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President Killer commends DOI’s decision over Mount Rushmore fireworks celebration

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Last week Governor Kristi Noem announced she was suing the Biden Administration over a declined permit to hold a fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore.

At Monday’s tourism conference at Mount Rushmore, Noem says she is disappointed that the state doesn’t have the opportunity to host the celebration for the second year with hopes President Joe Biden would be a part of it.

Noem says her alternatives were limited and chose to file a lawsuit to try to get the permits.

”We already had a memorandum of agreement signed and in place with the National Parks Service, the Department of Interior, all the local authorities. The agreement was already signed and by not giving us our permits, they should have given us a reason as to why,” says Noem.

In a statement Monday, Oglala Sioux Tribe President Kevin Killer commended secretary of the Department of Interior Deb Haaland for “considering input from local tribal nations and their desire to protect the Black Hills from contamination, and the possibility of forest fires.”

President goes on to say: “The Black Hills are sacred to surrounding tribes, and we applaud the Biden Administration’s decision to support the denial of the fireworks permit. This decision will keep citizens and visitors safe during this critical time during the pandemic, at the same time of allowing our tribal citizens to observe their right to worship during a time of renewal,” says Killer.

FULL STATEMENT: “On March 11, 2021, the Department of Interior sent South Dakota a letter ending the possibility of having a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore in July, 2020. My Administration, along with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, would like to commend Secretary Haaland for considering input from local tribal nations and their desire to protect the Black Hills from contamination, and the possibility of forest fires. The Black Hills are sacred to surrounding tribes, and we applaud the Biden Administration’s decision to support the denial of the fireworks permit. This decision will keep citizens and visitors safe during this critical time during the pandemic, at the same time of allowing our tribal citizens to observe their right to worship during a time of renewal.” -Oglala Sioux Tribe President Kevin Killer.

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