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It was around the Black Hills of South Dakota the tourist industry caters to the hundreds of thousands of tourists that come to South Dakota each year. As Mr. Ashley said the tourists come in the greatest numbers for three reasons. To see the Black Hills the Badlands and the Indians. Many do not have the opportunity or take the time to see the Indian at his home but rather see the Indians the travel to the popular attractions in the hills. Fine Indians like Ben Black Elk who has spent many years at Mt. Rushmore. There have been relatively few large scale operations that have centered on the Indians of the state. However ver national a state coordinator of Indian Affairs has an idea for what he calls the red manned planes Craft Lodge. For many years arts and crafts committees of the tribes have been. Coming up with the idea that they needed a market for their craft items are there from the reservations. And I'm about six months ago our last meeting of the term and while there they were at a standstill again you know and still had need to market.
So I developed this idea I have a long explanation on this. My whole concept of this is to make this a year round operation. But first to begin with we are going to make a feasibility study a market study and to develop a catalog of this feasibility study will go to all the reservations in South Dakota from one end of the state to the other and determine the number of craftsman and the number of items they produce to determine were the most saleable items. And then to determine see what to what extent the craftsmen are producing. You know I feel that they're not even producing and 35 percent of their ability or potential. But if we developed a constant market and it produced up to 100 percent of their ability and capacity why that we would have. More of the items would be available for the public. Now on this center this is a large teepee here it would be
all 65 to 80 feet high and it would be a restaurant area. It was supposed to seat up to almost 100 people and the center three teepees with the adjoining buildings. I was around 40 feet high. So you can see they're not it's not a small development but that center complex there would be the over the counter sales to the tourists to the touring public. One to the left here with the three t b complex is our mail order house. We would stock we would use everything would be stock at this point of course and we walk to the counter to there. And then we thought that we ought to have something authentic So these 40 peas out in front by the big sign this will read Redmond planes Craft Lodge these are be authentic me the buffalo skins and these long houses back here would be only for the manager
and the housing area for some of our single girls you know and what we like to staff this whole thing with is young and Indian young Indian men and women probably college students who need summer jobs. That is we need partners like having them in there. Even in this the setting sun motor lodge we would like to staff that with Indian labor. Now this hoe lodge would be easy would it would depict the transition of the Indian as well going from the TV days into the longhouse days and then you see the motel as a modern day life. The Redmen plains craft lodges Mr Ashley has proposed it will be a combination of a mail order Headquarters over the counter sales dining facilities and a motel but locations available for such a venture include many of the stopping off places including or koma just outside Chamberlain South Dakota. So farm I favor that O'Connell area. That the there's an exit will be an exit right at the all call O'Connell which
the administrators are then q sharpest eight have a tract of land right there and would be plenty of land for this development. Now Mrs. Levy and former governor Sharpe's daughter is considering the fact that she would just donate it to us and invest that investment and there we would have it as you could see that things so easy come over that here or rise over the hill from the lake and you could see that for several miles ahead you know and this is why I favored that location in our preliminary study. We're using the rural traffic flow map of the state. And this spot of color has the highest traffic count per 24 hours on the Interstate 90 is completed I understand that it would increase by all five six hundred cars a day Morris said it was well over 4000 cars every
24 hours assuming that such a project of marketing Indian grounds could be put into effect and thus bring some additional income to the people who either supplied goods or worked at the lodge. To what degree would this affect the financial status of the Dakota Indian. We don't hope to ever make him earn above the poverty level but if they're making two hundred fifty dollars a year at craftwork we hope we can double that you see. And if they got $500 a year at least we think we made a big gain for each question. The proposal seems to indicate a willingness of people to work on the crafts and what not and depends upon the motel to stop people at the large area. The traffic count indicates a large number of cars traveling by. But this was not in any way dictates success as you will soon see. Mr. Morris Paulson those who follow South Dakota undertook a campaign to start the great Sioux encampment where Indians would have their small village and perform dances so other crafts and reap the tourist dollars. The Standing Rock Reservation did something like this up near Bismarck.
