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Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux citizen opens bookstore

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | Business | National
More on: books, lily mendoza, native sun news, rapid city, south dakota

An interior view of the Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile, owned by Cheyenne River Sioux citizen Lily Mendoza, in Rapid City, South Dakota. Courtesy photo

Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile open in Racing Magpie
By Native Sun News Today Staff

RAPID CITY –– The Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile recently opened its doors in the old Abby Feed and Seed Building located at 406 5th Street.

The book store will feature Native American book titles of the Northern Plains, including children’s books, women’s literature, print on demand books and Native American classics such as Custer Died for Your Sins, Lost Bird of Wounded Knee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Waterlily and more.

Bird Cage has also dedicated sections in the store to books written by local Native American authors: Tim Giago, Joseph Marshall III, Virginia Driving Hawk-Sneve, Don Montileaux, Donovan Sprague and Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, just to name a few.

“We are dedicated to preserving our stories by carrying literature of our Indigenous writers and making sure our people and others have access to these stories and books,” said Lily Mendoza, the store’s owner who is a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Space in the Racing Magpie also allows for community events around literature. For the grand opening on March 20, Joseph Marshall, Don Montileaux, Gerald Yellowhawk and Tim Giago celebrated by signing books and visiting with students and community members. Children enjoyed the day making book marks and books.

The Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile is located in the old Abby Feed and Seed Building located at 406 5th Street in Rapid City, South Dakota. Courtesy photo

Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile also carries Fair Trade products, such as canned goods from the Cheyenne River Youth Project, book bags made by a local Lakota woman and Julie Boucher Fry Bread Mix.

“We will continue to add products, to support our local and regional artisans,” Mendoza said.

Because women play such a big role in family structure and community, Bird Cage Book Store is working hard to build a comprehensive collection on women’s literature. The collection will not only include books written by or on Native women, but of women of the plains.

The Racing Magpie space will allow Bird Cage Book Store to organize community book clubs and discussions, children’s activities, such as story times. Upcoming events include:
April 22
Book Signing
Crazy Horse: Lakota Warriors
Storytime and Children’s Earth Day Activity

April 29
Book Signing
”Neither Wolf nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn and other titles
Paper Making by Cary Thrall (registration fee $75)
Storytime and activities
May Book Discussion -- “Black Elk Speaks’
Call for more details

June 24
First Annual Black Hills Indigenous Writers Festival: Remembering the “Battles of Greasy Grass”
Call for writers open until April 15
Contact Lily at 605-431-8231

Books are also available to purchase at

For more news and opinion, visit the Native Sun News Today website: Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile open in Racing Magpie

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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