If you’ve been following the Pe’ Sla (Lakota Scared Lands) land auction in South Dakota, which was supposed to occur yesterday, here’s a quick update: two days before the auction, the family who currently “owns” the land put the auction on hold. Neither the family or the auction house has commented about why the auction was stopped (at least for now) to this point, but you can read more about some of the reasons it may have stopped on Indian Country Today.
The article in Indian Country Today also nicely distills the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which Obama announced US support for in December 2010.
The UNDRIP has not yet been tested here in the United States, and the fight for Pe’ Sla may provide the first such opportunity. While it is true that US property laws make legal the land grab that created this country (aka Manifest Destiny), international human rights regimes recognize the inherent moral and legal obligations to the indigenous inhabitants.
I encourage you to continue to look for updates on this yourself, and I’ll try to keep you posted as well, as developments in this land sale continue.