SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Native American tribes have received some celebrity support in their effort to raise $9 million by the end of the month to buy land in South Dakota that they consider sacred.

Ezra Miller, who stars in the recently released film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and hip-hop producer Sol Guy appear in a short documentary-style film with Standing Rock Sioux tribal member Chase Iron Eyes as part of an effort to raise the final $2 million needed for the land deal.

Tribes of the Great Sioux Nation hope to buy nearly 2,000 acres in the Black Hills that they call Pe’ Sla. The property is important to their creation story, and tribal members have long held ceremonies there. When the land was put up for sale, tribal members worried it would be developed because of its proximity to Mount Rushmore.

The 1,942 acres of pristine prairie grass is the only sacred site on private land currently outside Sioux control.

“I came out here with the intention of being an observer ... I felt kind of removed from the story. But now, it's fairly clear to me that nobody is removed from this story,” Miller says in the film. A not-yet-completed mountain carving of the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse can be seen in the background. “This story is central to all of our history and this struggle also cannot be removed. We are all inherently involved in what is going on out here.”

Land owners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds cancelled a public auction of the property earlier this year after tribal members expressed outrage. The Reynolds then accepted the tribes’ bid to purchase the land for $9 million if they have the money by Nov. 30.

The couple has not spoken publicly about the land sale and did not return a message left Wednesday seeking comment.

Iron Eyes said the tribes have raised more than $7 million so far, and he hopes Miller's and Sol Guy's involvement will help bring in another $1 million or more through a new online campaign. An earlier online campaign raised more than $300,000.

“Last time, it was real grassroots, it just sort of grew on its own fire, its own energy,” Iron Eyes said. “But this time we're adding some extra voices to broaden the network.”

The 9-minute film was shot over three days in Rapid City and other locations throughout the Black Hills. The film highlights the contentious relationship between the tribes and the area's white settlers.

An 1868 treaty set aside the Black Hills and other land for the Sioux, but Congress passed a law in 1877 seizing the land following the discovery of gold in western South Dakota. A 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling awarded more than $100 million to the Sioux tribes for the Black Hills, but the tribes refused to accept the money, saying the land has never been for sale. There are Sioux tribes in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Canada.

PE'SLA 2012 from Village Beat on Vimeo.

Responses to "Actor helps tribes trying to buy sacred South Dakota land (Video)"

  1. Suniemi says:

    Thank you. Sharing.

  2. Anonymous says:



  3. Anonymous says:

    Whilst is is an outrage that you have to buy back the land that was originally your own, I am very happy to repost this in hopes that it will return to you what is rightfully yours, wishing you every success, love n and light.

  4. Derisory says:

    Is there a paypal account for donations for this effort. I have very little but would like to contribute. It is a shame that peaople native to this land muct but it, but once bought I would hope it will never return to the hands of those who took it from the people to who whom it has always belonged.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Respectfully wishing for the best. It's the right thing to do.

  6. Anonymous says:

    your land should be given back freely it was stolen from you .

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ahaw Waciye! Move your thousands of Tipistola(s) back on on it. Colonization is history.

  8. Anonymous says:

    in respect for you and yours, may you have your land, your health and your happiness.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How many pictures of the Great White Father do you have to give to the Thieves of the South Dakota lands? Whose name is on the land anyway?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree that purchasing the land should never have come the very least the government, that stole this land in the first place, should be responsible for any money due.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What?... :\ Native buying Our Own Land to the white man from south to north on this Continent... That's soo%... m-rabas.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What the hell!! that land is OURS WHY SHOULD we buy it back ? it is ours! the whiteman took it for thier greedy selfs. we need to stand up for our SACRED LAND!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Gitchi Miigwetch for sharing this - many blessings

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