Black Hills & “The (Real) Supreme Law of the Land”

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

…Among the Courts’ cases, 240 of 375 recognized American Indian treaties have been cited 992 times in 342 opinions between the years 1884 and 2004.

Constitution Background



This Constitution, and Laws of the United States which shall be made Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United Stated, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding

So, why is Pe Sla in the Black Hills likely to become a “Sea of Houses?”

Crossposted at Native American Netroots

The first reason, is that treaties must not be “the supreme Law of the Land.”


In the 1868 treaty, signed at Fort Laramie and other military posts in Sioux country, the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. In 1874, however, General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills accompanied by miners who were seeking gold. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners were soon moving into the Sioux hunting grounds and demanding protection from the United States Army. Soon, the Army was ordered to move against wandering bands of Sioux hunting on the range in accordance with their treaty rights. In 1876, Custer, leading an army detachment, encountered the encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Custer’s detachment was annihilated, but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.

A second reason is, the Forest Service and the Pennington County Highway Department are ignoring that fact thatthe Lakota Nation has never accepted any money for the Black Hills; it legally belongs to the Lakota Nation.


Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Laramie, in the Indian Territory, between D. D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian affairs, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent, commissioners specially appointed and authorized by the President of the United States, of the first part, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves of the following Indian nations, residing south of the Missouri River, east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of the lines of Texas and New Mexico, viz, the Sioux or Dahcotahs, Cheyennes, Arrapahoes, Crows, Assinaboines, Gros-Ventre Mandans, and Arrickaras, parties of the second part, on the seventeenth day of September, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. (a)

– snip –

ARTICLE 3. In consideration of the rights and privileges acknowledged in the preceding article, the United States bind themselves to protect the aforesaid Indian nations against the commission of all depredations by the people of the said United States, after the ratification of this treaty.

– snip –

The territory of the Sioux or Dahcotah Nation, commencing the mouth of the White Earth River, on the Missouri River; thence in a southwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; thence up the north fork of the Platte River to a point known as the Red Buts, or where the road leaves the river; thence along the range of mountains known as the Black Hills, to the head-waters of Heart River; thence down Heart River to its mouth; and thence down the Missouri River to the place of beginning.

Last of all that I’m mentioning, is that they need to especially adhere with common sense to the first, third, and fourth points made by Judge Elmer Dundy in his decision after the trial of Standing Bear.

(emphasis mine)

“First. That an Indian is a person with the meaning of the laws of the United States,
and has therefore the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court and before a federal judge, in all cases where he may be confined, or in custody under color of authority of the United States, or where he is restrained of liberty in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States.

– snip –

“Third. That no rightful authority exists for removing by force
any of the relators to the Indian Territory, as the respondent has been directed to do.

   “Fourth. That the Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation as well as the more fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’
so long as they obey the laws and do not trespass on forbidden ground.

As I said before.

To conclude and once again, “It is only a matter of time that further abuse and possible desecration will take place so that we must tell the story of this sacred site.  Action must be taken to preserve this prairie for future generations;” and, if they were considering condemning hundreds of churches for the sake of “development” or uranium for that matter, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

So, what’s the real “supreme Law of the Land” when it comes to the United States dealing with the American Indian Nations?

Red Cloud

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land and they took it.”


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  1. in orange

  2. when this kind of shit is still happening after all these years. I realize we can never right our first wrong, but dammit, for our government to let it continue is the ultimate hypocracy.

    When I hear the words land of the free and home of the brave, I surely don’t think of my forefathers, I think of yours.

    Sorry if this is a little incoherent, but I have so many thoughts running thru my head right now and I just don’t know how to express them. I am so pissed and ashamed all at the same time.

    • Tigana on April 6, 2008 at 01:41

    The US Constitution was founded on ideas from the Iroquois Great Law of Peace.

  3. If you put these treaties up against the US Supreme Court’s decision this past week in the Medellin case, you can see that abiding by treaties is the furthest thing from the Gov’t’s mind, that any excuse for non compliance will work, and that the Supreme Court is ready to let all of that happen.  So the problem continues, and there’s no relief in the Courts.  It’s a disgrace.

    • Mu on April 6, 2008 at 03:10

    You’ve got to understand that the word “shall” carries with it a legal meaning that, like many words of art in a legal context mean something other than their “common usage meaning”.  Here, the word “shall” is defined as:  “whatever and however Scalia means it to mean, depending on the money involved and whether or not the demons in his head are throwing an icepick riot on any given day“.  As an officer of the Court, I understand these things.

    Mu . . .

  4. … well, it is specifically about white Australians stealing Aboriginal lands for uranium mines and etc., but in general about this precisely this … First Nation rights are First Nation rights, the world over.

    Midnight Oil – Dead Heart (Unplugged)

    We don’t serve your country

    Don’t serve your king

    Know your custom

       don’t speak your tongue

    White man came took everyone

    We don’t serve your country

    Don’t serve your king

    White man listen to the songs we sing

    White man came took everything

    We carry in our hearts the true country

    And that cannot be stolen

    We follow in the steps of our ancestry

    And that cannot be broken

    We don’t need protection

    Don’t need your land

    Keep your promise on where we stand

    We will listen we’ll understand

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