While Native American activists successfully lobbied the Obama administration to act against an NFL team accused of using a derogatory name, recent reports show the federal government is responding with its own – much more direct – insult.
Dir. of Pine Ridge chamber of commerce: ‘We’re dealing with some serious issues out here, bigger than NFL team names” http://t.co/RQkmJAVDID
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) June 30, 2014
Following publicized disputes over federal land grabs in states including Nevada, Texas, and Utah, the Department of the Interior is reportedly looking at Sioux tribal reservations in South Dakota as its next target.
I can’t believe nobody is reporting the Pine Ridge land grab. It’s way more offensive than NFL helmet logos.
— Free Shrugs (@wwwesty) June 26, 2014
According to a report by Global Research, the agency intends to transfer ownership of a significant area of Oglala and Lakota Sioux property into a Tribal National Park under the operation of the National Parks Service. Despite the name, however, those Native Americans being affected will have no control of or claim to the land being taken.
Congress is now reportedly considering a bill that would allow federal authorities to make an offer to both Native and non-Native American landowners for the property. If residents refuse the deal, the government can then declare eminent domain and simply take ownership of the land, the report states.
Compounding the issue is the fact that the average income of tribal residents in the area is just $8,000 per year; and if forced to leave their property and lose what ability they do have to provide for their families, the economic fallout could be disastrous.
Some in the community feel this is just the beginning of a protracted battle between local and federal forces.
“There is a feeling of common cause between attached parties on this issue,” tribal rancher Bud May said, “namely tribes and other reservations. The bottom line is we’ll all be under dictatorial control if something is not done quick.”
The ‘common cause’ May referred to even goes beyond coordinated efforts by Native American tribes, according to radio host Lory Storm.
“The difference between this situation and the Bundy Ranch conflict?” she asked. “It will be the first time in the history of our country that the cowboys and Indians pose a united front against a federal government that is used to winning battles by first dividing and then conquering.”
Image Credit Black Hill Badlands
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom