Bette Midler and Sean Combs boost profile of Native American tribe campaign

The tribes of the Great Sioux Nation have launched an online bid to raise $9 million (£5.63 million) by 30 November (12), so elders can purchase almost 2,000 acres (800 hectares) of land in the Black Hills.

Property owners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds agreed to cancel a public auction to offload the area, known to the tribes as Pe’ Sla (Old Baldy), earlier this year (12), after group leaders voiced their fears about losing the land, which has been used for special ceremonies for years, to developers.

The Reynolds subsequently reached a deal to sell to the tribes if they were able to meet the $9 million price tag by the end of the month (Nov12).

The Native Americans had already accumulated the majority of the funds, but launched a campaign on to raise the remaining $1 million (£625,000) needed for the purchase.

Their efforts have now been given a boost by Midler and Combs, who have both used their blogs to raise the profile of the campaign.

Actress/singer Midler wrote, “Incredible story re the Sioux Sacred Grounds. Donate what you can”, while Combs added, “Help save the Sioux Nation!”, before providing fans with a link to the campaign website.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower actor Ezra Miller and music producer Sol Guy have also been doing their part to draw attention to the cause by filming a short video about the land and the tribes’ campaign.

As of Monday afternoon (19Nov12), $36,437 (£22,773) of the $1 million had been raised, with 12 days to go.