Native American monument proposal moves forward - KOTA Territory News

Native American monument project moves forward

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A proposed Native American monument project in Hallie Park in Rapid City, made it over its first hurdle Wednesday.

The Rapid City Parks and Recreation Board approved a motion that will direct staff to create a memorandum of understanding between the City and the First Nations Board.

The vote to move the project forward didn't come easy. Parks and Recreation Board Members discussed the proposed sculpture garden for more than an hour. The majority of the Board had concerns regarding parking and traffic in the area. In addition, comments made by First Nations Board Member, Elizabeth Cook Lynn, at a previous meeting had a few Parks and Rec. Board members worried.

Some of Cook Lynn's comments were that she did not want whites or large groups of school children congregating at the site.

"My duty I feel on this board is to look out for the betterment of everybody in this community, regardless of race, creed, color, religion or whatever.," Parks and Rec.. Board Member Rick Askvig said.

Cook Lynn told the Board tonight that her comments were in reference to large groups of people visiting the monument at one time. The idea is that the sculpture garden will be a contemplative area to honor a variety of 20th Century Native Americans, not a place for large gatherings.

Since the motion passed, the First Nations Group says they'll be able to begin fundraising for the project, which will be 100 percent privately funded.

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