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Native Sun News Today: 'Dignity' statue brings diverse community together






The Lakota Women Warriors Society pose before Dignity with artist laureate Dale Lamphere. Photo by Ernestine Chasing Hawk

A statue of remembrance
Dignity makes her debut
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Today Editor
nsweekly.com

CHAMBERLAIN –– She began with a dream, and then became a plan and the work of artistic geniuses made her a reality.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, as wafts of Peji Hota (Sage) spiraled upward to greet her, “Dignity,” the 50 foot statue created by artist laureate Dale Lamphere and his team, made her debut before an audience of diverse backgrounds.

The ceremony began with honor songs by Dakota Boyz Teca Youth Drum Group from Crow Creek and the Blue Bird Drum Group. Leading the grand entry and posting the colors were VFW Post #6436 and the Lakota Women Warriors Society. They were followed by Wambli Ska Dance and Drum Society and their royalty.

As an eagle flew overhead, Belinda Joe Rencountre of Fort Thompson, Pastor Wilbur Holz and Rabbi Stanford Adelstein blessed Dignity. Adelstein after blowing his shofar offered this message, “May you leave this place today never to ignore the dignity of every one you meet.”

State Sen. Troy Heinert, a Rosebud Sioux Tribal member, said it was fitting to welcome Dignity during this time when tensions are running high between the races because Mni Wiconi (sacred water) is being threatened.

“She will be a catalyst for change on every level,” Heinert said. “I believe that she was sent here to open our hearts and our minds. Her outstretched arms overlooking Mni Wiconi are inviting us into her blanket where we can learn from each other, acknowledge our differences and celebrate our similarities.”

Also present to welcome her were Norm and Eunabel McKie and their family who gifted the $1 million sculpture to the people of South Dakota, which now graces a hillside overlooking the Missouri River in Chamberlain.

McKie said the idea for this one of a kind sculpture began with a dream he had several years ago. McKie, said to be a person of action, made a plan and presented it to several people including the artist laureate Lamphere of Sturgis, “And I think Dale outdid himself, I didn’t think he was going to do this well.”


Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: A statue of remembrance

(Contact Ernestine Chasing Hawk at editor@nsweekly.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News