Brooke Jarvis of The New Yorker writes of the ongoing contradictions of our monument-strewn Black Hills. She focuses on the relationship of the Crazy Horse Memorial to the great Lakota leaders descendants and their stolen and divided homeland.
Jarvis makes much of the money the Ziolkowski family makes with its tours and assiduously trademarked attractions and trinkets. Jarvis also notes that the memorial runners don’t seem terribly interested in supporting outside events that we could argue synergistically boost their brand:
One night last June, downtown Pine Ridge hosted its own memorial to Crazy Horse: the culmination of an annual tradition in which more than two hundred riders spend four days travelling [sic] on horseback from Fort Robinson, where Crazy Horse died, to the reservation. (“Crazy Horse rode in there, and he never got to ride out,” the event’s founder explained. “We’re going to ride out of there for him.”) Bryan Brewer, a former president of the Oglala Lakota Nation, told me that his brother once went to the memorial to ask for financial support for the ride. “We sent him all the way up there,” he said. “They gave us twenty-five dollars” [Brooke Jarvis, “Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?” The New Yorker, 2019.09.16].
It’s not our place to oblige anyone to give to any particular charitable cause. But one would think that an organization dedicated to memorializing Crazy Horse would see in the Pine Ridge event a chance to boost their own brand and foster more good will with the people whose leader they honor.