by Winter Rabbit | 1/05/2010 04:27:00 PM

The 35-year-old chairman was camped on 7,100 acres of wind-swept, snowy land owned by Crow Creek Tribal Farms. The IRS recently seized the tract and on Dec. 3 auctioned it off for $2 million less than its $4.6 million value to pay a purported tax bill for the tribe, a separate legal entity.

Mr. President,

It is in a weary state I write this. I know you have a lot on your mind right now, so just continue reading, which I am grateful you do.

“It’s the Black Hills gold rush all over again,” said historian Waziyatawin, Ph.D., Wahpetowan Dakota from Upper Sioux and a University of Victoria research scholar. “Nowadays, the press is reporting on a green energy land rush and Department of the Interior efforts to free up millions of acres for wind and solar development. Open prairie land, such as that on Indian reservations in the Plains, is suitable for such enterprises. So the U.S. government is going after the poorest of the poor to find the resources it needs.”

Mr. President, please do something.

On Dec. 4 an action was taken against Crow Creek tribal land near my district that shook the absolute foundations of Indian law all the way back to the 1800s. Yet, few people were in the small room in Highmore, S.D. to see this monumental action and few other tribes even know it has taken place. Any tribe with land should shutter with the magnitude of what this precedent could mean for themselves or their individual tribal members.

The Internal Revenue Service collected against 7,100 acres – 11 square miles – of Indian owned land in Hyde County, S.D. This particular parcel was part of the original Crow Creek treaty boundaries, but the treaty was subsequently broken and this land was sold to LeMaster. Interestingly enough, our tribe was able to use settlement money from another federal land taking to purchase this land back in 1998.



December 7, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters;
Recently, the IRS has seized and auctioned 7100 acres of our prime development land on the Crow Creek Reservation. We have tried to raise funds for months to save our land. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. We have tried to stop them from auctioning off our land through the justice system, however justice did not prevail.

It is no secret that Buffalo County is the poorest county in the nation and that 78% of the people on our reservation live far below the poverty line; this is why we are reaching out to our Native Brothers and Sisters. Only you know the importance of retaining our land base.

Recently, we were granted a trial for a judge to decide whether or not we should be allowed to keep this property, which they already sold to a non-Indian. This allows us 120 days to raise 4 million dollars to purchase our land back and clear up the levy that the IRS ($600,000) has on the property.

Any financial assistance that you could give to us would be greatly appreciated. We have set up an account at Wells Fargo in Chamberlain, South Dakota and all donations are tax deductible. The bank can be contacted at 605-734-6001 or contact Leroy Bear Thompson at 605-245-2304. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Contact: Wells Fargo Bank
Attn: Cindy Adams
201 S Main
Chamberlain, SD 57325
Account Name: Save CCST Lands Fund
Account Number: 9917827345
Contact: Cindy Adams 605-734-6001
Contact: Leroy Thompson, Jr. 605-245-2304 or 605-730-0091

Brandon Sazue, Chairman
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Posted by at 9:15 PM

2nd Update:

Action Alert! Please sign online petition Crow Creek Sioux Land is NOT For Sale
Saturday, December 12, 2009, 1:35 AM

Please help spread the word about our online petition to support the Crow Creek efforts! There is NO reason why we shouldn’t have several thousand signatures before this weekend is done!

Everyone PLEASE UNITE together on this issue. This issue could set a precedence and next time it could be your lands!

Crow Creek Sioux Land is NOT For Sale

To: Bureau of Indian Affairs, President Obama, SD Governor Rounds, SD Senator Tim Johnson, SD Senator Thune,U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
On December 3, 2009 the Internal Revenue Service unlawfully auctioned off 7100 acres located on Crow Creek Sioux Tribal land.

The land is owned by Crow Creek Tribal Farms, Inc. a Tribal corporation and distinct legal entity from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.

According to the recent motion for temporary restraining order, filed by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the IRS seized and auctioned the land to recover $3,123,789.73 dollars in unpaid employment taxes. The document states, Because of erroneous tax advice received from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe became delinquent in the payment of employment taxes collected by the IRS beginning in 2003. The BIA had informed the Tribe that, because it was a federally recognized Tribe, it was not necessary to pay federal employment taxes.

The Crow Creek Indian Reservation was created by the 1868 Treaty, Act of April 29, 1868, 15 Stat. 635, and by Section 6, Act of March 2, 1889, 25 Stat. 888.

The Crow Creek Sioux Reservation encompasses Buffalo County and portions of Hyde and Brule Counties . Crow Creek Sioux Tribe is consistently documented as one of the poorest Reservations in the Nation, with 78% of their members living below the poverty line.

This despicable and irreparable action from the IRS, could ultimately eliminate 20% of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribes Reservation lands.

This action taken by the IRS could ultimately set a precedence, allowing the continual land grab on Tribal Lands. We must ALL UNITE and take a stand on this issue, to voice Tribal Lands are NOT for Sale !

We the undersigned, hereby request the immediate return of the unlawfully auctioned Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Lands.
Click this link to sign the petition!

Update #3:

From dharmafarmer, thank you!

Winter Rabbit (9+ / 0-)
Kimberly Teehee, a member of the Cherokee Nation, was appointed by President Obama as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs. Could it help to contact her? I can't find an email address, but the Whitehouse switchboard number is 202-456-1414.

by dharmafarmer on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 05:03:31 AM PST
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