Will Whoever Stole The Black Hills Please Return Them?

I see that the usual media suspects are whipping up indignation about Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills. It’s bizarre. Hillary, President Obama, and Biden all went to Mt. Rushmore, and the media fawned over them.

But now that President Trump has had the audacity to go there, the media is all full of righteous indignation about the statues desecrating the “historical sacred lands” of the Lakota Sioux, and lots of screaming about “stolen lands”.

stolen land.png

So let’s take a look at stolen lands, shall we? Here’s a short history of the ownership of the Black Hills as far back as we know it:

The first wave of Asian immigrants came to North America maybe fifteen or twenty thousand years ago.

The second wave of Asian immigrants, known as the Clovis people, drove out and eventually exterminated the First Asian Immigrants.

Then the third wave of Asian immigrants, laughably called “Native” Americans, came in and stole the turf from the Clovis people, wiped them out, and took all of their lands.

Around the year 1100, the Arikara Tribe was living in the Black Hills.

Since then, the Crow stole the Black Hills from the Arikara.

Then the Pawnee stole the Black Hills from the Crow.

Then the Kiowa stole the Black Hills from the Pawnee.

Then the Cheyenne stole the Black Hills from the Kiowa.

Then around 1776, same time as the US was born, the Lakota Sioux stole the Black Hills from the Cheyenne. This is the turf that they proudly declaim is their “historical sacred land” … funny how they never mention how they sacredly killed the Cheyenne to sacredly steal from them the Lakota’s precious historical sacred land …

Then the melanin-deficient immigrants stole the Black Hills from the Lakota Sioux. Mostly, they did it by trickery rather than force. Once the two sides fought to a standstill, they signed a Peace Treaty. The melanin-deficient immigrants simply ignored the Treaty between the US and the Lakota, and moved in and took the land piece by piece.

However, unlike every group before them, the melanin-deficient immigrants gave their defeated enemies land on which they could continue to have their own leaders and practice their own customs and live under their own laws. Nobody in North America had EVER done that before, there are no Clovis reservations where they practice their Clovian ways …

And since we live in a society of laws and not men, here’s the curious end to the story. The Sioux brought suit to force the US to live up to the Peace Treaty regarding the Black Hills. It went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The court made a curious ruling in 1980, which was basically, we can’t give the Lakota back the land, it wouldn’t be fair to the current owners who bought it trusting that it was legal to buy it.

However, the Lakota are right about the claim, the land was taken illegally in 1877. So since at this late date the US is unable to return the land, the US has to pay the Lakota about $105 million for the land. This was calculated as the value of the land as of the 1877 date when the land was taken, which was $17.1 million. To that was added the value of gold prospectors illegally took out of the land, computed at $450,000, and 100 years’ worth of interest at 5% per year which would be an additional $88 million.

And true to our word this time at least, the US ponied up the money.

However, the Lakota said no thanks, they wanted the land, so they refused the money. The money was placed in escrow until this very day, and it is currently worth over a billion dollars … and the battle continues.

Me, I figure if I wanted some land and someone offered me big bucks instead, I’d simply take the money and buy the frickin’ land. And that’s especially true since the case has gone all the way to the Supremes and they will NEVER get the land back other than by buying it back … but hey, that’s just me …

Anyhow, can we stop the nonsense about “stolen lands”? Every square inch of the US has been stolen, over and over, since time immemorial. When the Lakota agree to give the Black Hills back to the Cheyenne people that they stole the Black Hills from, I’d be willing to agree to give the Black Hills back to the Lakota.

Because until then, regardless of whether they decide to spend it or not, THE LAKOTA HAVE BEEN GIVEN OVER A BILLION DOLLARS FOR LAND THAT THEY STOLE!

Can the left please stop whining about the Black Hills being “stolen lands” now?


Further information here

33 thoughts on “Will Whoever Stole The Black Hills Please Return Them?

  1. Thanks Willis. You saved me a lot of research. I knew of some of these tribal “aquisitions” but you have helped me fill in some holes.


  2. “One billion dollars”. You could buy a nice chunk of land with that. In fact you could probably buy out most of the current owners legally and piece by piece get your land back.


  3. Excellent historical facts and analysis, as always, Willis. I’m sure not even a small handful of Americans have been given these facts in their schooling. I shudder to think what our children are being told about this aspect of American history.


  4. every square inch of land everywhere in the world has been stolen repeatedly, not just in the US (I know that Willis didn’t say that it was limited to the US, but with the current “US is evil” education, it’s worth pointing out that it applies world-wide.


  5. In the late 1800’s, the Indians were comprised of various separate nations, so any treaties agreed to between those nations and the United States of America could be unilaterally voided. That is the “law” of the world.

    I know that legal perspective does not gain any traction with the liberal/leftist population, but there is no difference in abrogating a treaty with any other nation on this planet.


    • The US Supreme Court agreed that what happened was wrong, but since it would be equally wrong to take the land away from the people who own it now, decided that a cash payment was the best way to compensate them for this.

      It’s long established in court that money is suitable compensation for just about anything, and the fact that the tribe refuses to accept the money isn’t going to solve the problem in any way.

      If they took the land away from the people who live on it now and gave it to the tribe, those people would have to be paid for the land. If money isn’t good for one group, why should it be good for the other? (and there is more justification for intangible value for those who’s live has been spent on the land than for those who haven’t lived there for generations)


      • Ah yes! But in South Africa, the prevailing ANC policy is that ALL of the ‘whites’ stole ALL OF THE LAND (even though the mid-African ‘Bantu’ peoples hadn’t yet arrived in the Cape area when the Dutch settled it). And although our Constitution forbids the government from taking stuff without compensation, there are plans afoot to change to Constitution to allow land (and other) theft. It’s called “Expropriation Without Compensation”, and the idea is that all lands will be nationalised and will belong to the State. The ANC learned its ‘politics’ from the USSR during the 1950’s and 60’s, and haven’t learned anything since, including the fact that Communism has NEVER worked!


        • I call BS on that (from a melanin-deficient _English_ South African). Expropriation-without-compensation has been in our constitution for 25 years but just not tested yet. And it has to do with “rich squatters” who make money out of land that’s in everyone’s way (I refer you to Mr Churchill’s sentiments on the matter).

          What the ANC _did_ steal was the PAC’s racist attitude, and knifed its melanin deficient supporters in the back (and in the front). But that’s something altogether different, and far too recondite for the average ‘uit de blou’ wit-mense.


  6. Yip. And Africans stole land from the Neanderthals, the Denisovans and who knows from whom else – in the process colonising (!!) the rest of the world. We should send all those colonists back to Africa.


  7. The trouble with us melanin-deficient folk is that we are a pathetically soft touch.Long ago we should have politely suggested to these chancers (with chips on both their shoulders), that they might just piss off and get a life.
    It was interesting when I was taking the grankids round the Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi in New Zealand. Good museum, if a bit pricey. All about how those naughty English folk and their unfair 1840 treaty with the Māori.
    One of the exhibits mentioned, just in passing, that according to Maori tradition, the first inhabitants of New Zealand were a people of unknown origin, whose racial or tribal name, if any, has not been preserved. The Maori knows them as Maruiwi, which name is said to have been not a tribal one, but merely that of one of their chiefs at the time when the Maori from eastern Polynesia arrived on these shores.
    So “what happened to these Maruiwi folk?” I asked.
    Oh, the Māori ate them, was the reply.
    All the Māori I’ve met seem nice folk. I wouldn’t blame them for a minute for the unfortunate deeds of their ancestors.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What did the Romans ever do for us?

    As David Lang points out, much the same waves of invaders apply to nearly every spot on Earth. Being English, I should be claiming restitution from the Normans for invading my country in 1066, and of course the Vikings before that, and the Romans, and then there’s the Angles and Saxons. Slight problem there in finding the relevant modern authorities (who of course need to have some money, and Italy is pretty broke these days) and that I’m probably descended from all of those invaders myself. Still, with a bit of cherry-picking I could probably make some sort of case for compensation.

