Administrative History
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The establishment of the monument in 1937 gave the Park Service a set of specific responsibilities at Pipestone. Among the most important of these was the obligation to preserve the right of Native Americans to quarry in a traditional manner. The rights granted in the proclamation were both new and old. They had historic standing since the Treaty of 1858, which guaranteed the Yankton Sioux the right to quarry pipestone on the reserved area. The court case that began in the 1890s was based on those rights, but its resolution in 1928 extinguished all legal Native American claims to the quarries and their use. Between 1928 and 1937, Native American people had no more legal right to use the quarry than anyone else. Nonetheless, after 1928, Indian School administration officials allowed Native Americans from any tribe to quarry, a reality that the enabling legislation for the monument codified. The monument proclamation established a permanent legal relationship between the Park Service and native peoples. This relationship, with its many complications, has been crucial to NPS management of the area.

From its inception, Pipestone National Monument has been, in the words of former Superintendent Lyle K. Linch, an "Indian-oriented park." [1] Native Americans and their myriad cultures are essential to the monument. The quarries the Park Service seeks to preserve have significance because of their importance to Native Americans; the interpretation is meaningful because of the presence of Native Americans working the stone in time-honored fashion. That orientation has made the management of the monument unique among national park areas in the United States.

At Pipestone National Monument, the Park Service inherited the existing set of relationships between Native Americans, Anglo-Americans, and the federal government. While NPS officials had the legal power to change local practice, they initially had little to gain from such an action. The agency lacked the work power, and in fact the desire, to implement new policies. From the inception of the monument, NPS inspectors, observers, and officials regarded the continuing practice of quarrying as an asset for the park. It provided built-in interpretation in a form that the Park Service could not match. Pipestone was special, early NPS observers agreed, and the continuation of quarrying was crucial to its unique nature. They also recognized that quarrying offered something visitors could not experience elsewhere—the opportunity to see an historic activity performed in a manner that resembled historic practice. [2]

In this respect, Pipestone and Canyon de Chelly had much in common. Both had visible Indian presence, and at two parks, American Indians were entitled to use the resources of the monument in a historic manner. At Canyon de Chelly, Navajo guides were required of visitors, and some Navajos still farm and herd sheep in the traditional way in the bottom of the canyon. The story of the Navajo and Hopi were also told in addition to that of the Anasazi. At Pipestone and Canyon de Chelly, Native Americans of many tribes were part of the story of the park. In addition, the story that the Park Service sought to tell at Pipestone was that of the Native Americans who lived nearby. At most other parks of this vintage, the interpretive story addressed prehistory, while modern natives who lived in the area participated in its transmission. [3]

Yet random quarrying was not in the best interests of the resource, its users, or the traveling public. Although agency officials agreed to a Bureau of Indian Affairs request to not limit the amount of stone quarried, the Park Service needed to set up a system of permits and regulations to govern quarrying. This allowed a measure of NPS oversight at Pipestone. Park officials could determine who quarried and how much stone they took. Almost from the moment the monument was established, different groups of Native Americans sought to control access to the quarries. NPS officials recognized the need for some level of impartial administration. [4]

During the Indian School administration of Pipestone National Monument, Superintendent J. W. Balmer created an informal system to govern quarrying. As volunteer custodian, he continued existing practice. Initially Park Service officials were grateful, and when Balmer made suggestions toward developing a permanent policy, they listened closely. Balmer wanted to assure that Native Americans first secured a permit to quarry from the Park Service before they began to work at the site. He also insisted that they use only hand methods, that modern living facilities such as trailers be prohibited on the monument, and that the workshops used to prepare the stone at Pipestone be limited to Sioux-style tepees. [5]

Balmer's conception of a system fit well with NPS aspirations. NPS officials regarded quarrying as a valuable interpretive resource and recognized that the easily accessible resources of the quarry were limited. Following typical NPS guidelines, regulations were first proposed in 1938. These rules went through an extended series of reviews and were finalized in 1946. They limited quarrying to Native Americans using hand tools, required quarriers to secure a permit, and prohibited modern amenities such as trailers or mobile homes as accommodations on monument grounds. [6] These rules had the twin advantages of presenting quarrying as an interpretation activity and slowing the quantity of stone quarried.

Before the regulations were approved in 1946, regulation of quarrying occurred at the discretion of the custodian. Each Native American who sought to quarry had to secure a special use permit. In essence, the terms of the special use permit were the same as the proposed regulations, but nonetheless, the temporary system seemed cumbersome. When the custodian was forced to use discretion, administering quarrying was time-consuming. It required time and energy as well as paperwork. Both custodians and Native Americans were pleased to have a clearly defined permanent system. It was easier for everyone when potential quarriers could simply fill out one form. [7]

The implementation of a system had little impact on quarrying. The number of permits issued by the Park Service remained constant throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. At the time, most of the quarriers were local Indians, descendants of families that moved to the town of Pipestone to quarry. Crafts made from pipestone became an important cottage industry for local Indians, but their market was seasonal. When visitors arrived in town, a market existed. During the long winter, when few visitors came to Minnesota, there was no one to buy Indian crafts. As a result, quarrying was only a sideline. It did not offer a consistent and dependable source of income for native people. [8]

The inconsistency led to some uncomfortable situations in the town of Pipestone. Some local merchants paid Native American craftspeople low rates for finished products in the off-season and sold the crafts at exorbitant rates during busier times. In some instances, desperate Native Americans met the trains that came to town, selling fine craftwork to incoming people for a pittance. A pattern had developed. Although the monument protected access to the stone, its officials could do little to protect the economic interests of Native Americans outside its boundaries. Native stone and craftwork increasingly benefitted everyone but the Native Americans. [9]

To some people in the town of Pipestone, this was an inequitable and untenable situation. Working with Superintendent Lyle Linch in 1954, they planned a revival of the Pipestone National Park Association, the organization that had been responsible for the effort to establish the monument in the 1930s. Its new incarnation was called the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association (PISA). [10] This time, the association had a different purpose.

The new incarnation of PISA sought to provide Native Americans with both a structure to protect their economic interests and support to perpetuate the skills and crafts required in quarrying and pipemaking. The organization was not all Anglo-Americans; quarriers and pipemakers such as George and Winona Bryan, Harvey and Ethel Derby, and Ephraim Taylor were part of the organization from its inception, adding an important component of native influence. The association set up a marketing system that standardized prices for the sale of crafts. This established a minimum value for craftwork and prevented seasonal need from damaging the fragile native economy. The association opened a sales counter in the visitor center at the monument and purchased artifacts from Native Americans. It also meant that the selling of artifacts was limited to a few places, taking Indians out of the embarrassing position of hawking their crafts in the streets.

The shrine association also took responsibility for the perpetuation of quarrying and pipemaking. The practices were dying in the 1950s, and the association worked to assure their revival. George Bryan, Harvey Derby, and Ephraim Taylor, three of the most consistent users of the quarry, were also important pipemakers. The trio were active participants both in the park and the association. Their input and ability to teach younger Indians the art of pipemaking was crucial. Robert and Clarence Crooks, former Indian School students, also became expert and renowned pipemakers. Under the loose aegis of the shrine association, Native American craftwork was sustained.

As PISA grew, other opportunities for Native Americans emerged. In 1969, the association began to develop a mail-order business. The cultural climate of the time made Native American crafts and clothing fashionable. In the early 1970s, pipestone artifacts gained popularity and business boomed. This meant a larger market for Native Americans who sold their craftwork to the association and more opportunity for PISA to support native people and the park. A bookkeeper, Betty Zorich, who was hired in 1969, became the business manager, and the seasonal staff increased. Although the business manager of the association was an Anglo-American, the remainder of the employees were Native American. Native American employment continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s. After the retirement of Zorich in 1989, Mattie Redwing, a Native American, replaced her, and the entire PISA staff was Indian.

PISA benefitted from the changing cultural climate of Native American-white relations. During the 1960s, Native Americans again began to agitate for changes in their relationship with the institutions of American society. The era of "termination" had ended with little acclaim, and the predicament of many Native Americans remained as precarious as ever. Later in the 1960s, a new federal policy regarding Indians was implemented. Called "self-determination," this policy granted Indians greater autonomy and control of their affairs than at any time since the arrival of Anglo-Americans. [11]

Despite the change in policy, new militance swept through Native American communities. In Minneapolis, about 150 miles from the monument, a group of urban Native Americans formed the American Indian Movement (AIM). It expressed its views in direct action, with incidents such as the seizure of the former federal penitentiary at Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay in 1969 and the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1972. AIM reached its critical moment in 1973, when members occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the place where nearly 100 years before, the U.S. Cavalry slaughtered more than 140 Indians. The occupation was in response to perceived corruption within the Tribal Council of the Pine Ridge Reservation, and the BIA gave tacit support to those who sought to quash AIM. An unfortunate series of circumstances, culminated in a 71-day siege of Wounded Knee by federal agents. A number of skirmishes occurred, two Indians died, and another was paralyzed. A negotiated agreement ended the siege in May 1973, but the issues were anything but resolved. A small civil war broke out on the reservation, leading to more than 100 Indian deaths in a two-year period. Only the death of two FBI agents in a gunfight in 1975 refocused national interest on Wounded Knee and the Pine Ridge reservation. [12]

Wounded Knee had an iconography of its own. After the publication of Dee Brown's Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee in 1971, the name connoted injustice to Americans of all backgrounds. In an effort to attract attention, AIM leaders selected a place with broad-based cultural meaning. The choice of the location to express outrage was ironic; the results of the situation tragic.

AIM and its militance reflected the changing situation of Native Americans. The end of restrictive policies and the vast autonomy native peoples received beginning in the middle of the 1960s led to changes in Native American perceptions of the larger world. Legislation such as the American Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 vested Native Americans in a manner that Anglo-America never before saw as necessary or desirable. Many Native Americans, particularly the old, were ambivalent about their new situation. Others sensed an opportunity to move forward in the larger world. Still others withdrew from both the Indian and white worlds. Legal emancipation offered many benefits, but it was also dislocating. [13]

Native Americans in the Pipestone area were not generally militant. Their exposure to Anglo institutions, residence in a largely white town, and the relative economic stability offered by the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association and the quarries made them poor candidates for involvement in cultural strife. [14] Despite the relative conservatism of local Native Americans, the turmoil of the time intruded on the community.

The proximity of AIM in Minneapolis to the monument served as the catalyst for an expression of militance at Pipestone. AIM members often acted in symbolic ways. Stereotypic depictions of Native Americans was one of their important issues. The Song of Hiawatha annual pageant served as a lightning rod for this expression of dissatisfaction. In 1970, AIM protesters attended a presentation of the pageant. In the middle of the performance, they disrupted the show, shouting and stamping their feet. AIM members regarded the pageant as a romanticized, inaccurate depiction of their heritage. The white people who attended the show, schooled in a different tradition, were confounded. Even the Park Service overreacted a little. After the incident, the historic pipes from the monument were immediately locked away in the bank vault in downtown Pipestone. [15]

The Park Service fared better under AIM scrutiny. During their visit, AIM activists assessed the operations of the monument. While the museum and its interpretation were disappointing because of their overwhelming ethnocentricity, AIM members were surprised to find strong Native American representation both in the park and the co-operating association. Native American employees were established at the park. It had already had two Indian superintendents, and PISA worked to maintain native representation on its board and in its activities. [16] While harmony did not ensue, a sort of informal accommodation was reached.

In a less militant climate a few years later, Native Americans won a major legislative victory. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 codified in law the existing practice at Pipestone and other national park areas. It assured the rights of native people to practice religious and ceremonial rites on all federal land without interference. The new law granted Native American religions a degree of respect and protection that had not existed since Europeans first legislated Native American religion and behavior. [17]

The American Indian Religious Freedom Act both reflected and shaped changes in Native American society. Renewed Native American interest in their culture and heritage began as an outgrowth of the cultural upheaval of the early 1970s. The legislation resulted from the desire of some Indians to secure rights; the passage of the act spurred more people to greater awareness. A nascent spiritual revival existed in some parts of the Native American community by the early 1980s.

In no small part as a result of this heightened awareness, the narrative presented in the museum began to be the source of negative comment. European visitors often reacted to it in the aftermath of the 1960s, but the real objections came beginning in 1986 and 1987. More Native Americans with strong religious and cultural traditions came to the monument, and many were offended by the presentation of Indian-white relations and Native American culture in the museum exhibits. The interpretation dated from the 1950s and reflected the perspective of that time. "Meanwhile, back at the ranch," one park staffer mused in the early 1990s, "people have changed." The museum vastly overemphasized the significance of white explorers, particularly George Catlin. It portrayed Native American cultures in the past tense, belying their existence and viability in the present. One exhibit, titled "The White Man Comes," evoked particular animosity. In one instance, a woman scratched out museum labels in the exhibit. Others objected to the idea of the federal government depicting native religion that its regulations had censured for so long. [18] In a climate of heightened awareness, the Park Service needed to respond to changing public perceptions.

The increase in cultural awareness among Native Americans led to other kinds of expressions of faith and belief. Pipestone National Monument had both cultural and religious significance for Native American people, yet federal officials in the green uniform Service administered the quarries. To newly empowered Native Americans seeking to rediscover and transmit their cultural heritage, the situation was an affront.

In 1986, the first inkling of a movement to restore the quarries to Native American hands surfaced. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) passed a resolution to prohibit the sale of objects and pipes made of pipestone. Their complaint was that the material from the quarries was sacred, and treating pipestone as a commodity instead of religious material was sacrilegious. The following year the Yankton Sioux took this concept further. Victor Provost, vice-chairman of the tribe, filed a petition with Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, that cited the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in an effort to wrest the monument from NPS control. [19]

This renewed militance was different than earlier versions of the same impulse. AIM had been founded by urban Indians to help newcomers to cities adjust and to lobby for the fair application of American law to Native Americans. [20] Its objectives were political. The new challenges to the Park Service were from Native Americans still on the reservation. Their motives were cultural rather than political. This presented the Park Service with an important problem. It was difficult not to sympathize with people whose objectives were spiritual in character.

Concerned Native Americans approached the park for help in achieving their goal. Adalbert Zephier, a former PISA cultural demonstrator whose son John marketed decorative pipestems through the shrine association, confronted the agency in a letter. He objected to the sale of pipestone artifacts because he "believed any thing sacred isn't for sale or shouldn't be sold, or marked for sale. . . we know people who buy pipes don't use it right." Zephier sought to arrange a meeting between park officials and Native American crafts people. [21]

Zephier's letter required an NPS response. He and two of his other sons, Loren and Sherwin, previously worked at the park as cultural demonstrators. They were familiar with the park and its operations, and aware of the emerging sensitivity to native issues in the agency, they perceived the Park Service as a potential ally. A complicated drama began to unfold. [22]

The position of the Park Service differed from that of the Yankton Sioux. The organic legislation that established the monument preserved the right to quarry for all Indians, not just the Yankton. The legal settlement in 1928 extinguished Yankton claims to the land. As a result, religious traditions other than the Yankton were represented among quarriers at Pipestone. Some of these had no problem with the marketing of artifacts. In addition, some of the Indian families in the town of Pipestone, who were not Yankton Sioux, had worked the quarries for generations. The shrine association remained an integral part of the local Native American economy. The religious and cultural traditions of Native Americans were, in the words of one Pipestone area Native American, "diverse and sometimes conflicting" on the question of the use of pipestone. Park officials sought some resolution. [23]

The issue highlighted a schism among Native Americans. Not monolithic in culture or custom, native peoples had a range of points of view on the subject. The Yankton perspective dated from the end of the eighteenth century, when they established hegemony over the quarry and prevented others from using the stone. Other tribes believed differently, harkening back to the era before the Sioux, when a number of tribes used the quarries. Twentieth-century economics intruded on historic questions of spirituality. Other groups opposed Yankton control of the quarry because it would limit their livelihood as well as infringe on their religious views. The issue also forced native people to confront their attitudes about traditional culture. Divided by age, nature of reverence, tribal affiliation, and economic concerns, Native Americans disagreed over the proper use and disposition of the quarry.

