The Black Hills Unity Concert
Through the union of our Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota communities we pray for the return of our sacred Black Hills, for the healing of our communities and for the healing of all our relations from around the world.
The Black Hills Unity Concert is a three-day, drug, alcohol and admission free event that utilizes the instrument of music to unite Lakota/Nakota/Dakota peoples (the Pte Oyate) in the name of our sacred sites and our Mother Earth. We understand that only with increased dialogue and connection between our many sub groups can we move forward with retrieving our most sacred site and with so many other issues.
The Black Hills Unity Concert is a hub for groups and organizations, local and nation-wide, working to address social, environmental and indigenous issues including but not limited to: sacred sites preservation, youth suicide, substance abuse, environmental contamination, species preservation, cultural reconciliation, care for the elderly, traditional foods revitalization, economic development/poverty alleviation, men’s and women’s health, cultural revitalization and language preservation.
We acknowledge the interdependence of these issues and that to heal one is to heal the other. For this reason we have designed this to be a multi-purposed crowdfunding campaign where 10% of all funds raised goes to four other organizations working to address the immediate needs of our People.
Frank Waln, Good Voice Wolf, 7th Generation Rising, Nahko Bear, Scatter Their Own and so many more are currently confirmed to share at Unity Concert 2015 alongside many speakers and workshop leaders to make this a truly uplifting, educating, healing and productive event.
The essential items to line up are as follows: venue, stage, food, artists/speakers/workshop leaders, funding, unified request for Black Hills, prayer, youth participation, networking area, arts and crafts area, local Lakota agency, and publicity.
Venue has been booked for 4 days. We are waiting on a cost estimate of the stage and sound, provided by Shaped Music.
Food will be prepared for artists, volunteers and honored guests by our designated Kitchen Crew which includes locals and the Seeds of Peace Collective.
Artist talent is scouted and recruited by all organizers of the concert. At this point we have confirmed: Frank Waln, Good Voice Wolf, Scatter Their Own, 7th Generation Rising, Nahko Bear, Lyla June, Peter Yarrow, Bethany and Rufus and more.
Crowdfunding will be led by our Fundraising Team.
We will try to weave into the concert an official unified ask for the Black Hills by personally inviting people from all 12 bands of Lakota to be present at the concert.
Prayer will be carried out at every stage of the organizing process as much as possible and during the event itself.
Youth participation will be bolstered by designated “next generation coordinators.” These will be approached within the next week to take on this position.
Lakota participation will be garnered during an on-the-ground organizing tour from mid-June to mid-July.
Publicity will be spear headed by a team of people. This team will be formed by June 15th.
why we’re doing it
In 1868, the Black Hills were guaranteed to the Pte Oyate for our “absolute and undisturbed use and occupation” in the law-binding Fort Laramie Treaty. This agreement was subsequently discarded and much of our most sacred lands were seized. Compensation for these lands was offered in 1980 but was refused by the Pte Oyate. Through interest, this settlement has reached over $1.4 billion. While the average family in Pine Ridge, SD makes less than $7,000, the Pte Oyate continues to refuse this payment and instead requests the return of the Black Hills.
The concert is, among so many things, a clarion call to the United States government and to the world that the time is now to honor this treaty and in doing so honor the native and non-native peoples of this continent. The second annual event will gather people of all races and all walks of life to stand behind the Pte Oyate to reconcile this collective history.
With that said, we are doing this for at least four reasons:
1) to elevate, unify and support our Lakota/Nakota/Dakota communities in this time of social, economic and environmental hardship,
2) to build bridges and relationships between social, environmental and indigenous movements occurring on the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Homeland and beyond,
3) to protect, reconnect with and reawaken the Black Hills as a sacred place that helps keep the world intact,
4) and to honor the words of the Fort Laramie Treaty and thereby restore honor to the people of all nations.