Letters to the editor, July 21, 2021
Change the name
The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is going to build a sacred garden which will include information about Mato Tipila (Bear Lodge), one of the four significant landmarks it will point to. In their desire to protect Indigenous cultures of Paha Sapa, SURF should make every effort to ask President Biden to make a Presidential Proclamation to correct the name of this landmark.
Wyoming’s U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis says the landmark’s name (Devils Tower) has been in place too long to be changed now. But aren’t we so very often told that it’s never too late to right a wrong? Isn't it time to correct how the Lakota language was misinterpreted by the 1875 Dodge expedition? Why would “devil” even be appropriate for this geological formation? Why are we promoting the Devil anyway? Christians always say we should avoid the Devil, yet it seems to be Christians who want to hold on to a name that is spiritually offensive to Indigenous People.
For how long and how often will we disrespect Indigenous People on whose land we reside? Change the name. Bears Lodge it is!
Sylvia Lambert, Interior
Discussions should begin now
Since there is apparently nothing anyone can do about it, the Republicans' blatant plan to destroy American democracy will almost certainly succeed. Its time then to ponder what life will be like in a dictatorship. There are plenty of existing examples. The Chinese govt. has shut down the free press in Hong Kong and jailed its editors and writers. Cuba has violently suppressed demonstrations against its oppressive regime. In North Korea no one would dare criticize their masters and those in Russia who do dare are either shot poisoned or imprisoned. In post 2024 USA, we can expect pretty much the same. Tv stations and newspapers that refuse to spout the party line will be banned; all news will come from FOX-like media echoing lies handed down from the top. All this will make Republicans very happy. Freedom lovers, however, will have to figure out how to live in this environment. Discussions and planning at the highest Democratic levels (and amongst ourselves) should begin now.
Terry Painter, Rapid City
You will be remembered
When the Missouri River is running at a trickle and the aquifers are running dry, and water becomes so scarce that people have to limit the gallons that can be used per person, per day, to less than two gallons or be fined and arrested. When those people ask who is responsible, who will they look to but those sitting in Pierre right now doing nothing about climate change. By then you might no longer be working in Pierre but your failures will carry on to every generation.
Your names will be remembered as the generation that destroyed our economy and our way of life.
Brent Cox, Sturgis