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Please help keep the spirit alive!

The Cheyenne River Veterans Association provides support to their country and community by:

  • Encouraging participation in the Armed Forces.
  • Assisting the families of those serving in the Armed Forces.
  • Assisting returning service men and woman.
  • Assisting the Cheyenne River communities.

Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation has a population of roughly 8,500 with many living in remote communities without water and sanitation systems. Few jobs available and many tribal members are unemployed. Two-thirds of the population survives on much less than one-third of the U.S. average income. The Veterans Association is a leader is providing support.

One example: In January of 2010 a blizzard and ice storm swept across the reservation, downing as many as 3,000 power lines and leaving thousands of residents without power, heat or water. Response to the disaster was slow. Many elderly residents dependent on dialysis treatment required evacuation to nearby towns. The Cheyenne River Veterans Association was there to help during and after the storm.

The Cheyenne River Veterans have have a long history of service and are highly regarded, so much so that they were asked to become one of the keepers of the three flags that flew over the 9-11 Towers.

To keep this spirit alive, we want to build a memorial park to honor these veterans and for those who follow in their footsteps. Please provide a donation today. All proceeds will be used to build this park.


The Cheyenne River Veteran’s Vision

New CRST Veterans Center

The Cheyenne River Veteran’s Memorial Park was a vision of the CRST Game, Fish, & Parks Department (GFP) and the Cheyenne River Veterans Association and since has become a working reality of the GFP and the Cheyenne River Veteran’s Association (VA). Originally, the Game, Fish, & Parks Department had decided to build a park in a central location that would benefit all the people of the Cheyenne River Reservation. Subsequently, an initiative was set forth by the GFP staff to not only create a park that would benefit the people but also honor the people as well. In an effort to fulfill this initiative, the GFP contacted the Cheyenne River Veterans Association with the idea of creating a veterans’ memorial located in between the pow wow grounds and the GFP building. Various park designs were considered during the planning process but the ultimate decision (design concept seen above) was one that would reflect the strength and unity of the Lakota Culture. Given the deign and extensive nature of the park, it is scheduled to be complete in 2020.

The Park will be located where the current softball field is located. The softball field will be relocated to an area just north of “Chinatown”.  An addition to the GFP’s parking lot will provide parking for the park and will lead to two entrances at the north end of the park; at the west entrance to you will be greeted by an authentic Russian T-72 Tank that was captured during desert storm in the early 1990′s. The two entrances lead to a colored asphalt walkway that will meet and form an arch. Along this walkway you will find a flag from each of the Lakota allies and a flag from each US military branch.  At the apex of the arch there will be the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s emblem on a raised hill built into the ground with colored blocks.

The arch will lead to a stage and at the center of the stage there will be a medicine wheel recreated as a majestic fountain. The stage can be used for honoring veterans or other presentations. Along the walkway to the stage there will be permanent bleachers for those in attendance to such presentations. Along the edge of the stage will be benches representing the seven council fires.  There will be a walkway that skirts the stage which turns into a walkway that will depict two eagle feathers.

The two feathers will be a moving memorial in honor of all veterans on the Cheyenne River Reservation. The walkways will be made of colored asphalt to depict the feathers. Along the walkway will be memorial walls that will be made of stone boulders donated by the Crazy Horse Monument. For each was war, one boulder will be split in half, with a brief description of the war inscribed on one side and a list of those who fought in it on the other side. At the tip of the west feather there will be an observation tower that can be climbed to get a real view of the park itself. At the tip of the east feather will be a bridge walkway which will hover over the current wetland located south of the Game, Fish, and Parks building. This building will be used to educate individuals on the different aspects of wetlands and the associated wildlife. Inside and around the park, native fruit bearing trees and plants such as Choke Cherry, June Berry, and Silver Buffalo Berry, and River Bank Grapes
will be planted and can later be harvested and used to make jellies and jams to sell as an annual fundraiser for the park. Sweetgrass will be planted throughout the park which can be harvested and used for either either cultural purposes or for replanting the dwindling sweetgrass population.

There will be a wrought iron fence around the perimeter of the park. In an effort to begin fundraising an individual may “purchase” a panel and have their brand or a different object welded on to the panel to commemorate a fallen family member or friend. It is also in the plans to have local metal workers, or school programs produce the wrought iron panels. Once the panels are constructed they will be hung on small brick pillars that can be “purchased” in commemoration of a family member of friend.

If you have any questions about the Park you may contact the GFP office at 605-964-7812 or to register any comments please pickup provided literature at the GFP office.


 


The CRST Veterans discuss their vision:
A Veterans Memorial Park on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
 

 

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