Thursday, January 16, 2014

Statement of LaDonna Brave Bull Allard at USDA-RUS public hearing

Statement of LaDonna Brave Bull Allard at USDA-RUS public hearing

"I greet you each with a warm handshake from my heart as we come together to give comment on this sacred site “Tahca WaKutepi Paha” a place where my relatives came to pray and bury their dead. 

"The SDEIS Supplemental DEIS for the Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s (Basin Electric) Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Neset Transmission Project needs to be postponed, until a full Archeological Survey is completed by archeologist and our Native Monitor’s to define the border of the site. It seems premature for this project to be pushed though because of the need of a few.

"We need to be thinking of the future generations as look at these sites, there is more for us to learn about the land and the history it hides within.

"I am speaking for my relatives Red Thunder, Bear Face, Iron Horn, and Rain in the Face, Shaved Head, Little Bear, and my Ihunktonwana relatives who fought here at Kill Deer. They lived, fought, prayed and died and were buried at this sacred site for many generations. The 'Tahca WaKutepi Paha' Killdeer Mountain- this site was known as prayer and ceremony site before the Great Battle of Kill Deer Mountain.

"The Killdeer Mountain Battle is the most important America’s Civil War battle in North Dakota. As other states protect Civil War Battle Sites, does North Dakota destroy their sites or is it because these are Native sites? As we approach the 150 year Anniversary of this battle do we stand in protection of the site or do we destroy the integrity of the site? We as Native People and Americana are just now understanding these sites and what really happened at this site. It time to come together to protect these sites for the future so that we can learn to live as human beings again.

"The major problem with the SDEIS is that it develops no alternative that would avoid constructing eight miles of transmission lines though the heart of the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield.

"I believe it fails to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Section 1502.1 of the Council on Environmental Quality’s NEPA implementing regulations states: “The primary purpose of an environmental impact statement is to serve as an action-forcing device to insure that the policies and goals defined in the Act are infused into the ongoing programs and actions of the federal government. It shall provide full and fair discussion of significant environmental impacts and shall inform decision makers and the public of the reasonable alternatives which would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance the quality of the human environment.”

"Section 1502.14 of The Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations further requires agencies to: “Rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all reasonable alternatives, and for alternatives which were eliminated from detailed study, briefly discuss the reasons for their having been eliminated.”

"The National Park Service recognizes the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield as a place eligible to be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. I believe that continuing with this process fails to comply with the requirements of NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality’s Implementing Regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508).

"I want to say that in my heart that this project need to be postponed instead of rushing it though without clear planning for the future."