The area known today as the Stronghold was the place where the Lakota (Oglala) along with their allies (Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and other bands of the Titunwe) made a stand to protect themselves from the 7th Calvary who had just murdered over 200 men, women, and children at a small hamlet that today is called Wounded Knee (Dec. 29, 1890). The geographic description of the Stronghold is unique in how easily it can be defended. There is a small opening that widens into a huge area with adjoining tables of smaller acreages. It has steep inaccessible sides that in the past may have been land bridges that were used to cross onto other adjoining tables. It was this site that provided sanctuary for all the people to gather during the day long battles occuring across Pine Ridge Indian Agency and surrounding areas after the murders at Wounded Knee. Again a tragedy occurred here at Stronghold Table and today the remains of our ancestors are telling us their story.
My name is George Tall. I am an Ikce Wicasa (common man) and am bound under the oath of a Tokala warrior (traditional police). With this as our authority we dispatched a Tokala group to protect the sacred burial grounds of our ancestors and also to investigate the burial sites.
In 1976 the national park service (NPS) and the Oglala Sioux Tribe entered into an agreement (MOA, 1976) on how to manage over 200,000 acres of tribal land (badlands south unit). The NPS never implemented the stipulations of the agreement e.g., 3MM dollar buffalo fence, Cultural center, 100% staffed by Indian employment, and others that I cannot remember at this time. Recently the NPS, DOD, DOE, and OST proposed to amend the MOA of 1976. Instead the OST wanted their tribal lands back. NPS argued that by congressional act the south unit was now a part of Badlands National Park. To the Oglala people this was a treaty violation (1868 Treaty, Art. 12). Furthermore, NPS verbally refused to recognize the moratorium imposed by the OST at a meeting with John Steele, President of the OST.
NPS plans an excavation from Aug. 12-23, 2002. NPS's interest stems from the richness of fossils in the area. As you drop over the edge of the badlands you can immediately see bones and fossils in large numbers.
For the past three weeks we have been finding remains that were halfway down from the top. With shocking reality we knew immediately that these remains were never buried and in fact may have been murdered on top and thrown over the edge. We came to this reasoning because we were finding remains mixed with horse bones. At one particular site we found a foot, an arrowhead, and horse bones mixed with the ribs of a child. We feel there is an untold story here that may equal the murders at Wounded Knee in terms of genocide and human violations of high degrees.
At this point we are continuing to keep people away from these sites as well as to continue the tokala investigation. The next update will probably be in a news packet submitted by our media staff.
Ho Le Miye Yelo, George Tall.
Tokala at the Stronghold
"Hey! If the above medal makes you sick, express your disgust with the National Park Service to William Supernaugh, the racist superintendent of Badlands National Park, with the contact number or address provided below. The entire US Interior Dept., along with Supernaugh, must be made to answer for the years of racist, genocidal attacks on our people and our land!"
Stronghold Table is a sacred site on Oglala Lakota land.Authority there is reserved for sovereign Oglala Lakota people. Badlands National Park is an illegal entity.
Just as the colonial government is trying to impose it's will on our people & our land, so to are certain elements within our own nation seeking to benefit themselves at our expense. This is sad, but just yet another example of the effects of colonialism on oppressed peoples. The Tokala Okolakiciye from Wounded Knee District is the voice of the Stronghold Table Camp. In these extremely trying times, we all need prayers, especially for those of our own people who are working against us.
Hau Mitakuye Oyasin
CKUT Radio interview with George Tall
|George Tall at one of the ancient grave sites
|The three pieces of cedar was used as a stretcher to carry the body and has since come apart.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003:
Youth Ride beginning at Wounded Knee Grave Site; from there, to Kiza Park, then on to Stronghold Table.
Thursday, June 19, 2003:
Tokala Gathering; "For The Future Of The Tokala". Tokala songs in the evening. Handgames.
Presentations for the youth.
Friday, June 20, 2003:
Continued presentations for benefit of our youth.
Stronghold Meeting; everyone welcome & urged to attend.
Saturday, June 21, 2003:
Youth agenda continues, ride returns to Wounded Knee
August 31, 2003:
Indigenous Warrior Society Gathering; warriors/warrior societies from across the "Americas" (North, Central, South) urged to participate!
Want to know how you can get involved? Get in touch with us at:
George, (605) 441-7759
Keith, (605) 441-7972
Archie, (605) 441-7927
George Tall - Tokala Fund
c/o Lakota Land Alliance
P.O. Box 460
Manderson, South Dakota
E-MAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK:
By filling out and submitting the form below, you can express your disgust with the genocide NPS is comitting against the Lakota Nation. This form does not go to the Lakota people, it goes directly to Badlands National Park.
Demand William Supernaugh and BADL drop plans to excavate Lakota land in the Stronghold Unit this August!
Demand this racist Superintendent and racist agency to get off Lakota land and return the Badlands completely back to the Oglala Lakota Nation! Their tricks and double-talk cannot cover-up the fact that they are violating the legally ratified 1851 Ft. Laramie Treaty.
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Write or fax William Supernaugh to demand he honor the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, and the wishes of the traditional Lakota people.
William Supernaugh, superintendent
Badlands National Park
P.O. Box 6
Interior, SD 57750
Fax: (605) 433-5404
You can also contact Timothy McKeown, NAGPRA Program Leader for the national park service; his number is (203) 343-4101 and e-mail is email@example.com
. Ask him why William Supernaugh & NPS is violating NAGPRA.