To Whom It May Concern,
We, the South Dakota Green Party (SDGP), pen this message with a sense of unyielding urgency and unbridled conviction, calling for the end of a longstanding atrocity. As Native American Heritage Month brings into focus the heritage and history of the Indigenous peoples of our land, it also casts a harsh light on the injustices they continue to face—specifically, the wrongful withholding of the Black Hills from the Oceti Sakowin, the rightful Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota owners.
The history of the Black Hills is a scar on the fabric of our nation, a clear-cut case of theft under the broken promises of the U.S. government. The annals of history, particularly the aftermath of the Red Cloud Wars and the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, record not only broken promises but a betrayal of trust so profound that it has marred our national integrity.
This matter transcends political allegiance and partisan lines. It is a question of moral fiber, of adhering to the rule of law and ensuring that America lives up to its own legal and ethical standards. In the landmark 1980 U.S. Supreme Court case “United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians,” the court affirmed not merely the illegality of the land seizure but declared that the original treaty was, indeed, still in effect. It was a clear acknowledgment that the United States government had acted in violation of its own laws and commitments.
We call upon every Republican and Democrat in South Dakota, particularly those holding or seeking office, to publicly state their support for returning the Black Hills to the Oceti Sakowin. It is not merely a demand but an expectation that you, as our representatives, will uphold the laws of the United States of America and work to rectify this historical wrong.
To our elected officials: the time for equivocation is over. This should be a bipartisan issue. It is a matter of justice, fairness, and integrity. Your public support for the return of the Black Hills will signal a commitment to honoring the treaties and laws of our nation, serving justice where it has been denied for far too long.
To the people of South Dakota and the broader United States: this is not only an Indigenous issue but an American issue. It is about living up to the ideals we all hold dear.
We will not relent in our call for justice. The South Dakota Green Party demands action, not tomorrow, not in some distant future, but now. Let us join together to heal the wounds of the past and forge a path toward a future where respect for the law and for our shared humanity prevails.
Yours in solidarity and determination,