150th Anniversary of the Treaty of Fort Laramie Public Forum

RAPID CITY, SD – The Journey Museum and Learning Center is hosting a public forum on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie Sunday, April 29th. Starting at 2 p.m., Dr. Craig Howe, director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies (CAIRNS) will lead a discussion on the treaty and its impact. No admission fee will be charged to attend this event. All are welcome, but seating is limited and will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis beginning at 1 p.m.

CAIRNS is an Indian-controlled nonprofit research and education center that is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them by developing quality educational resources and innovative projects that acknowledge and incorporate tribal perspectives, and by serving as a meeting ground for peoples and ideas that support these perspectives. For more information visit http://www.nativecairns.org or email info@nativecairns.org.

Learning Forums are wide-ranging, thought-provoking presentations. Each program features a forty-five minute presentation, followed by an open forum with questions and discussion about the topic.

For more information and details about this event or other items, be sure to call (605) 394-6923 or email visserv@journeymuseum.org.

The Journey Museum and Learning Center was established in 1997 and is conveniently located in downtown Rapid City at 222 New York St, 2 blocks east of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center right across from the Club for Boys.


PIERRE, S.D. – All South Dakota state driver exam stations will be closed for two days later this week for annual employee training.

Director Jane Schrank says the stations will be closed this Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28. The only station usually open on Saturdays is in Sioux Falls.

“Unless it is a holiday or inclement weather, like we had earlier this month, we rarely close the driver exam stations,” says Schrank. “But training for employees is also important.  We wanted to get this word out now so people can visit the exam station at another time.”

Schrank reminds people that they have 180 days prior to the expiration date of their license to renew. For information about online renewal or what documents are needed for a license renewal and a list of exam stations, click on to: http://dps.sd.gov/licensing/driver_licensing/.

The Driver Licensing program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe Specialty License Plates Available May 1st, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Department of Revenue will begin offering Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe specialty license plates May 1.

Vehicle owners may apply for the new tribal license plates at any time by visiting their local county treasurer’s office or online at https://mysdcars.sd.gov during their renewal period. The plates will be available for the cost of $10 plus a $5 mailing fee.

“We are pleased to add the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s specialty plate, as we now offer plates representing all nine tribes in South Dakota,” Motor Vehicle Division Director Lisa Weyer said. “The $10 fee associated with these plates is dispersed to the designated tribe for the maintenance, construction and supervision of tribal highways and bridges.”

The new plates will be a part of South Dakota’s plate on-demand program. The plates will be printed after the application is submitted, and residents will receive their plates by mail within 10 business days.

The Department of Revenue also offers standard and veteran tribal license plates for the following tribes:

  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
  • Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
  • Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe
  • Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Yankton Sioux Tribe

For a tutorial on how to order these plates online, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOZEWUzjqZ0



Pierre—The Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council is seeking applicants to serve on the State
Investment Council. The Investment Council is responsible for investing state revenues and pension funds, and
determining state investment policies.

Individuals who are trained in the field of investment and finance but who are not engaged in the sale of
marketable or public securities to the state may apply for this appointment. Statute requires that no more than
four of the appointed members may be of the same political party. This year, the appointment may be from a
registered member of any political party, or no political party.

Applications may be obtained at the following link:
The deadline for submitting applications is May 10, 2018

Construction Work to Limit Parking at South Dakota Minuteman Missile National Historic Site’s Delta-01 and Delta-09 Sites


Cactus Flat, SD –  Work begins this month on a project to construct modern parking lots and restroom facilities a short distance away from both the Delta-01 Launch Control Facility and the Delta-09 missile silo. When completed at the end of the summer, these facilities will better allow access to the two sites for the visiting public with ample parking for buses and RVs.

At each location the new facilities will include a parking lot with car, bus and RV spaces, a comfort station, interpretive shelter, and pedestrian pathway connecting to the historic sites. These new facilities will be situated a respectful distance away from each site in order to preserve the historic landscape.

Visitors are advised that parking will be severely limited and large vehicle turnarounds will be difficult at both sites during this time. At Delta-01 visitors may park in four paved parking spaces. At Delta-09, parking will be limited to the driveway to the silo.

“These two facilities were built by the Air Force for a nuclear deterrence mission, and never intended for the public to see. This work is necessary to ensure that the historic sites are both better preserved and easier to access by the visiting public,” said Superintendent Eric Leonard, “We regret the inconvenience to the visiting public during the summer season.” To stay informed about this work and other news about Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, the public can visit our Facebook page or the park website for more information.

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site’s headquarters and visitor center is located off of exit 131, Interstate 90. The park consists of three sites along a fifteen mile stretch of Interstate 90 in Western South Dakota. Authorized by Congress in 1999, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site preserves components of the Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile system, interpreting the deterrent value of the land-based portion of America’s nuclear defense during the Cold War era and commemorating the people and events associated with this recent period of American history. The park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. More information about the park can be found on the internet at www.nps.gov/mimi or by phone at: 605-433-5552. Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MinutemanMissileNHS and Twitter at https://twitter.com/mimiranger

Absentee Voting begins April 20th for South Dakota Primary Election


PIERRE, SD – Absentee voting will begin for registered voters in South Dakota on Friday, April 20th, 46 days prior to the primary election to be held on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

Registered voters can vote in person at their County Auditor’s office by bringing a photo Identification Card (ID) such as:

  • a South Dakota driver’s license or nondriver identification card,
  • a passport or an identification card issued by an agency of the United States government,
  • a tribal identification card; or
  • a current student identification card issued by a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, including a university, college, or technical school, located within the State of South Dakota.

If a voter does not have a photo ID, they must be given the option to sign a personal identification affidavit and vote a regular ballot.

Voters wishing to vote absentee by mail must fill out an absentee ballot application and have their signature notarized or provide a copy of their photo identification. Voters must mail or turn this application into their County Auditor’s office. The deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Monday, June 4 at 5 PM.

To register to vote, fill out the voter registration form and mail or turn it in to your County Auditor. Your Voter Registration form must be received by the auditor 15 days before any election if you wish to vote in that election.

The Democrat primary election is open to registered Democrats and registered Independents or those with No Party Affiliation. Republicans have a closed primary and only registered Republicans will be able to participate in that primary election. All registered voters in South Dakota including those registered as Libertarian, Constitution and Other will be eligible for a ballot during the 2018 primary election due to Constitutional Amendment Y creating a Non-Political ballot statewide.


Absentee Ballot Application Link: https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/assets/AbsenteeBallotApplication.pdf
Voter Registration Form Link: https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/assets/VoterRegistrationFormFillable.pdf


Buffalo tours at Custer State Park. Photo: Herb Ryan Photography – 2017


PIERRE, S.D. – In 2017, visitor spending in South Dakota reached $3.85 billion, resulting in $2.59 billion in GDP and more than $290 million in state and local tax revenue. It was the eighth straight year of record growth in the state. A recent analysis shows that more than half of the counties in South Dakota saw an increase in visitor spending over 2016.

The detailed analysis, done by Tourism Economics, indicates a majority of visitor activity took place in Minnehaha, Pennington, Lawrence, Brown and Custer counties, making up 66 percent of all visitor spending. While these five counties received the majority of spending from visitors in 2017, more than half of the counties in South Dakota saw an increase over 2016. The counties that experienced the largest year-over-year growth were Sully (8.7 percent), Lincoln (5.9 percent), Hutchinson (5.2 percent), Lake (5.1 percent), and Aurora (4.8 percent).

“The impact these visitors have on communities across our state is significant. These visitors come to enjoy the beauty of our open prairies, fish our pristine lakes and abundant rivers, hunt our bountiful fields and stand in awe at our monuments. These visitors support the diners, marinas, hotels and attractions in communities large and small. Tourism is and always will be an incredibly important part of the South Dakota economy,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism.

