South Dakota tribe contacts FCC regarding towers on sacred butte

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A Native Tribe in Reliance, S.D., has asked the FCC to examine the location of a commercial broadcasting tower on Medicine Butte — where South Dakota Public Broadcasting also has an tower, reports the Daily Republic in Mitchell. Michael Jandreau, chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux, said he sent a letter to the FCC after a storm brought down the tower last month, requesting an opportunity to discuss the the situation because his tribe regards Medicine Butte as a sacred site. Fritz Miller at SDPB said the station does not anticipate moving its tower. He told Current that laws on tribal boundaries were changed last year, giving tribes the opportunity to buy back land. According to SeVern Ashes, SDPB director of engineering, “The butte is part of the tribe’s creation history and is still used today for vision quest and prayers.” The station checked its land deed and guy wire easements a few years back and is satisfied it is legally covered if the Lower Brule Sioux decide to buy back the butte.