Native Sun News: Powwow set to honor Rapid City flood victims

The following story was written and reported by the Associated Press, with contributions from Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News editor. All content © Native Sun News.

RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA (AP) –– A powwow has been planned for June 9 in Rapid City to honor the victims of the 1972 flood that killed more than 200 people.

The powwow will be held on Saturday, June 9 at 12 p.m. at the Mother Butler Center, located at 221 Knollwood Drive, and includes a memorial dinner at 5 p.m. and wiping of the tears ceremony in which the names of the 238 flood victims will be read in the presence of survivors and friends. Hazel Bonner, publicity secretary for the event, says powwow officials hope the event can help bring together the Native and non-Native communities in Rapid City.

The event is co-sponsored by flood survivors and their families and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association.

Several other events are planned for the weekend of June 8-10 in Rapid City to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the flood.

An account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank for donations to help offset powwow costs.

Donations can be sent to American Indian Flood Memorial, MAC N9747-011, 1016 Mountain View Road, Rapid City, SD 57702. For additional details about the memorial powwow account, contact Wells Fargo at (605) 394-3980.

In-kind donations also are being accepted and volunteers to assist with the powwow are needed. An office has been established at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church, next to Mother Butler, to accept in-kind donations.

For more information on how to help, contact A. Gay Kingman, GPTCA executive director, at

(Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News editor, contributed to this article.)

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