    Willis – the point I see in your history here is that the Lakota Sioux are doing that cherry-picking, and that with a longer view of history it’s pretty obvious that there isn’t really a claim. Much the same as the AGW argument, where there’s a correlation between CO2 concentration and (official) global temperature providing you choose your start-date as 1980 or so and only look at a 30-year period. Go back another 1000 years and the correlation disappears, and it becomes *difficult* to maintain that there’s a causal relationship.

    If there’s the odd billion dollars waiting in escrow for when the descendants of the Lakota Sioux decide to take it up, and that would allow them to mostly buy up the disputed land, then there would be the problem of deciding who actually controls that money (and thus the land). It seems likely that there will have been some intermarriages (and offspring outside marriage for various reasons) and so there’s the problem of deciding who remains “pure blood” and thus gets a full share of the money, and what happens for those who are of mixed heritage but nevertheless self-identify as Sioux and feel entitled to a full share. Seems that a lot of the money may disappear into legal fees as people fight over it.

    A deeper question is whether the descendants of some group remain responsible in law for the things those people did historically. There’s nothing we can do to change history, and most of the time we can’t be certain that we know the truth about what happened, since generally it’s the people in power at the time who write the history and people keep quiet about stuff that they don’t want others to know. Since even today eye-witnesses to some crime often disagree about what they saw, we can’t take eye-witness reports as being the whole truth either. I suppose most people here have had the problem of sorting out a dispute between their kids, and trying to find out what actually did happen. “But she did it first!”. Generally about the best you can do is to achieve an equal amount of dissatisfaction on all sides and leave it at that. About as near as you can practically get to justice, unless you’ve got video of not only the event but of what led up to it.

    Thanks for the longer view of history. It’s sad that not enough people take that longer view.


    • At least part of this is easy. Elizabeth Warren with her Native American ancestry should be put in charge of the whole thing. She could then redistribute all the money to her political donors and the money would disappear in a day. Problem solved.


    • So glad to hear an Englishman admitting he’s a mongrel like me. As you say, these are very deep questions, which don’t exclude a subtle and indefensible pride-of-ancestry. I say indefensible, and yet I am damn proud of both my English and Norwegian blood. Now, though, let us talk political systems and the Norse in me will be silent….


      • Brian – there have been black and other colour sailors and travellers in Britain since at least Shakespeare’s time, and given the desire for something out of the ordinary for a lot of women (and men) then by now those genes would be pretty well-spread amongst the population. Also given “hybrid vigour”, that could be a reason why Britain (and people of British heritage) has had an above-average number of inventions that advanced the world. Being a mutt or mongrel has advantages, and I think Britain has had more mixing of genes and cultures than most places. That’s also given us a language that is flexible and with a relatively simple grammar, that can be pretty mangled and still get the meaning across. I regard my mixed-up ancestry as something to celebrate.

        In practice, there’s no such thing as a pure ancestry, though there were attempts to ensure it by the use of chastity belts (and ways to get around them using a friendly locksmith), whilst leaving the travelling knights the opportunity to spread their genes elsewhere.

        Though it’s interesting to see a people that are maintaining old traditions and cultures, I suspect that limitation of the options available to their children is not a good thing. Technical advances reduce the amount of time required to subsist, allowing more time for both play and for further advances in making life easier, better, and more interesting. The hand-crafted moccasins could be produced in far less time by automation, after all. We also now know that the time spent in a rain-dance makes no difference to whether or not it will in fact rain.

        We can’t change what happened in the past, and we can’t even be certain what actually happened or that whoever wrote about an event knew the truth or wrote what they thought what the truth. We can’t even be certain of what’s happening now, except where we’ve personally experienced it or had a friend we totally trust experience it. Maybe the best we can do here is to try to keep to the spirit of the original agreements as far as possible, while recognising that a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. That would probably mean assigning the people of the tribe at the time a certain amount of cash each, and sharing that original amount equally between their progeny for each generation since. There is however no way of either dividing the money or assigning the land that will not be regarded as inequitable by some people. It seems to be a fact of life that you can tell when a division of property is equitable in that everyone concerned feels equally hard done by (and they feel they should have got more).