To a large degree, the issue was moot. NPS officials showed little inclination to turn the quarry over to anyone. From the Park Service perspective, the agency served as a guardian of the place, preventing internecine cultural conflict from affecting its use. With the NPS at Pipestone, all Native Americans had equal access to the quarry. As long as the organic legislation remained unamended, little change was likely to occur.

The following summer, the drive to limit the sale of pipestone materials gained momentum. In June 1988, about fifty Sioux began a 450-mile trek across South Dakota toward Pipestone National Monument in pursuit of this goal. Nearly one month later, the group completed its spiritual run/walk, and the crowd came up the entrance road singing and made camp at the monument. [24] The letter-writing campaign had become direct action.

Native Americans remained divided on the subject. While most agreed that Native American control of the quarries would improve the situation, that was the extent of consensus. The marchers opposed the commercialization of pipestone, arguing that it should be used only for religious purposes. Many of their objections focused on the activities of the shrine association. "I cry because I'm seeing the sacred cry pipe at rummage sales," said Pretty Sounding Flute of Aberdeen, South Dakota, echoing one of the predominant concerns of the marchers. A significant contingent also wanted the quarries returned to native hands. In their view, the sale of the land in 1928 was illegal, a perspective modified by Herbert T. Hoover, a professor of history at the University of South Dakota. "You can talk about legality all you want," Hoover remarked about the sale of the land, "but you have to talk about morality, too." On that basis he favored returning the quarries to the tribe. [25]

The demands of the group focused on the use of the stone from the quarry. They sought a board of trustees, to be selected from members of the Yankton tribe with reverence for tradition, to oversee quarrying. In addition, they wanted programs to educate the public and pipemakers about the nature of the sacred stone and sought to enhance economic opportunities for the Native American population of Pipestone so that when commercial quarrying eventually ceased, local Indians would not suffer. They also wanted all pipes on display at the visitor center disassembled and returned to the Yankton people. [26]

Most local Native Americans, pipemakers, and others took a different view. People such as Adam Fortunate Eagle, an Ojibway ceremonial leader and internationally known sculptor and pipe maker who was educated at Pipestone Indian School, exemplified the opposition. Local pipemakers should be venerated, Fortunate Eagle believed, for they "kept these quarries going . . . [with] their tenacity and bravery over the years. The utmost irony in this protest is that our own Indian pipemakers are being condemned. I think the worst thing that could be done," he continued, "is to try to destroy the livelihood of the very people who protected and preserved our sacred quarries." Fortunate Eagle noted that the stone had always been traded and sold among Indians. Even after the Sioux takeover, trade continued. Nearly all of Pipestone's Native Americans agreed with Fortunate Eagle. Monument official Raymond L. "Chuck" Derby, himself a pipemaker, articulated this point of view: "We were taught by our elders to do this." [27]

There was little support for the ideas of the South Dakota walkers, and in 1988, no resolution occurred. The shrine association explained its perspective, emphasizing a nearly forty-year-old commitment to pipemaking as an art, the more than $260,000 it paid to Native American craftspeople and employees from five tribes in 1987, and the participation in its demonstration program of a number of Native Americans. The local Native American community perceived the marchers as a threat. They reminded non-Indians about the importance of PISA to the local Indian population and pointed out the long history of inter-Indian trade in pipestone. Perhaps most significant, the local Indian community asserted that the traditional medicine men of the generations before had been pleased by their efforts and were grateful that Indians still made pipes that they could use for their ceremonies. After a brief stay, the marchers left, vowing to continue their new tradition the following year. [28]