Abraham Lincoln fort it fell on its face and they believed it was due to the lack of traffic. It was off the highway the main highway by about nine miles. They ran over two years and lost money both years and they finally gave up and it looked like that was the reason to it didn't want to take time to come down there. Nine miles nine miles back to get back on the highway. So location and here it was to look considerably better. It was the highest traveled tourist route spot in the state between moral and rapid. Even better than at Rushmore we were getting people who were going across country. Heads would look good on paper. We had some figures that 9000 people a day. They were traveling at that spot for the three months of the year and we
put up billboards across the state starting here into voting and had a lot of enthusiasm among the Indians and. Everybody It was I just couldn't miss and it was the one thing the state really needed was a place where you could see Indians the way tourist wanted to see them and their little cousin doing old dances and craft something would be educational as well as entertaining and surefire thing but it didn't work that way. Glee. Did not stop the Doris Day was 50 cards. Two hundred people only at times up to forty Indians and which is a tremendous payroll overhead. The last money hand over fist in the air in the deal. The great Sioux encampment lasted barely one summer. It will not open again this summer because of the financial problems that resulted. Some afterthought went into its failure though they started analyzing the thing people were stuffing or all from the East Coast people. The bulk of the
tourist traffic in the hills is from the Midwest. Minnesota and the Basque and I were a biggest source of tourists and these people were just not interested in that and some contact with Indians before probably they were not well enough for them to want to study. So many more people would stop to see this Flintstones attraction that was Depp as a real Indian. Very discouraging. Aside from the fact that most of the people stopping at the encampment were from the eastern states to begin to emerge a definite pattern as to the type of person who would take the time to stop what I'm going to classify as the Indian. There are people who were just thrilled with me and. We get letters from them afterwards it was the high point of their trip across the country and please send catalogues of the crafts and move while about. To be pictured with a real photograph of the real Indian with a big deal.
The kids of course were enthused. To the degree that a peasant third graders third grade apparently those that were used to anybody with a couple character Indian guy made a big thing of talking to the kids and being photographed and they loved it. Well they were in love alone we had a register book or we had I think we had several thousand people stuff but I think we had a couple of people from the Midwest under a hundred. So they were all the out of the way out of staters and they were people who come out here apparently hoping to see in in the state I would have been regularly featured at least one picture of it in an area that had the pulling power. As for Mayor pull the growing craze about Indians to the states and there is about Rushmore Badlands. This looks good too isn't it Warren. But these are coming
from the Indian nets. The enthusiasm I suppose can use that phrase. Mr. Paulson describes himself as one of the Indian nuts. The person who was interested in Indians and who stops to see and talk to the Indians his purpose we're entering into this venture was twofold first to help the Indians and second as a business investment. The Venture flopped and as he said lost money hand over fist. The one part of the operation that did make money was the craft shop for the Arts and Crafts alone would have done anything. And I've heard from others in the business or they've tried the same things that are the Indian Arts alone will not make money. If I think that pottery and rabbit is overgrown hobby is not really a moneymaker. Even though they are reasonably successful in employing. Eight or nine women they're breaking even or better. Went up. Not really illogical a thriving business. It's a doctor and his wife that have done is it. Help It means a lot of work and crafts are not especially profitable for the businessman nor are they
very profitable for the Indian and the beadwork is feeding out very rapidly. Is there no money in it. What a blow down. We could organize some craft gilds last spring and the idea of supplying the encampment. When I got down to figure out what we were doing that with the expected women to work for what 10 cents an hour and when they have nothing that's better than nothing. But really is not a solution to their problem and build up that they've been living. Well I thought what we would expect out of a given order for. All 200. Iraqi sets of earrings which would sell for a dollar and a half and we get earrings from in small quantities. I mean picking up here and there for not have they would sell for nothing and which means that they got 75 cents. So whether we're going to give an order for 200 on their way through but we actually analyze how much damage the bees cost what it would be the most time taken to make it if they weren't working for another.