        • I have little more to say to that, sir! The question of American Independence comes to mind (as unsettled in mine), but I think it might be ungentlemanly to bring that up on this site, in which gentlemanliness is the order of the day.

          In South Africa we have a Land Claims Court, which if not totally corrupt (as the totally corrupt newspapers prove it us it is, by tautology), does the best job it can, and in fact we would be none the wiser if those compensated, over the years, have not been pleased as pie to now have the funds to emigrate elsewhere.

          This may be a very different thing though.


  9. I grew up in what was once called West Florida, my ancestors bought land from Choctaws and Biloxis and traded with Pascagoulas and Chickasaws well into the 1830s. Several of them married native women because they could get no women to come into the “wilderness” to live. When the Indian Removal Act began to be enforced a lot of my family sheltered tribe members, some listing them as family in Bibles and land records, others used the fiction of owning them as slaves when US Army made sweeps through the region. All this stolen land talk must make them roll over in their sandy graves cause they never stole nothin’.


  10. Hi Willis,
    Very funny.
    Very sad.
    No possible resolution.
    There are about 170,000 Lakota now, so that billion dollars is worth a bit under $6,000 for each member. The land at issue is ~9 million acres…. or some 50 acres per person….. surely much more valuable today than $6,000. That is why they will never settle for a billion.


    • Thanks, Steve. The key is realizing that there is land and there is land, and a billion dollars would pay for a good chunk of dirt … or for a hundred other things the tribe needs.

      And of course, the other key is realizing that they’ll never get another bite at the apple. The Supremes have ruled.

      So now, their choice has nothing to do with land. They need to swallow their pride, realize that the war is lost, and come to grips with the fact that the only choice left is whether the tribe will be wealthier or not.



  11. If you believe the YD folks, the impact event over North America helped disrupt the Clovis People to the extent that the third wave was able to replace them. Losing most of the large land mammals in North America helped that a bit also. Cheers –


  12. Then the third wave of Asian immigrants, laughably called “Native” Americans, came in and stole the turf from the Clovis people, wiped them out, and took all of their lands. They really should be called the third wave, my ancestors are the fourth wave. I really find it funny when they call then natives. The only native human lands are in Africa, all other are parts of the world are immigrant lands, saying anything else is a lie. I also find it funny if people believe that the first immigrants out of Africa were anything other than black. Only a fool, no mater what their skin color thinks who thinks their ancestors far enough back were not black are truly idiots. Skin color is a matter of sun exposer, nothing else. No mater what you skin color if you move to the tropics, over many generations your decedents skin will darken, if you move to northern Europe over generations you decedents skin will lighten to what is call white. Skin color is related to sunlight and vitamin D production PERIOD.


    • Really? You have proof of this?

      I won’t deny that it is possible, but anthropogenic experimentation is somewhat frowned upon.


  13. They just need to do like our local tribes. My family used to own a 30k acre ranch, sold it off decades ago so it’s no longer in the family but we keep an eye on what’s happening there. Well part of that ranch was considered sacred land by the indians so what have they done? Built a casino and used the money to buy up that part of our old ranch considered sacred plus more. Give it another century and indians very easily could end up owning the entire state via melanin deficient fools spending all their money in the only legal casinos in the state, those on tribal lands.


  14. Como siempre, disfrutando mucho de tus análisis, resumiendo mucha información y presentada de forma tan clara.

    Tu pregunta final es un martillazo en el yunque.


  15. Just a note: The Lakota engaged in a multi-generational genocide against the Arikara people (not an uncommon practice in those days) so it is not surprising that Custer employed Arikara scouts. He also employed Crow scouts (as well as Arikara) during The Battle of the Little Bighorn, since it was Crow land that Sitting Bull and company were trespassing on.


  16. Indeed:
    – the lady on the yellow US dollar coin was taken as a slave by a tribe and resold to another tribe to the east.
    – The Haida and Laich-kwil-tach on the BC coast were thieving slavers. Curbed a bit by British army forts, but they did not have enough resources and did not want to get involved if they did not understand whether a raid they saw signs of was initiation or retribution.


  17. Pingback: A Reflection on the True Meaning of Thanksgiving – Dr. Lou Zako’s Blog

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