The next summer, the process started anew. The Park Service had successfully maintained a neutral position in what had become an inter-Indian cultural dispute. As a result, the battle for control of the ideology of pipemaking would again take place at the monument. Early on the morning of July 4, 1989, a group of runners set out for Pipestone on what they termed the Spiritual Run for the Sacred Pipe. The 768-mile run was set to reach the monument on July 16, when a two-day conference would take place. The purpose was the same, although Yankton Sioux councilman Wesley Allen Hare, Jr., developed a new strategy for securing the quarry. He sought a contract to allow administrative control, which the tribe planned to give to a council of elders. [29]

The marchers had expanded their claims and received some outside support. In 1989, the National Congress of American Indians called on Congress to prohibit the sale of pipestone and pipestone objects. Its leaders also asked the NPS to end its exhibition of pipes at the monument. Wesley Hare of the Yankton tribe claimed that the pipestone had faded in color because of improper use during the past four years. Arvol Lookinghorse, known by traditional Indians as Keeper of the Sacred Pipe, insisted that "Lakota spirituality was not for sale—this includes ceremonial songs, sweat lodge ceremonies, prayers, and sacred religious artifacts." [30] The lines between the different groups of Native Americans remained as clear as ever.

The Spiritual Run/Walk became an annual event, continuing in 1990 and 1991. Thirteen runners were part of a group of 33 people associated with the run/walk in 1990. Again they stayed at the monument about two days, practicing religious and ceremonial rites, discussing the situation, and attracting media attention. The following year, the process was repeated. [31] The Lakota were determined to make their point.

As a result, NPS personnel were compelled to address interpretation at the monument. Since the mid-1970s, plans for renovating the museum had been shelved. Trapped by the funding problems that permeated the system late in the 1980s, the resources to implement the program simply were not available. As a result, at a time of increased militance, the portrayals of Native Americans at the monument were anachronistic and disappointing.

Much of the emphasis of the new traditionalists centered on the display of pipes in the museum. Of the sixty pipes displayed at the monument, about forty were displayed with the bowl and the stem separated. The other twenty were joined. For some tribes, the bowl and stem of the calumet were only joined during religious ceremonies. The display of joined pipes inspired the wrath of some of the marchers. A number of the Yankton, including Wesley Hare, wrote to complain. In one instance in 1991, a member of the patrol team of the Sundance ceremony entered the museum for the first time and was grossly offended by the display of joined pipes and the sale of pipestone artifacts. He approached the park ranger in an aggressive manner, asking why these practices were allowed. The ranger told him to stay around a while and watch activities at the visitor center. Two days later, the young man showed the ranger a pipe he bought from one of the craftsmen, suggesting a new understanding of the situation. [32]

Such conversions were infrequent, and the Park Service was compelled to defend its position. The agency contacted Dr. Martin Broken Leg, a Rosebud Sioux and professor of Indian Studies at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to discuss retaining him as a consultant. In 1992, the planning process for such an arrangement began. In addition, park officials made a systematic survey of pipe displays in American and Canadian museums. Most museums displayed joined pipes, and a number of Native Americans, including George Horse Capture, curator of Plains Indian Museum, regarded it as an issue for individual interpretation because of the diversity of views in "Indian Country." Horse Capture himself displayed his pipes joined at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. [33]

Park officials recognized that they had to address an issue of great sensitivity. The pipes that were joined were used to express artistic and commercial aspects of heritage rather than ceremonial or religious ones. The dated museum exhibits depicted only Lakota images, neglecting the earlier groups that used the Pipestone region or the broader dimensions of the trade in pipestone that characterized the northern plains. NPS officials explained this to objecting Native Americans, and worked to assure them that the museum renovation would be undertaken as quickly as possible. More comprehensive interpretation that reflected increased sensitivity could only stand the Park Service in good stead with the entire Native American community. [34]

The issue continued to attract attention. In 1991, Shaman's Drum, an alternative culture journal published by the Cross-Cultural Shamanism Network, published a misleading, inaccurate, and derogatory article about the situation at the park. The Park Service was accused of allowing local white business people to quarry at the monument, hiring crews of token Indians to "mass produce facsimiles of sacred pipes to be sold for hundreds of dollars each," and of allowing the stone to be made into trivial objects. Superintendent Vincent Halvorson responded with a letter explaining the laws, policies, practices, and procedures at the monument. [35] The considerable momentum of the movement to alter the use of pipestone meant that in the future, park officials will write many similar letters.

