother always told of the star knowledge, and how very important it was at these times of the year when the stars would align. She would say as she looked up to the stars, “Wana skan skan” (it is moving now). She would offer prayer. It was very sad to see her so hurt that we no longer could go to Pe'Sla and pray and hold the ceremonies that needed to be done. She would always tell us how very sacred Pe'Sla is, that it is the heart of the He'Sapa (Black Hills).
“For 136 years, our most sacred site Has been in the Reynolds family which was acquired by Joseph Reynolds and some pioneers when they fooled the U.S. Government. In 1868 the United States Government signed Treaties stating the Black Hills belong to Our people. The government did not honor the Treaties, and our Sacred Black Hills were stolen.
“In 1874 General Armstrong Custer deemed the Black Hills worthless. Maybe good for agriculture...but infested with Indians.That assessment changed just weeks later when gold was discovered in the Black Hills, in August 1874. How ironic that it is now August 2012. In 1877 the United States Government seized the Black Hills illegally!
“All the people of the Octi Sakowin are praying and trying their hardest to raise ten million dollars** to save our most sacred site.
“Pe'Sla is our birthplace. This is where we come from. Our whole lives revolve around Pe'Sla and the HeSapa (Black Hills). This is our Origin, our beliefs, our entire way of life. The HeSpa our ancestors have always said is “Cante wamakagnake” - The Heart Of All That IS.
“This is so very heart breaking for me to write. Pe'Sla is so much more then these words I’m writing. It is so sacred. This is where we come from, this is the heart of our people who have been denied our right to pray and hold our ceremonies there as we did before and have for thousands of years.”
Another part of Sioux prophecy is that a time will come when all nations can come together, when the tree of life unites us, one heart, one mind, one voice. It will take such a coming together to buy back the Black Hills.
Prayers and money. It seems an odd combination, but that is what the Octi Sakowin need; enough money to buy back their own land. The prayers of every like minded soul to help it come together in a good way.
This is the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy. This is Black Elk’s vision unfolding. This is the seventh generation realizing who we are. The Hopi say “We are the people we have been waiting for.” Here we are. Let us come together.
It does not matter what color you are. We are all related. We can, and should, come forward, come together, and help the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people buy their land back.
You can make your donation here: http://www.indiegogo.com/PeSla-LakotaHeartland
You can join the Save Pe’Sla Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/490836130943714/
There is also an event page - several major events are in the works - . https://www.facebook.com/events/424416784276719/
(**In a personal conversation with the Reynolds family prior to August 23, a potential value with a range of six to ten million dollars for the property was discussed with one of the people at the forefront of the movement to save Pe’Sla).
Young Lakota Warrior: Makaheya Inyan Hoksila Yracheta, courtesy Karen Ducheneaux
Indian Land For Sale courtesy Rob Fife
Rhea Turning Heart with recent artwork (photographer unknown)
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