Along with other industries, the tourism industry felt the indirect effects of a struggling agriculture economy across the Midwest and the decreased discretionary income of households in the region.

“Despite local and regional challenges, our visitors return year after year to experience our well-known hospitality and diverse tourism offerings,” said Hagen. “Hospitality workers and residents all go out of their way to welcome visitors, and that’s what sets us apart from our competition,” continued Hagen.


Pre-tourist season, a great time to mosey around the Black Hills without very much traffic. All images taken Monday, April 16, 2018 in the early afternoon. Actually, tourist are coming into the area–Spoke to a few Czechoslovakian tourist near Mt.Rushmore and a few Canadians down by Sylvan Lake.


The boys at Mt. Rushmore are none the worst for our South Dakota winter weather.


Hoodoos near Mt. Rushmore…..


Android cell phone shot on Palmer Gulch Creek Road. Black Elk Peak tower is way out there near the snow mass.


Black Elk Peak Tower shot around the corner from picture above with my long lense. B&W because exposure was way off, bright sunny day with lots of haze around the peak…


Progress continues on the arm of the Crazy Horse Sculpture in Custer, SD.

Andrea Lekberg “The Artist Baker” Special Exhibition

“Red in Nature” Acrylic, paint, and mixed media on canvas © 2018 Andrea Lekberg



RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: The Sioux Indian Museum, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, will feature an exhibit of artwork by Andrea Lekberg. The exhibition will run from April 27 through July 9, 2018. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Andrea Lekberg, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is both a visual and culinary artist. She is currently working with large scale textiles, which are painted and adorned with various found materials. Additionally, she is the owner and pastry chef at a boutique bakery and café, The Artist Baker in Morristown, New Jersey. She holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and is a graduate of the Pastry Program at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago.

Although raised in Illinois, Andrea spent her childhood summers near her family home in Martin, South Dakota. Inspiration for her current work comes from the landscapes around Martin, South Dakota. During her summer visits to the Pine Ridge Reservation she felt a deep connection to the land and people. The patterns, colors, and lines found in traditional Sioux artwork deeply influences her contemporary work.

To create the artwork for this exhibition, Andrea used hemmed canvases that were left unstretched so that they would lay flat; they resemble painted hides. A clear gesso is applied to the fabric and then acrylic paints complete the composition. Found natural materials collected near the family home in Martin, South Dakota, are eventually applied to the canvases.

The body of work in this exhibition revolves around Oglala artistic traditions and the local environment. Linen canvases are tied to represent spiritual strength and fringed to imply movement. They also represent Andrea’s cultural identity as a member of the Oglala Sioux, and the relevance of the Tribe in contemporary society.

Prices for the artwork can be obtained by contacting The Journey Museum Store at (605) 394-2201. To purchase artwork after the exhibit closes, please contact Andrea Lekberg via email at theartistbaker@gmail.com

The Sioux Indian Museum, managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, is located in The Journey Museum, 222 New York Street, Rapid City, SD 57701. For admission fees and hours of operation please call (605) 394-6923.

Celebrate National Park Week at Badlands NP April 21 – 29, 2018

Photo: Xavier Cohen


Interior, SD – Badlands National Park will celebrate National Park Week with free entrance on Saturday, April 21, 2018.  This year’s theme is “Park Stars,” celebrating everything from starry skies to superstar volunteers, park features, and resources. Parks, programs, and partners nationwide invite people everywhere to explore stories, experiences, and sites that brighten the National Park System and public lands.

Throughout the week, Badlands staff will share the stories of parks within a day’s drive during a National Park Film Festival.  Each day at 1:00 p.m. a different park film will be featured in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. From Homestead of America National Monument to Fort Laramie National Historic Site to Pipestone National Monument, learn how these Shared Stories overlap with the stories of Badlands National Park.  National Park Week is a time to explore amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, help out, and find your park!

The Ben Reifel Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Visit www.nps.gov/badl for more information on programs at Badlands National Park or call the Ben Reifel Visitor Center at 605-433-5361.