The issue increasingly became a battle between the Yankton Sioux and the heterogeneous Pipestone Native American community. In 1991, the Yankton Sioux passed another resolution seeking to limit use of the quarry to Yanktons who sought the stone for religious purposes. They sought to use the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to assert their exclusive right to the quarry. Yankton success would mean terminating PISA and its activities. The move left other Native Americans with the impression that the Yankton sought to reinstitute their prior control of the area. In this scenario, one historic moment would supersede all others.

The Indian community at Pipestone approached the Indian Affairs Council of the State of Minnesota, requesting an exemption from the American Indian Religious Freedom Act for Pipestone National Monument. The law prohibited any disruption of sacred places or events. The requested exemption would permit existing activities to continue. The council, set up to advise the state legislature and its agencies on Native American issues, agreed with the Pipestone Indians and passed a resolution supporting its position. [36] At the beginning of 1992, the relationship between the Yankton, the Native American families of Pipestone, and the Park Service had not yet been resolved.

Native Americans sought to use the quarry to express their sense of spirituality in other ways. In May 1991, the park received a request from the Sundance committee, a group affiliated with the American Indian Movement, to use the monument for a Sundance. This intricate religious ceremony, designed to promote unity, rejuvenation, and health, was a cornerstone of Native American religions. It required a four-year cycle. After a meeting with Superintendent Halvorson at the monument, a special use permit was granted for the ceremony. [37]

The Sundance was different than the earlier Spiritual Run/Walks. While the marchers sought to make a point a about return of the quarry and the regulation of its use, those involved in the Sundance wanted to use the park as a place to express spirituality, renewal, and sacredness. The Sundance showed Native American culture looking inward to cleanse itself, not engaging with the outside world. Its leaders sought an enhancement of spirituality, not confrontation or redress of grievances. In keeping with this objective, the purification ritual that preceded the ceremony was scheduled for August 18, with tree day, a religious event, to follow three days later. [38]

Early in August, Native Americans began to arrive at the monument to prepare for the Sundance. Clyde Bellecourt and Chris Leith, two of the leaders of the Sundance committee, were the first. A steady stream of heterogeneous Native Americans from a range of tribes followed, and by August 18, three large tepees, several tents, and a number of sweat lodges were in evidence. The Park Service cooperated with the campers to keep contact between park visitors and campers to a minimum. The ceremony was secret, and potential for offensive behavior by an inconsiderate public was vast. The event came off very well, and at the end, the Sundance committee thanked Halvorson and his staff for their cooperation. The superintendent invited the dancers back for the following year, and Native Americans departed knowing that their traditions and religion had been respected. [39]

For the Park Service, the success of the Sundance ceremony illustrated the importance of remaining impartial in intra-Indian disputes. As the official keeper of the quarries, the Park Service had myriad obligations to native peoples. Negotiating a path among the competing interests required patience, careful reflection, and much cooperation. Despite claims that the Park Service should relinquish the quarries, events such as the Sundance demonstrated the importance of a non-partisan, unaffiliated administration for the quarries. The situation showed the Park Service and its managers in a positive light.

