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Native Sun News: Work continues on First Nations Sculpture Garden

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn (left) and Mayor Steve Allender at the August 20, 2015, blessing ceremony for the First Nations Sculpture Garden (FNSG) project at Halley Park in the heart of Rapid City, South Dakota. File photo by Native Sun News

Sculpture Garden remarks insensitive
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY –– The downtown streets of Rapid City are lined with life-size bronze statues of the Presidents of the Unites States; considered by some to be heroes of the American west and “founding fathers” of this country.

Each summer a new round of unsuspecting tourists follow city maps to pose with their favorite U.S. President with patriotic information which leaves out certain aspects of the presidents’ offices. These footnotes in history are often not part of the national dialogue or American educational system.

To many, these paternalistic stone figures serve as a reminder to many American Indians of the colonization of the continent by force, murder, mass-murder and false coercion by the state. The men depicted on these statues signed the documents which made legal the stealing of the land from indigenous nations.

Many of these presidents also took physical part or had administrative roles in the genocide of indigenous people. This is the history not always represented in patriotic literature. Many Americans don’t realize the largest mass hanging in U.S. history was that of 38 Dakota; Abraham Lincoln signed their death warrant.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Sculpture Garden remarks insensitive

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Copyright permission Native Sun News

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: First Nations Sculpture Garden breaks ground (08/28)
Native Sun News: 'First Nations' park in Rapid City takes shape (4/6)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Telling the indigenous story with public art (10/1)

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