Cal Thunder Hawk
Tribes seek date change for Little Big Horn dedication
by Cal Thunder Hawk Lakota Journal Staff Writer
RAPID CITY–As the Indian Memorial at Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument—currently under construction—nears its scheduled completion on Sept. 19, Darrell J. Cook, the acting superintendent of the LBHBNM located on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, has received numerous requests from tribes, according to tribal resolutions, to change the date of the tentatively scheduled dedication ceremony of the Indian Memorial.
The Fort Peck tribes, and the Northern Cheyenne tribe, have passed resolutions that recommend that a change from the tentatively scheduled date, Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2002, to June 25, 2003—the 127th anniversary of the battle of the Little Big Horn.
The Indian Memorial commemorates the Native Americans who participated in the battle of the Little Big Horn June 25, 1876.
The Indian Memorial was authorized under Public Law 102-201, signed by former President Bush Dec. 10, 1991. The Fiscal Year 2002 Interior Appropriations Act appropriated $2.3 million to build the memorial.
The design for the memorial—awarded to John R. Collins and Alison J. Towers—was selected from entries submitted to the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument Indian Memorial Advisory Committee, appointed by congress under the provisions of the act that authorized the legislation.
Leonard R. Bruguier, Ph.D., chairman of the Indian Memorial Advisory Committee, said “I was informed last week by Mr. Darrell Cook, acting LBHBNM superintendent, that considerable interest is evident from tribes who participated in the battle on changing the dedication ceremony’s date.
“As I understand it, Mr. Cook is taking tribal opinions quite seriously. As chairman of the LBBNM Indian Memorial Advisory Committee, I applaud the National Park Service's effort to meet with concerned tribal people to work out a satisfactory ceremony, both as to date and the actual agenda.
“This is a relatively new phenomena amongst Park Service superintendents: that is, consulting and taking, seriously, input from tribal people. In the past, the Park Service always knew better than anybody else and therefore ignored tribal suggestions to improve services on our national lands. In this particular case, I think a bona fide effort is being made to comply with tribal opinions about this long-delayed memorial.”