Save the Sacred Area of Pipestone, MN becoming an Amusement Park sign now

Preamble:
Pipestone is known to be powerful, hallowed land, and a highly sacred area revered by many Native American Tribes. It has for centuries been seen as a sacred area for all Native American tribal people who use the Ceremonial Chanupa (Pipe), and it remains a pivotal part of these tribes' spiritual beliefs. The Chanupa that has been used for generations, and is still used today, in ceremonies by Native Tribes all over the Continent of America originates from the Red stone quarries in Pipestone. The Catlinite stone that the Chanupa's are made from is quarried by tribally enrolled Native Americans only at the quarries in Pipestone. Dakota human existence fables are focused here, and today the area is respected by Native and non-Native people throughout the world because of it's spiritual history, and the traditional work that continues for Native American quarriers.

Now however we have learned that the Pipestone County Economic Development Authority (hereafter written as EDA) are planning to construct a Native American Theme Park (also called by the EDA 'Native American / Frontier Themed Amusement Park', 'Native American Living Culture Center', and/or 'Native American Living History Center/Convention Center',) in Pipestone, Minnesota, stating '..... How we do this is by promoting our strong points, which are the Native American history, culture, and spirituality. People are very interested in the Native American culture all over the United States and especially in Europe. We need to tap this market and have such attractions as a Native American Living History Center that provides education, culture, history. Visitors want and need an attraction that gives more than just entertainment, they want a purpose and an experience. An attraction such as this would compliment what we have at the National Monument, the County Museum, Song of Hiawatha, Pipestone Fort, Split Rock Creek Park and many other local attractions.'
We have also found out that McDonald's are interested in putting a Native American themed restaurant in the town if this plan goes through.

We also believe that these ideas would further exploit Native American cultures and spirituality, by capitalizing on such a sacred area, and walking on the Native American way of prayer. It would also make redundant the Dakota owned Native American Interpretive Center already established in Pipestone.

We believe the spiritual rights of sovereign people are endangered by the above named group and businesses in their attempts to aggressively assert themselves in Pipestone.

Sacred areas are not sacred because native people believe they are, they are sacred in and of themselves. Pipestone is one of these areas, it is quietly peaceful and serene and there is no doubt that this land is very special and unique.



Statement:

To: The Pipestone County Economic Development Authority; Jeffrey Stoneking, CEO, of Emerald Enterprises; Ronald McDonald, of McDonalds; and Lobbyist, Victor Fischer.

cc's: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty; Senator Jim Vickerman, Minnesota District 22; Elaine Harder, Minnesota House of Representatives; Doug Magnus, Minnesota House of Representatives; Economic Development Association of MN.; Chief Arvol Looking Horse; American Indian Movement, Minneapolis; Department of the Interior; Bureau of Indian Affairs

We the undersigned strongly object to this Theme Park (et al) for the following reasons:

1. It would misuse a pristine, sacred area by bringing in tourists who are only there for a good time not for prayer. It would also be extremely detrimental to those who hold ceremony in the area.

2. It would abuse Native American's spirituality and various cultures. It would be very offensive to those who come to the area to complete ceremony or to pray. Again people who do not care about the sacredness of the area or the Native American people themselves, would come in droves and would upset the spiritual balance of the area.

3. It would turn Pipestone into a mini 'Disneyland', bringing with it the negative aspects of such a commercial enterprise e.g. extra vehicles, more pollution, crime, drugs, violence, etc. that would be detrimental and not conducive to such a special area.

4. It would be using another cultures' assets for it's own financial gains. (Recently Chief Arvol Looking Horse and others held meetings about non-natives using the Native American ways for their own gains. A resolution is being sent by them to President Bush asking for him to make amendments to the 1978 American indian Religious Freedom Act to make it illegal for people to abuse and exploit the ways and spirituality.)

5. It would cause the already established Dakota Interpretive Cultural center and museum in Pipestone to be made redundant, so that again Native American people would be pushed out of their homeland by the agressive ruling class system.

6. The noise and visitation would prohibit the people who wished to visit or pray in peace in their sacred space, or quarry in the peaceful way they are used to, going against the First Amendment To The Constitution Of The United States, (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...), Article 8 of the 1858 Treaty with the Yankton Sioux (which stated, "free and unrestricted use of the red pipestone quarry...to visit and procure stone for pipes so long as they shall desire."), and peoples right to gather, pray, seek solitude, and maintain their culture without disruption and annoyance.

7. A Park could violate the American Indian Arts and Crafts Act, by selling items people believe are made by Native American artisans because it is said to be a Native American Theme Park.

So therefore: we the undersigned, petition the Pipestone County EDA; Jeffrey Stoneking, CEO, of Emerald Enterprises; Ronald McDonald, of McDonalds; Lobbyist, Victor Fischer, and all those involved in the planning process to rethink and discontinue their plans for this destructive playground at the sacred, historic land that is now known as Pipestone.

We also ask that they desist from using other Nations' cultural assets to their own advantage.

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Audrey AveryBy:
SustainabilityIn:
Petition target:
The Pipestone County Economic Development Authority; Jeffrey Stoneking, CEO, of Emerald Enterprises; Ronald McDonald, of McDonalds; and Lobbyist, Victor Fischer.

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