The First Nations Sculpture Garden Project

The First Nations Sculpture Garden is a visionary new effort to honor the historical and intellectual accomplishments of 20th century indigenous leaders in South Dakota and will be a framework for understanding the modern life of the Oyate (the People). It will be built in what is now called Halley Park in Rapid City and feature permanent cast bronze portrait busts of honorees.

Halley Park is the quintessential place for this monument. At the heart of any indigenous world is always the land. It was the site of the original Sioux Indian Museum and this small parcel of land embodies the heart-felt memories and oral traditions for Indians in this region. This park is grounded by the intent of the Peace Treaty signed by the U.S. Government and the Great Sioux Nation at Fort Laramie in 1868 and the landscape design symbolizes the generations of occupancy by native people.

The Sculpture Garden will feature cast bronze bust sculptures of honorees:

The lives of these honored men spanned several generations of modern Lakota/Dakota/Nakota history, which resulted in dramatic progress in medicine, religion and philosophy, art, and law and public policy. The survival and adaptation of the indigenous people’s religion and worldview invites all peoples into the contemporary lives of these leaders and the indigenous people that live here today.

Project Gallery

Follow along with the project’s progression by clicking through our photo gallery.

Site Plan

Site Plan

Conceptual site plan as visualized by 42nd Street Studio, Dream Design International, Inc. Click here to view larger...

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View Across

View Across

View across Halley Park looking north towards Main Avenue, as visualized by 42nd Street Studio, Dream Design International, Inc. Click here to view larger...

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Aerial View

Aerial View

Bird’s eye view looking west over Halley Park as visualized by 42nd Street Studio, Dream Design International, Inc. Click here to view larger...

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Organizational Information

First Nations Sculpture Garden, Inc. was certified as a non-profit corporation on June 13, 2013, for the express purpose of building the sculpture garden at Halley Park. We are honored to be collaborating with the City of Rapid City to build and maintain the sculpture garden, and with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation as our fiscal sponsor. We sincerely value these relationships and the expertise they provide. We have an energetic timeframe and we invite the help of many volunteers. We welcome YOUR participation!

Prof. Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

Prof. Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

President

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a Santee Dakota (Crow Creek Sioux) scholar and author, is a Professor emerita of Native American studies and English at Eastern Washington University.

Florestine Kiyukanpi Renville

Florestine Kiyukanpi Renville

Secretary/Treasurer

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate member and charter member of the Oak Lake Writers’ Society of South Dakota State University in Brookings and Sisseton Wahpeton College on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

Dr. Edward Valandra

Dr. Edward Valandra

Dr. Edward Valandra is a Senior Research Fellow with the Community for the Advancement of Native Studies, University of Manitoba. He was previously Chair of Native Studies Department at the University of South Dakota. A Sicangu Lakota from St. Francis, Valandra served as Vine Deloria’s research assistant.

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German is from the Sisseton – Whapeton Oyate and lives in Peever, South Dakota. He is a former vice-chairman of his tribe and member of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights.