- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - A consortium of three Native American tribes has outbid 21 other registered bidders to buy South Dakota property near the Bear Butte monument for more than $1 million.

The successful bidders were the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, auctioneer Lonnie Arneson told the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/2govfW9).

Arneson said owner Irene Millin, whose family has owned the 270 acres of property for nearly 75 years, was surprised by the purchase price.

“It was exciting,” he said. “We had a full house of people and a set of buyers who had educated themselves about the area, and they bid quite freely. They had done their research and were prepared to bid, and they were well-financed.”

Bear Butte has cultural significance to many tribes. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe owns ground at the northwest corner of Bear Butte, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe already owns over 500 acres around the mountain.

Arneson said tribal representatives told him they didn’t have plans to develop the property. However, when he informed them that three generations of the Coe family rented the land from the Millins, Arneson said, “they thought that was pretty cool and asked to have the Coe family contact them, because they may just carry on that tradition.”

The tribes have already put 15 percent down on their purchase, and will pay 35 percent more on or before Dec. 15 under sale terms.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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