A tribal development plan in South Carolina, which aims to boost the health and economic well-being of the Lakota people, is being challenged in court.
The federal government sued to block the plan because it does not meet legal requirements.
But tribal leaders argue that the plan is needed for the health of their people.
“We have had a lot of health problems for decades.
We have had problems with our teeth, with our digestion, with infections, and we’ve had problems in our teeth,” said the Lakotas leader, Dwayne Wylie.
The lawsuit is being brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Native American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
“It’s not only a threat to the environment, it’s also a threat of harm to the health,” said Wyly.
The tribal development plans would build homes, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure to provide basic necessities to the tribe.
The tribes leaders argue the project will be a boon to the region’s economy and provide jobs for Lakota.
The tribe already owns a 1,000-acre parcel in South Charleston that would be developed into housing, according to the tribal development site.
The Lakota tribe would be allowed to use it as a reserve.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has been negotiating with the tribes about how to develop the land.
The development could cost up to $200 million and take years to complete.
The project also would require the use of eminent domain.
Wylier said the tribal government and the tribes’ legal team are working hard to protect the plan and protect the tribe’s future.
“They are really working to defend this project, and to do the right thing and do the work to make sure that this is not a land grab,” he said.
The suit was filed in federal court in Columbia.
The Department of Justice is defending the project, which has faced stiff opposition from local tribes.
But the tribe and the federal government are now at odds over how to interpret a 1996 law, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation Reclamation Act, that gives tribes the authority to take land and develop it.
The law has been criticized by Native American groups as an unconstitutional encroachment on tribal land rights.
It requires that the land be developed in a way that will create jobs, increase local economic growth, and protect future generations from future environmental damage.
The Obama administration has been trying to reach a compromise.
The Standing Rock Indian Reservation Reservation Act is not on the table as an option.
The Sioux tribe has repeatedly asked for more than $1 billion to help develop the tribal land, which is located in South Dakot, but the tribes leaders are fighting back against the administration’s efforts.
“If they want to be fair, we’re still here,” said one of the tribe leaders, Danyae Kalee.
“This is not just a land issue.
This is about the future of our people and the future for our children.”