Sunday, September 29, 2013

Family steadfast on battlefield protection

Family steadfast on battlefield protection

Since August, we have read with great interest articles, editorials and letters to the editor about the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield site, etc.
We sure appreciated seeing another side to the story in the editorial titled “State shouldn’t pick winners” in the Sept. 16 Tribune.
We do have some light to shed on the concerns of the United Tribes of North Dakota, reported on KFYR news on Sept. 11 and reported in the Dickinson Press (“Tribes against power line at Killdeer site”) and in the Tribune (“Tribes opposing Basin project in battlefield”) on Sept. 12.
In 1998, Calvin “Bear” First Jr. from the Fort Peck Sioux Treaty Council and a descendant of Medicine Bear, who fought here at the Killdeer Mountains, contacted us asking if he and other tribal members could come here and hold ceremonies to properly bury the warriors and others who died during the battle.
We opened our property and our home to them from 1998 to 2001 and were honored to witness and be a part of the Releasing of the Spirit Ceremony held in 1999 and the Wiping of the Tears Ceremony held in 2001. Members of Sioux tribes from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada, as well as the Three Affiliated Tribes, were on hand to witness these ceremonies (see the Dickinson Press on Aug. 11, 1999, and the Tribune on Aug. 15, 2001, in which Calvin First Sr. is quoted: “Now the old people are happy. When we were here three years ago, we heard the old people crying and hollering from the hills. They’re hollering no more.”).
Through the years, the Dvirnak family has worked diligently to protect and preserve the Killdeer Battlefield area. Rest assured, we will continue to protect and preserve the Killdeer Battlefield site, the battlefield area and our ranch as we have in the past.