Editorial: Readers of Rapid City newspaper never fail to disappoint

Sounds like you need some cheese with that WHINE!

You know what you can do with ‘Your Two Cents?’
By Native Sun News Editorial Board

If one reads a section of the Rapid City Journal called “Your Two Cents” one could come away with the impression that there are a lot of prejudiced, nay more than that; ignorant people living in Rapid City.

A year or two ago Elizabeth Cook-Lynn came up with the idea to set aside a place in the city she called the “Sculpture Garden” where the statues of South Dakota’s famous Native Americans would be featured.

First of all, it was a tremendous fight with the Rapid City Council to get the Halley Park site approved. With the intervention of then Mayor Sam Kooiker it was finally, but reluctantly approved by the City Parks Board over the objections of the City Council.

The Halley family was dead set against it, totally forgetting that the land chosen by Elizabeth had been Lakota land long before the white settlers claimed it as their own. They also forgot that the Black Hills are still considered to be Sioux land by the Lakota people. They have never been paid for the stolen land and have refused to accept the money that was offered to them in the Black Hills Claims Settlement.

One anonymous writer wrote, “If the suicide prevention clinic to be built at Sioux San has been deemed inconveniently far from the reservation for Native patients, won’t a sculpture garden in Halley Park be inconveniently far for Native visitors as well? How about placing the sculptures on a reservation somewhere?”

The Indian people already know the history of the people that would be honored and the white people, for the most part, do not and that is why the statues should be placed in Halley Park in Rapid City. We need to educate our white neighbors and visitors to the Black Hills that we also had heroes and that your heroes are not necessarily our heroes, like George Armstrong Custer, for example.

But, as our political cartoonist Dwayne Wilcox pointed out last week the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has built a fence between the Lakota living in the Black Hills and the Pine Ridge Reservation. We either live on Sioux land or we do not. There are statues of white Presidents of the United States on every downtown street corner in Rapid City. Some of those depicted did absolutely horrible things to the Indian people (including Abraham Lincoln) but the local Lakota people never suggested that they be placed in Philadelphia.

Native Sun News suggested long ago that students from Oglala Lakota College make it a project to research the history of every statue of presidents downtown and then publish that study so the history of how each of these presidents dealt with Native American will be known to all including the numbskulls who continually flaunt their ignorance on the “Your Two Cents” section of the Rapid City Journal.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: You know what you can do with ‘Your Two Cents?’

(The Native Sun News Editorial Board can be reached at editor@nsweekly.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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