Dakota (Agenzia Fides) - The Jesuits are returning more than 500 hectares of land to the Rosebud Indian Reservation (RIR), the Sioux Indian reserve in South Dakota.
The operation should be completed at the end of May. The United States government had granted the property to the Jesuits in 1880 for churches and cemeteries, according to a video by Jesuit John Hatcher, president of St. Francis's mission. "At the beginning of the mission, we had 23 missionary stations - recalls Fr. Hatcher -. But over the years, as people moved away from the countryside, those churches were closed because they were no longer used".
"It is time to return all those plots of land, that were handed over to the Church for religious purposes, to the tribe" adds Hatcher, who emphasizes the opportunity to return the land that rightly belongs to the Lakota people, including the Rosebud Sioux.
This land "could be used for farming purposes, for pasture use, could be used for community development, and could continue to be used for religious purposes", said Harold Compton, executive Vice director of Tribal Land Enterprises, the Rosebud Sioux land management company. There are about 25,000 people registered as Rosebud Sioux, of whom 15,000 live on the reserve. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 11/05/2017)