For Immediate Release: March 17, 2023
Rapid City, SD – Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the USDA Forest Service announced a proposal to protect cultural and natural resources in the Pactola Reservoir from the detrimental impacts of mineral mining in the area. The Pactola Reservoir is the largest and deepest reservoir in the Black Hills National Forest, with 14 miles of shoreline and 150-foot depths on 800 acres. NDN Collective has joined local organizers in addressing the negative impacts mining throughout the Black Hills will have on the land and its natural resources, including the drinking water for local tribal communities and Rapid City.
In response to this announcement, NDN Collective released the following statements:
“While we remain skeptical of the finality of this announcement, this is great news! This is a win for all the people who drink the water in Pactola and Rapid Creek, this is a win for all the sports anglers, the canoers and kayakers, a win for all the plants and animals,” said Mark K. Tilsen, Action Organizer at NDN Collective. “This is a victory for Tribal Sovereignty. The fight to protect ALL of the water of the sacred Black Hills continues and we remain vigilant and committed to this duty. We stand in solidarity with communities that have been defending Ȟešapa for generations, when our treaties are honored it protects the water for everyone.”
“This commitment should set an example for mining proposals across the United States. The Biden administration has committed to a whole government approach to advance equity for historically marginalized groups, be that low income, rural and/or Indigenous communities,” said Jade Begay, Director of Policy and Advocacy at NDN Collective. “In addition, the administration has announced proclamations to consider Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge in federal decision making. When agencies like BLM and USDA take measures like this it signals that they are listening and upholding the promises and commitments they have made. We expect this type of due diligence when it comes to all mining projects, especially those that are being proposed to expand the ambitious ‘clean energy’ agenda of this Administration.”
Read the Full Press Release from the the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the USDA Forest Service Here
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.