Sitting Bull's tribe to regain control of southern Badlands

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Nearly 120 years after the last massacre of Native Americans by the United States cavalry at Wounded Knee, some of the lands confiscated from their descendants are to be returned to the Oglala Sioux.

Badlands National Park in South Dakota, which encompasses Wounded Knee, is one of the poorest parts of the US. It has few paved roads. Unemployment is shockingly high among the Sioux. Alcoholism is rampant and there are high rates of suicide and imprisonment of American Indians.

After decades of protests, the park service is now planning to return the southern part of the park to Indian control. It will take an act of Congress to approve, but is expected to occur next year. Though broadly welcomed by the Sioux residents, there are those who say the land should be returned to the original owners for private use rather than to the tribal council as a park.

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