Each reservation area has its own approach to the tourist trade. None are doing a land office business but there is one reservation that has been more successful than the others in their approach to the tourist arose but apparently the most successful in their campground approach. Oh they're really dealing with about a thousand people. We have more people in that it last but not making any money at it really but I can see it doesn't or is. There spending in the crash of about a thousand dollars or about a dollar per tourist. So not really a thriving industry and anyway you look at it. I went to the Rosebud Reservation to see firsthand what type of facilities they had there. The town of Rosebud is some six or eight miles off the main highway which is Highway 18 on a well paved road. Arriving at Rose but I proceeded to the agency superintendent's office and talk with her old junk. The agency superintendent about tourism at Rosebud. When I first came to rose bed one of the things that I told my
wife and I is that I would like and when I retired to return to Rosebud. Bring to the attention of the Rosebud people the tribal council and the leaders the tremendous opportunity they would have for tourism at Rose but because of the fact they have such a beautiful area especially the little White River area its tremendous possibilities. Unfortunately I was offered a job bank year before I retired and we had meetings back in 1960 concerning tourism. It was one segment of an economic development plan that we could utilize to build a better roads but we also felt that it was necessary to get people interested in Indian people and the Rosebud Reservation for many other reasons besides tourism
especially in the field of economic development. So the economic development program the Resource Development Committee was organized and they decided to work with the state. The Park Service the National Parks Park Service fish and game the Rosebud leaders actually are a one of the few groups of leaders that see the value of working with the scores of other organizations that can be of help to them. They have gone all out to do this and it has paid off. They have gotten a great deal of help and also got a lot of people interested in their program and in their welfare. They got the Park Service to come down and the National Park Service and pick out a site. They pick this site out goes to park it presently. This was started actually
in 60. We also studied. Other organizations programs and their plans and we just didn't jump into the thing haphazardly. We spent some time at it. We've done a great many things to get free publicity for example. I contacted Don the hips man for instance and I asked him if he knew of a writer that might come through here and give us some publicity. He gave me the name of four or five writers I wrote to them and we were able to get a fellow by the name of Irwin Bauer from Columbus Ohio who came through here and it so happened he came on the 4th of July and I stayed home the fourth and showed him all around. He wrote a real nice article that came out in the family weekly. It has about six million subscribers and it's got a great deal of publicity for us for free. He is
another article of his came out in sports afield. And we had our good friend Giles McKeown of NBC who gave us a number of spot announcements and one thousand sixty two. Charles called me up. I first November and said I'm going to take over the jack Eigen show for a week. I signed that he's going on vacation as a show that's been on the air for 20 years well known seen or heard in Forty two states one know if I would come back he would give me 45 minutes of an interview in between commercials. So I got permission to go back from the area director David Dean appeared on the show on Thanksgiving night and the following year we had a lot of people from Illinois and the people of the Rosebud Reservation who carefully planned their tourism programs and are showing excellent results from them. They have many nice attractions in that tiny town of Rosebud. And in the giant countryside that surrounds it we have a beautiful old building in rows but
where the arts and crafts program is housed. Everything in this building is made locally here during the winter months by the people of the Rosebud Reservation. Then it is sold to the tribe and they in turn sell it for a small profit. You will enjoy visiting this place. We have developed a pictorial history of the reservation. We have all the old chief's pictures for example. We have many of the early day ranges activities the activities of the trival the years we have in pictures we have a picture of a spot of tale's house. We have pictures up to date of the things that are happening. For instance the housing programs many of the other programs and we can go back to 1878 with our pictures when this agency was first established and it makes me
very interesting part of our crash program to have the tourist come in and see the old days and the new day. We also have a very fine swimming hole here that is fed by two springs and has been used for a swimming place for many years we've developed a that have a nice science base we have diving boards and. If the youngsters can get out on rafts and go into the stream and this is one thing we do it we don't charge for everything which we think is quite important. We think for instance we should never charge for people to go in swimming and it is a part of this free society that we live in a free world. And there are some things that the tribe I don't believe a lever charge for just outside rows but is perhaps one of the finest attractions in that part of the state. The ghost Hawk park camp grounds a beautiful camping area the park attracts thousands of
campers each summer. Mr. Shawn goes down to the camp grounds every evening and talks with the people about Indian history and answers or questions about the Dakota Indians. People from all walks of life camp there like Peter childs the folk singer who provided the music you hear in the background. There is much room for expansion of the present facilities it goes talk park and a commensurate increase in general tourist facilities on the roads but we haven't even scratched the surface here it Rose said. We had we could have a thousand people camping up and down the little white river the distance of 30 miles and we wouldn't hardly even know they were there. And that's how tremendous it could work in there and we could take care of thousands of them every night. With the kind of country we got the accessibility to water and shade and all the things that it makes camping pleasant. We have and we have a lot of interesting
places to see museums and arson crafts and swimming holes and it's tremendous what we have to offer. The fellow who really wants to relax and see God's country the friendly atmosphere of a rose bud brings people back there year after year for an interesting and relaxing vacation. One wants to remember in the state of South Dakota there's that a tourist is a person away from home and he is looking for someone to talk with and he is looking for information. And if you're friendly with him he makes him real happy. I've had people who just choke up when they shake hands with me and say goodbye. And they say well we really have enjoyed this short stay here we only wished we had more time to stay longer this visiting and this. Friendliness that we found it rose but whoever we talk to has been really inspiring to us and we're going to come back.