The growing sensitivity to Native American concerns was at least in part a reflection of the diversity of the workplace at the monument. Unlike many park areas with Indian themes, Pipestone had Native Americans involved with the park since its inception. There had been a longstanding Native American presence in the work force at the monument. Most of the quarriers predated the monument, either as students at the Indian School or as residents of the community. When NPS personnel arrived, these people were already at work in the quarries. NPS officials recognized this dimension as valuable from the beginning, and worked to use it for interpretive purposes. The presence of people working the stone in an historic manner gave Pipestone National Monument something unique. Late in the 1940s, George "Standing Eagle" Bryan began to work as a seasonal interpreter while quarrying. Others, such as Harvey Derby, followed. [40]

Because the number of staff positions at the monument remained small, the employment of Native Americans in permanent positions began slowly. The first staff positions were for specialized professional employees at a time when few Native American worked in the Park Service. In the 1950s and 1960s, as at other parks with Indian populations and themes, most Native Americans were found in the maintenance department. At Pipestone, Native Americans were well represented among the seasonal maintenance staff.

In the early 1960s, the demography of the Park Service began to change. MISSION 66 created large numbers of new positions, and NPS officials increasingly sought minorities for positions with the agency. Many blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans with college training and military experience were sought and recruited by the ranger corps. This was a difficult task for the NPS because other federal agencies could offer higher incoming General Schedule (GS) grades than the Park Service could. A Native American could enter the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a GS-9. Generally the Park Service could only offer a GS-5 rank. As a result, those minorities who became rangers had great commitment to the agency. [41] Minorities without military experience or college coursework usually became permanent maintenance workers.

At Pipestone, the first Native American permanent employee was a natural choice. Raymond L. "Chuck" Derby was hired as a permanent maintenance man. The son of Harvey and Ethel Derby, who quarried the monument, he grew up in the park. Following a typical pattern, he first hired on as a seasonal in 1963, became permanent in late 1960s, and was appointed the first maintenance supervisor in the early 1970s. [42]

By the time Derby became maintenance supervisor, a revolution in leadership had taken place at Pipestone. Many of the young minorities in the Park Service advanced quickly, some to positions of responsibility and leadership, and were ready for superintendencies by the end of the decade. Their presence and preparation dovetailed with the needs of the agency. In the late 1960s, the NPS sought to become more inclusive. Agency leadership recognized that at some parks, a minority presence in leadership offered advantages. At Pipestone, Cecil D. Lewis, Jr., a Sac and Fox Indian, was appointed the first Native American superintendent in 1968.

The Native American presence at the park provided a new dimension. Lewis offered strong leadership, spearheading the development of the Upper Midwest Indian Cultural Center and increasing sensitivity to Native American concerns. Clarence N. Gorman, a Navajo, succeeded Lewis. Gorman remained for only a year, preferring to return to his home in the Southwest. [43] Subsequent superintendents were Anglo-Americans. Despite that reality, the Indian superintendents left a legacy. Their successors were made aware of a broader range of issues. Some of the later superintendents, such as David Lane, were remembered as having special respect for Native Americans.

Although Native Americans ceased to occupy the superintendent's office, they remained an important presence in the work force. As of 1991, three Native American served in full-time positions, one as a ranger and two in maintenance. Two others served as seasonal maintenance workers. One glaring gap existed in seasonal interpretation, where despite extensive recruiting, no qualified Native Americans have been found who will accept a position at Pipestone. With regional office support for recruiting efforts, the chances of finding and hiring qualified Native Americans have increased.

In the past two decades, Native Americans have become an increasingly important force at the monument. Always a significance presence, Native Americans have again come to see the quarries as an integral part of their heritage, important to the viability of their many cultures. Within the guidelines of its management responsibilities, the Park Service has accommodated native peoples and their concerns, utilizing an integrated approach to management to find compromise solutions to often thorny issues. Sensitive to Native American needs, park personnel seek to maintain Pipestone as a cultural park. The result has been cordial relations that allow Native Americans to use the park and its resources without eliminating the federal presence.

Yet as the United States grapples with the implications of its multicultural heritage, the process of managing native relations may become more complex. Accommodating extreme perspectives may prove more difficult than past experience would suggest. Yet under enlightened leadership, Pipestone has developed an integrated management perspective that accommodates Native American needs, serves the larger public, and preserves and protects the resources of the monument.

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Last Updated: 21-Aug-2004