Crazy Horse

I couldn’t wait to see the Crazy Horse Memorial. Crazy Horse was a Sioux Indian elder and war chief who embodied the spirit and resilience of Native Americans. He had the American spirit long before Toby Keith wrote any songs about it. The warrior refused to sign any treaties with the white men, leave his land or move to a reservation.

He was patriotic but not to a country. He remained firmly committed to his tribe and the land that made their life possible. This monument is meant to celebrate his legacy. But what it celebrates is greed and incompetence.

For almost two decades near-to-no real progress has been made since Crazy Hourse’s face was revealed in the 1990s. The organization that now runs the non-profit memorial has backed away from a 2050 completion date and there is no formal date. They pride themselves that they take no Federal funding despite numerous offers.

But let’s put this in perspective, the monument it was supposed to rival, Mt. Rushmore, also prides itself on not taking Federal funding but for the tiny sum of $1 million dollars was completed in 17 years.

The memorial foundation that is suspiciously run by the deceased art’s wife and kids charges $10 per person for admission into the park which gets you almost no closer the monument itself. Then for an additional $4 per person you can take a rickety bus ride to the base of the mountain again doesn’t give you much of a view of the progress that hasn’t been made.

Back at the Visitor Center, they have a badly organized “museum”, present one of the worst orientation videos we’ve seen and encourage you to spend your money at Native American art booths that hawk low quality jewelry, Crazy Horse videos, and whose artists probably pay an expensive display fee to the foundation.

In conclusion, a monument that displays the spirit of the Lakota people has been turned into a farce – too much money being spent on too many things that aren’t the monument.

Save your money, take a picture from the entrance and use your $10 for something more practical…like gambling in Deadwood.