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Incessant exploitation of these beautiful lands

To The Editor,

Who would have thought it, the love of what is buried in the Black Hills is the root of much evil? And, so as we have seen over the last 200 years that which is buried in the Paha Sapa has led to much heartache, abuse, violence, murder and one of the greatest acts of theft of all time simply because it is valuable to the power and the hearts and minds and financial investments of man; a virtual worship of creation rather than of the Creator. Why can’t we just give up? Why does there have to be this incessant exploitation of these beautiful lands to which we have been called to be stewards not diggers for all forms of “gold” in every nook and cranny?

We are called to respect and honor and care-take the Creation, not use it was a pawn for abuse, exploitation, disregarding and the like. “I’m working for the Creation, not seeking to destroy it”, Leon Shanandoah, Iroquois. We pledge ourselves to many things, let us pledge ourselves to working for the Creation rather than seeking to destroy it.

Ken Nerburn said it well, “The spirit of the Native people, the first people, has never died. It lives in the rocks and forests, the rivers and mountains. It murmurs in the brooks and whispers in the trees. The hearts of these people were formed of the earth that we now walk, and their voice can never be silenced.”

That spirit should energize us all in care-taking, seeking to preserve rather than exploit. Let our love for Paha Sapa be simple and appreciative rather than for the love of gain or asset building at the expense of the elders and of the generations to come.

Loren  and Wendy Looper

Hills City, South Dakota

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