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July 4, 2020
WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
THE SHAME OF MT. RUSHMORE
WITH APOLOGIES TO THE ANCESTORS
The Interfaith Peace Project stands in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of this Land seeking restoration, reconciliation, repair,
We do so with all due respect to the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Oglala Sioux Tribal Lakotah Nation
That there was tragedy, deception, barbarity, and virtually every other vice known to man in the 300-year history of the expansion of the original 13 Colonies into a Nation which now embraces more than three million square miles and 50 States cannot be denied.
… it seems readily apparent to us that the obligation to provide rations to the Sioux was undertaken in order to ensure them a means of surviving their transition from the nomadic life of the hunt to the agrarian lifestyle Congress had chosen for them. Those who have studied the Government’s reservation policy during this period of our Nation’s history agree. It is important to recognize that the 1877 Act, in addition to removing the Black Hills from the Great Sioux Reservation, also ceded the Sioux’ hunting rights in a vast tract of land extending beyond the boundaries of that reservation. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude that Congress’ undertaking of an obligation to provide rations for the Sioux was a quid pro quo for depriving them of their chosen way of life, and was not intended to compensate them for the taking of the Black Hills.
In sum, we conclude that the legal analysis and factual findings of the Court of Claims fully support its conclusion that the terms of the 1877 Act did not effect “a mere change in the form of investment of Indian tribal property.” Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U.S., at 568 . Rather, the 1877 Act effected a taking of tribal property, property which had been set aside for the exclusive occupation of the Sioux by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. That taking implied an obligation on the part of the Government to make just compensation to the Sioux Nation, and that obligation, including an award of interest, must now, at last, be paid.
The judgment of the Court of Claims is affirmed.
United States Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. SIOUX NATION OF INDIANS(1980)
Argued: March 24, 1980
Decided: June 30, 1980