RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – Tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation will bring more historical art to downtown Rapid City, after the city council declared that traditional Lakota designs will now adorn the chamber walls.
Thomas Shortbull presented a pair of pieces by his late father during a ceremony in the council chambers Monday.
Both pieces were created during the 1950s. One focuses on a Lakota woman and child and the other on a buffalo.
Shortbull hopes his father’s craft will help diversify the city.
“Anything we can do to bring people together is a great thing, and I hope the recognition by the city of rapid city of my fathers artwork will be an indication to the Indian community that they appreciate us,” Shortbull said.
Mayor Steve Allender said the city’s relationship with the Native community was tough over the years, but this is a symbol that the city has made progress.
“I’m surprised and very pleased. I don’t know if I was in Doctor Shortbull’s position that I would do the same thing, I think I would want to keep the family art in the family,” Allender explained.
Former Rapid City Mayor Don Barnett and Dr. Richard Gowen of the South Dakota Hall of Fame also helped present the honor along with Shortbull and his family.