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November 16, 2012 04:59 PM

Tribes Preparing To Close On Pe' Sla

In September, area tribes struck a deal to purchase a sacred tract of Black Hills land known as Pe' Sla.  What followed was a fundraising campaign to help cover the $9 million price tag ahead of the November 30 closing deadline.

It may look like prime ranchland, but to Native Americans, Pe' Sla is much more than that.

"You stand in Pe' Sla and you look around, looks like you are on the top of the world.  You breathe, the air is fresh. You feel good," Sinte Gleska University professor Albert White Hat Sr. said.

"We'd go there and help our soul. That's how we got rejuvenated, that's what the Black Hills was to us," Rosebud Sioux Tribal Treasurer Wayne Boyd said.

Area tribes collectively reached a sale agreement with the family selling the sacred tract of land in early September.  Since then, the hunt has been on for ways to fund the purchase.

"Well, you have to understand that we're a very poor people, very poor tribes and this money is difficult to come by," Boyd said.

But where there's a will, there's a way. Boyd says pledges from five tribes, including the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, are enough to fund the land acquisition.

"So we're hoping that everybody can have their pledges in place by Friday so that we can then set a closing date and get this thing done," Boyd said.

Even though only five tribes are contributing to the purchase of Pe' Sla, Boyd emphasizes that the land will benefit everybody in the Great Sioux Nation.

"We can all benefit from this as a whole.  And hopefully we can kind of use this as something to bring us closer together," Boyd said.

The fundraising effort for Pe' Sla is still ongoing to help offset the financing used to land the deal.  To learn how you can donate, visit the Rosebud Sioux Tribe's website, or indiegogo.com.

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