Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation keeping the mission alive after 75 years

Construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial began in 1948 and 75 years later, the memorial...
Construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial began in 1948 and 75 years later, the memorial continues to build on the original mission beginning with Chief Henry Standing Bear and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.(Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 3:29 PM CST
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CRAZY HORSE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial began in 1948 and 75 years later, the memorial continues to build on the original mission beginning with Chief Henry Standing Bear and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.

“We are excited to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Crazy Horse Memorial,” said Crazy Horse Memorial CEO Whitney Rencountre. “We would like to honor the work of all those who have contributed to Crazy Horse Memorial: past, present, and into the future.”

Today the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation strives to “protect and preserve the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians.”

What began as a promise to complete the world’s largest sculptural undertaking has grown to encompass much more in the last 75 years. The foundation also provides educational and cultural programming that encourages harmony and reconciliation for all, works with the Indian Museum of North America and The Native American Educational and Cultural Center by providing Native American arts and crafts, and operates The Indian University of North America, which they also established.

“Our events throughout the year will be mission-focused and will build on the dream of Crazy Horse Memorial through the work of the Mountain, The Indian Museum of North America, and The Indian University of North America,” Rencountre said.

As part of the 75th Anniversary Celebration, on June 3, 2023 the 37th Annual Volksmarch will be held and admission will be waived for hikers bringing at least three cans of food. On June 4, 2023 the Memorial will hold a public event to honor the 75th Anniversary of the Memorial.

Although leadership has changed over the last 75 years, the Memorial Foundation is governed by a board of Native and non-Native directors and still has ties to the sculpture’s original artist.

“It is an honor to recognize 75 years of heart poured into this story being carved in stone. Dad said the Mountain Carving is the smallest part of our Mission, which seems like a statement of irony, yet it is one of absolute truth,” said Monique Ziolkowski, Artistic and Historical Advisor to the Crazy Horse Memorial and daughter of Korczak Ziolkowski. “The most substantial piece of this project is countless individuals that contribute in various ways to Crazy Horse Memorial and in turn the many lives impacted by Crazy Horse Memorial. We are forever grateful to all of you who have shared of yourselves, in any way, to our story. We are blessed to be on this journey with you.”