Shalom Life | April 17, 2014

Ezra Miller Helps Native American Tribes Buy Sacred Land [VIDEO]

The ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ actor helps protect South Dakota land in new short film.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: November 14th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Ezra Miller Helps Native American Tribes Buy Sacred Land [VIDEO]

Standing Rock Sioux tribal member, Chase Iron Eyes, has enlisted the celebrity support of ‘The Perks of being a Wallflower’ actor, Ezra Miller, and hip hop producer, Sol Guy, in an attempt to raise $9 million by the end of November 2012.

Miller and Guy appear in a new short documentary-style film with Last Real Indians founder, Chase Iron Eyes, in hopes of raising awareness and money to buy back a piece of land in North Dakota that Native American Great Sioux Nation tribes consider sacred. The land was granted to the tribes 150 years ago, but people illegally homesteaded and are now selling the land for development.

Approx. 2,000 acres of the Black Hills in South Dakota, called Pe’Sla, is an important part of the Sioux Nation’s creation story. Unfortunately, the sacred site is currently on private land outside Sioux control. When the land recently went up for sale, tribal members were worried it would be purchased for development, due to its’ close proximity to Mount Rushmore. In order to protect the land, the Sioux Nation members are going to great lengths to raise the necessary funds.

Luckily, after tribal members expressed outrage and extreme concern, land owners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds cancelled the public auction of the property. The Reynolds accepted the tribes’ bid of $9 million, under the condition they can deliver by November 30th.

Iron Eyes revealed that the tribes’ have raised $7 million at this point, and he hopes that the new 9-minute short film starring Miller and Guy will aid in raising the final $2 million through an online social campaign. He also revealed that an earlier online campaign raised more than $300,000.

"Last time, it was real grassroots, it just sort of grew on its own fire, its own energy," Iron Eyes said. "But this time we're adding some extra voices to broaden the network."

"I came out here with the intention of being an observer ... I felt kind of removed from the story. But now, it's fairly clear to me that nobody is removed from this story," Miller says in the film.

"This story is central to all of our history and this struggle also cannot be removed. We are all inherently involved in what is going on out here."

For more information or to donate, visit www.lastrealindians.com

PE'SLA 2012 from Village Beat on Vimeo.

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