A gift to the state was dedicated on Saturday as a tribute to South Dakota’s Native American heritage. It will stand tall near Chamberlain overlooking the Missouri River.

Rapid City businessman Norm McKie had a specific vision in mind for renowned South Dakota artist Dale Lamphere who was commissioned to produce the work entitled “Dignity”.

“He wanted to do an iconic sculpture. He wanted the sculpture to be of a Native person, specifically a woman. He had researched a couple of locations and (near Chamberlain) was one that if the State would cooperate would be an ideal location, a beautiful spot overlooking the Missouri River.”

The stainless steel statue stands 50 feet tall and weighs about 12 tons, however Lamphere says his creation has features that will also utilize nature.

“I developed this idea of using the Star Quilt and having some kinetic elements. I wanted it to be something where the sun and the wind actually moves through the figure rather than it standing as a monolith in resistance to it.”

Lamphere says he consulted with multiple Native groups in order to shape the final design which cost about $1 million to produce.

Governor Dennis Daugaard was on hand to officially accept the statue which will be accessible from the I-90 Rest Area at Chamberlain.

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