Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base would not fly over Indian reservations under a proposal froma group of tribes.
B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base would not fly over Indian reservations under a proposal froma group of tribes.
U.S. Air Force photo
August 22, 2014

Tribes Fight Ellsworth Over Expanding Powder River Training Area

By Karin Eagle
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY - During a historic meeting, the Coalition of Large Tribes (COLT), the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association have banded together to support the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in protecting culturally significant sites and reservation lands.

In response to the proposal to expand the Powder River Training Complex connected to the Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, which would include airspace over four Great Plains Indian reservations and additional ancestral lands in four states, the meeting resulted in a joint resolution on the 22nd of July.

As previously reported in the Native Sun News by Talli Nauman, the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes, as well as the Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes, have raised objections since 2008 in negotiations with the 28th Bomb Wing on the proposal to extend the geographical area for B-1 bomber training missions currently operating out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in western South Dakota and B-52 bombers operating out of Minot Air Force Base in central North Dakota.

The Joint Resolution in part requests that Ellsworth AFB consider a No-Action Alternative that eliminates the expansion of airspace. They would not fly over reservation lands nor sites considered sacred and culturally significant to the tribes, such as Bear Butte and Devil's Tower.

The resolution also requests the support of the U.S. Congress in this matter.

COLT is comprised of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Crow Tribe of Montana, the Navajo Nation, the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Spokane Tribe of Washington, with more expected to join.The entity, according to a press release from the tribes, "was formed to address the unique land, economic, jurisdictional and funding issues faced by tribes with large reservations, treaties and large populations."

Related items

  • Fort Meade and Hot Springs VA Go Tobacco Free

    As of May 29th, 2019, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Black Hills Health Care System campuses at Fort Meade and in Hot Springs are officially tobacco…
  • New Grocery Store Opens In Pine Ridge

    The old Sioux Nation store building has recently reopened its doors in Pine Ridge Village, as Buche Foods was awarded the contract to operate the…
  • Flooding Causes Emergency Situations on Pine Ridge Reservation

    Many on the Pine Ridge Reservation have been stranded in their homes after first a blizzard and now flooding from snowmelt have ravaged the area,…

Get Involved!

  • Need more information? Rapid City Public Library associates are standing by to answer your questions! Ask away in the box below during business hours for live feedback.

    For more on this feature, click here.

  • bhkn donate

    Enjoy our work? Donate today to ensure that community members will have access to our wealth of news, history, and data for years to come.

  • 211 logoDid this post inspire you to get involved? Visit our partner¬†211's Volunteer Database to find volunteer opportunities in your community.

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]