Al Jazeera’s Daljit Dhaliwal recently visited Sturgis, South Dakota to report how Native Americans in the area feel the popular Black Hills Motor Classic motorcycle rally is threatening one of their sacred sites. While the rally provides an economic boost to the area, it’s coming closer and closer to affecting Bear Butte, a site sacred to South Dakota tribes.
“For the Great Plains tribes Bear Butte is just as important as Mecca is to Muslims or Mount Sinai is to Jews,” Dhaliwal says in the video.
Jace Decory, Lakota, says the situation has escalated because of a lack of awareness.
The tribes want a “buffer zone” to stop the rally from moving closer to Bear Butte, and local officials say the rally isn’t disrespectful to the tribes. Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen said balancing the two sides is difficult.