On August 28 through August 30, native artists and leaders will gather for the second annual Black Hills Unity Concert in South Dakota to raise awareness about the Great Sioux Nation’s rightful guardianship of the Black Hills. Dozens of internationally recognized musicians, Native American leaders, and supporters worldwide will be in attendance, as well as community leaders from the 12 Lakota, Dakota and Nakota reservations, to present solutions to social and environmental challenges.
On Friday, August 28 indigenous community leaders, renowned musicians representing both the Native and mainstream music industries, as well as thousands of concerned citizens from all walks of life will gather in the Black Hills for a weekend of ceremony, workshops, empowerment, and unity around one often misunderstood matter—the fact that the Black Hills are sacred.
Held just outside Rapid City in Piedmont, South Dakota, the Black Hills Unity Concert is monumental and aims to develop a greater understanding among all peoples on why the Black Hills are sacred to many Indigenous Peoples and why that acknowledgement needs to include the entire human family.
“Our elders advised us to remind people, through example, what the Black Hills were for. In ancestral times no one lived there, they were only visited in times of prayer. They were a place to set aside our differences and pray for all our relations,” Black Hills Unity Concert lead organizer Lyla Johnston Diné/Cheyenne, said. “Reconciling divided cultures and finding a solution to the Black Hills issue lies at the heart of the concert, yes, but it is also much more than that. It is a place for people to put their minds together and pray for solutions to the social, environmental and indigenous issues that we face today.”
Originally started in 2014, the Black Hills Unity Concert has already made its mark on social and environmental issues affecting the many Indigenous Peoples of this hemisphere. It is more than a concert; it is a movement that in its inaugural year, attracted a crowd well over 2,000, and showcases tremendous potential to continue to expand its message to the masses—the Black Hills are sacred and must be protected by the original stewards that find the Hills the “heart of everything that is.”
Performers include hip hop artist and activist Stuart James (Spirit Lake Dakota), hip hop phenomenon Frank Waln (Rosebud Sicangu Oyate), award-winning Native American musician Keith Secola (Anishinabe), award-winning hip hop artist and dancer Supaman (Crow), inspirational Diné musician and poet Lyla June (Navajo), spoken word artist and singer Shawn Little Thunder (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), award-winning flutist and singer Cody Blackbird (Dakota/Cherokee), alternative/blues duo Scatter Their Own (Oglala Sioux Tribe), renowned Native American flutist Darren Thompson (Ojibwe/Tohono Oodham), award-winning Native American women’s a capella group Ulali, and many others. Also joining them will be singer and environmental activist Tina Malia; cello and voice duo Bethany and Rufus; Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino singer and songwriter Nahko Bear; and the astounding and well-known Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary.
The Black Hills Unity Concert is free and open to the public. For more information on the Black Hills Unity Concert including venue location, schedule of events, list of performers and lodging please visit www.theblackhillsarenotforsale.org.
Black Hills Unity Concert
Friday, August 28 through Sunday, August 30, 2015
Elk Creek Resort, Piedmont, South Dakota