Shepard Fairey created this huge mural entitled The Black Hills are not for sale! on Melrose Avenue to help his friend and photographer Aaron Huey in his fight for Treaty rights on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
In 1980 The longest running court case in U.S. history, the Sioux Nation v. the United States, was ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court.The court determined that, when the Sioux were resettled onto reservations and seven million acres of their land were opened up to prospectors and homesteaders, the terms of the second Fort Laramie treaty had been violated. The court stated that the Black Hills were illegally taken and that the initial offering price plus interest should be paid to the Sioux Nation. As payment for the Black Hills, the court awarded only 106 million dollars to the Sioux Nation. The Sioux refused the money with the rallying cry, “The Black Hills are not for sale.”
The United States continues on a daily basis to violate the terms of the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties with the Lakota. The call to action I offer today is this: Honor the treaties. Give back the Black Hills. It’s not our business what they do with them.