Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
January 29, 2000 - Issue 02

White Swan
By Vicki Lockard with special thanks to Tessa Lehto

Recently, the Corp of Engineers unearthed a cemetery on the Yankton Sioux Reservation, called White Swan. After much effort by the people of Yankton and supporters from all over the world, the people of Yankton were allowed to conduct ceremony for the remains of their people.

The Mitigation Act is also the reason that the LaFramboise warriors are maintaining their fire. The basic problem is that the Fort Laramie Treaty, of 1868, is not being adhered to. Please join us in support of our friend and relations in South Dakota.

The Fort Laramie Treaty can be found at the end of this letter from Tessa Lehto of Yankton.

For More information about White Swan and the Mitigation Act, follow the link at the end of this story.

To All Our Supporters,

Thank you so much for all the work you have done and the prayers you have sent our way. According to our attorney, it is primarily because of the high level of public outrage that we have gotten to where we are today.

The remains and artifacts have all been collected and are awaiting reburial, anticipated for mid-February. NAGPRA restrictions prohibit burial before that time. So for now, our encampment continues, (we're up to four tipis now), in order to safeguard the remains. Ceremonies have been completed, but there will be a more public burial ceremony.

One issue for which we still need support is the return of land to the Tribe on which to rebury our relatives. The Tribe is requesting 640 acres adjacent to the burial site. The situation is complicated because the Corps of Engineers owns the land now, but the Mitigation Act will turn it over to the State of South Dakota in about two years. We need your continued support to see that this land is transferred to the Tribe.

We will also be going to Congress and asking about the transfer of all the Corps land in our area to the Tribe. As we understand it, under the original terms of agreement, the excess land was to have been returned to the Tribe, but then a rider was attached to a bill which gave it to the State.

We appreciate your concern and your support more than you will ever know. We pray for all of you, too.
Pidamayedo. (Thank you.)
Tessa Lehto
Yankton Sioux Tribe

P.S. A special issue of the YST monthly newspaper, the Sioux Messenger will be published this week. The sole topic will be the White Swan burial site. The Messenger is not yet available on-line, but you can send a check or money order for $3 (for postage) and we will send one to you. It takes about 1-2 weeks for delivery. Yankton Sioux Tribe, Sioux Messenger, PO Box 248, Marty, SD 57361. Subscriptions are also available.

Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868

back to the What's New page

Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.

Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the Copyright © 1999 of Paul C. Barry. All Rights Reserved.