SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — More celebrities are backing an online campaign to raise money so that Native American tribes in South Dakota can purchase land they consider sacred.
P Diddy and Bette Midler are the latest big names to throw their support behind a fundraising effort to buy nearly 2,000 acres of pristine prairie grass in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Three days after the campaign began, P Diddy tweeted: "Help save the Sioux Nation! Click here," and linked to the website. Midler also lent her voice, tweeting: "Incredible story re the Sioux Sacred Grounds. Donate what you can."
More than $18,000 had been raised as of Sunday afternoon — $6,000 flowed in immediately after P Diddy's tweet. The campaign will last through Nov. 30, when the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation must have $9 million in order to purchase the land.
The tribes have raised $7 million so far for the 1,942 acres, which they call Pe' Sla (pay shlaw), or "old baldy." There are Sioux tribes in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Canada.
The property is important to their creation story, and tribal members have long held ceremonies there. When the land was put up for sale, tribal members worried it would be developed because of its proximity to Mount Rushmore.
Landowners Leonard and Margaret Reynolds canceled a public auction of the property earlier this year after tribal members expressed outrage. The Reynolds then accepted the tribes' bid to purchase the land for $9 million if they have the money by Nov. 30.
The couple has repeatedly said they will not speak publicly about the land sale.
P Diddy and Midler join actor Ezra Miller and hip-hop producer Sol Guy showing their support for the cause.
Miller, who appears in the recently released movie "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and Sol Guy flew to South Dakota last month to film a nine-minute documentary-style video about the land that is being used as part of the online campaign.