Fort Robinson State Park
We started off our day traveling to Fort Robinson State Park. Along with holding 22,000 of beautiful scenery, buffalo herds, and exhibits, Ft. Robinson was where Chief Crazy Horse was killed in 1877.
Running Strong has supported Ft. Robinson Intertribal Gathering since 2001, two years after it started. We have also supported the Ft. Robinson Spiritual Outbreak Run which commemorates the Northern Cheyenne Outbreak on January 9, 1879 when Chief Dull Knife’s band tried to escape their prison conditions.
Museum of the Fur Trade
Next, we made a quick stop at the Museum of the Fur Trade which is home to a world class collection of items from Native peoples all over the continent. It tells the story of the primary economic engine of the time, the fur trade.
In the afternoon, we made our way to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Our first stop was to visit the site of an ongoing water hookup. Getting people reliable access to clean water has been a main goal of Running Strong’s since our beginning and the water hookup program is the newest version of that effort! We spoke with Sam O’Rourke, a vendor who works with our staff at The Tipi Waste Un Zanipi office to drill and tap into the water lines.
Wounded Knee Memorial
We then went to Wounded Knee to pay our respects for the lost men and women of the Lakota Nation. The Wounded Knee Memorial the site of both the massacre of Chief Spotted Elk's band on December 29, 1890 and the second Wounded Knee American Indian Movement (AIM) standoff of 1973.
The Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 resulted in more than 200 Lakota men, women, and children being killed by U.S. troops.
The 1973 standoff between AIM and the United States government jumpstarted a revival of cultural pride of Native people in the US. In the months, years, and decades following, many Native cultural traditions and ceremonies have been revived.
Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing
In the evening, we visited Pinky Clifford and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing (OSTPH). Running Strong has partnered with OSTPH to make small scale home repairs for families in need on Pine Ridge. They also work on financial and housing counseling to help clients build credit and teach them about how to obtain a mortgage. Pinky also showed us a “tiny but mighty” home that she hopes will help ease the burden of overcrowding on the reservation.