Saturday, April 26, 2008

Message to "Bikers for Bear Butte"

This letter is to all those well-meaning bikers who participate in the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota, in August. We believe that the majority of you are not aware of the destruction the rally is causing to one of Indian peoples' most sacred sites, Bear Butte. Very few non-Indians know that for many centuries all the Tribes of the Great Plains worshipped and conducted sacred ceremonies at Bear Butte. It is a place for quiet prayers of thanksgiving and for seeking spiritual guidance with ancient ceremonies.

The spring and summer months through August, is when the Tribes travel to Bear Butte to conduct their annual ceremonies. These prayers and ceremonies do not stop simply because the rally has started. For the past few years there has been a continual encroachment of bars and venues heading towards the sacred mountain. Since the arrival of Sturgis County Line and other venues next to Bear Butte, traditional people are forced to pray with loud music from bars, mufflers and flashing strobe lights over the mountain, instead of praying in peace. In April 2008, Sturgis County Line announced they will be opening year-round and hosting many events throughout the summer. This will make it virtually impossible to pray in peace all summer long.

Most of you are probably unaware that returning Indian veterans of wars since before World War 1, have made their way to the sacred mountain to pray, fast and give thanks for their safe return. Most veterans wouldn't know that the Cheyenne Nation conducted ceremonies on Bear Butte during WW1, WW2, Korea and Viet Nam to insure the victory for American forces. Bear Butte is where our young men and women go to fast, to learn and to test themselves for adulthood. Bear Butte is where our holy men and women have gone to seek spiritual knowledge for as long as our tribal memories can see into the past. Even today in this new millennium, Bear Butte continues to be central to the spiritual and ceremonial lives of over thirty Indian Nations.

Indian people are becoming desperate to preserve even small portions of our once peaceful and remote, sacred places across America.

We ARE NOT trying to close or stop the Sturgis Bike Rally, or even interfere with all the various things that go on there. We are asking that the Federal, State and Local governments enact and enforce a buffer zone around Bear Butte, to restrict the sale of booze within the zone, make sure concerts and other extraneous noise, are kept away from the Mountain. To us that seems very minimal and reasonable, but our words have fallen on deaf ears once again and the county and state are allowing more and more destruction to happen--always closer to Bear Butte. It must be stopped.

It is now our hope that we can turn to the customers of the bike rally, the bikers themselves, to ask that they help us in our efforts. We ask all bikers to help us make attendees of the Sturgis Bike Rally, aware of our request and to help us encourage all the booze and concert venues too close to Bear Butte, to close down and move away. We are asking that all bikers boycott the "Broken Spoke Saloons" until they withdraw their bar away from Bear Butte!

We are asking that all "BIKERS FOR BEAR BUTTE" come together with Indian people to help us enact a buffer zone around Bear Butte and to help us inform all your brother and sister Bikers of the issue.

We pray there, we receive healing and learn our ancient ways of life there. We KNOW YOU respect Bear Butte and will stand by our side, in this struggle! We ask our biker brothers and sisters to help us PROTECT our SACRED MOUNTAIN.


• We would like to ask all Bikers for Bear Butte, to NOT patronize the “Sturgis County Line” Broken Spoke Campground, adjacent to Bear Butte!
• Help us spread the word throughout the biker community! Help us support a “buffer zone” around Bear Butte!
• Don’t ride 79! If you must, please be respectful and keep noise to a minimum, drive slowly while passing the area of Bear Butte.

For more information about our struggle, please visit us at or