In one of Oglala Lakota newspaperman Tim Giago’s most recent columns (published today in The Daily Republic) he mentioned the American Indian speakers and exhibits that were started at Mount Rushmore by Gerard Baker, the first Indian superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Giago said that while the Indian speakers and exhibits have been a hit with many people, they’ve been criticized by others:
The native speakers and exhibits soon became two of the most popular features at the memorial, much to the chagrin of many white residents of Rapid City and the surrounding region. “These are our Hills and our presidents on display and the Indian things Baker is bringing to the memorial do not belong there,” was the biggest and probably the most ridiculous complaint.
Is there a place for Indian exhibits and speakers at Mount Rushmore, or should the memorial’s purpose be limited to honoring U.S. democracy and some of its legendary leaders?