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McKie Family Donates $1 Million For New South Dakota Monument

McKie Family Donates $1 Million For New South Dakota Monument


PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard today announced the donation of a major work of art intended to honor the people of South Dakota during the state’s 125th anniversary year.


The $1 million donation from Norm and Eunabel McKie, and their extended family, will build a 45-foot statue of an upward sweeping star quilt being received by a Native American woman. The new monument, titled “Dignity,” will be placed in Chamberlain on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.


“This gift will mean a lot to South Dakota,” said Gov. Daugaard. “In addition to being the state of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, South Dakota will also be the state of the ‘Dignity’ statue.”


Norm and Eunabel live in Rapid City. Before he retired, Norm owned leading businesses in the Black Hills and supported civic projects.


“In this season of giving, we’re grateful for the McKie’s generosity and very pleased the heritage of our Native people is going to be highlighted in such a prominent fashion,” said Gov. Daugaard.


South Dakota artist Dale Lamphere will design and construct the sculpture, in coordination with landscape architect Pat Wyss who will work on the placement and lighting.  Lamphere is well known for his sculptures in the rotunda of the state Capitol Building and throughout the state. Lamphere and Wyss are working with native people on the project, and they welcome further input from tribal leaders.


“This monument will serve as symbol of our shared bond with the earth and sky, and as a tribute to the strong traditions of Native people.” Lamphere said. “Because the project is about inspiration of future generations, we want to share the process by having an educational component with area schools.”


The statue will be created entirely of stainless steel. At night, interior lighting will shine through the pattern of the star quilt and create a beacon for I-90 travelers.


The monument is expected to be constructed and installed in 2015.