There have been successes and failures of incorporating the Indian into the tourist trade in South Dakota and there are plans being laid for the future. If you pass through South Dakota during the next summer to stop in at Rosebud or Pine Ridge or any of the reservations and take a tour look around and enjoy your visit with the friendly Dakota people. The overall economic development plans for the Dakota people include more than the tourist industry. One actually discusses one of the projects project number. 0 6 dash 6 dash 0 9 0 4 4 which is the development of a strong popping in a corrugated box board plant in our central South Dakota. This is using straw to pulp paper and using agricultural residues rice straw and wheat for the past seven years I've been working on this project. Now I understand it we will need is a final approval and this feasibility will start. This to me is one of the biggest developments in the source nor central part of our state which
would involve employment for Indian people and non Indians as well because it will involve a lot of employment. Besides that it will create a market for an agricultural residue which is not. Which the farmer is not receiving any money for now and that is a strong in the market price they would pay there for the straw about 15 dollars a ton and on up resigned that it would bring a plant into the state which would be from around 20 million dollar plant using the waters of the or heroes of war. And hopefully we can use the lignite coal deposits in that Mobil teachers Standing Rock area. We have included the route to redevelopment there is Cheyenne River and standing on two other reservations are included in the second project. The Lower Brule and the Crow Creek reservation.
The second is a course is approved. The money has been appropriated by Congress and that is the irrigation project down here to Crow Creek in Lower Brule reservations. It involves tentatively eleven thousand eight hundred twenty acres of land. A little over 4000 acres in the Lower Brule reservation which is all tribal land and it has been determined previously by the Bureau of Reclamation that this is all arable Nergal lands on the Crow Creek side of course it will be a little different. We have to determine how many acres. I think there's around seven thousand eight hundred twenty acres somewhere in that neighborhood. And Congress has appropriated around 80000 dollars to the Bureau of Reclamation to start this feasibility study now stemming from this development we're trying to institute and we plan to institute a demonstration plots one on the Crow Creek and one of the Lower Brule. These demonstration plants where you are planning to institute training to
train the Indian people and all people that area on the principles of irrigation. Experimentation on the types of crops to be raised in an overall study of production and their role feasibility of the irrigation development. So far we had fine cooperation from the South Dakota State University. Both the triumphs and the beer in affairs. Our State Water Resource Commission and arse dust will develop an expansionist So we've got a lot of organizations involved and I think it's real good. And that alone again will change the economy of that area again and it will make a lot of people are productive. If the incumbent is producing people we hope decrease the number of people on welfare programs.
A lot of hopes and aspirations hinge on the success of the various economic development programs tourism industry agriculture. If successful we can expect valuable results by creating more employment. Whether they do it by crafts or just by their rather labor. I know our people historically been a proud race. We come to an area where they've regressed. They lost their pride they lost their initiative. It's because of the lack of employment or any opportunity to do something on the reservation and this is the big problem I think. And I think that and. If. You lend me your efforts if I can do something to accomplish these thing I hope that some areas will that you find that people will be different. I'd like to think very nationally coordinator of Indian Affairs for the state of South Dakota for all the information these given me and for the plans which he has presented for us to examine dealing with economic advancement for the Dakota people in South Dakota. Also Morris Paulson director of the Morris Paulson advertising agency in Sioux Falls South
Dakota. Harold shunk agency superintendent at the Rosebud Reservation and Peter childs of Los Angeles California. For information that has been used on this program. This is Arlin diamond speaking. With. With. Ruffled feathers the Dakota zoo in transition as producer the facility is ok you asked be ready oh at the University of South Dakota. A grant from the National Home Library Foundation has made possible the production of this program for national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
Ruffled feathers: The Dakota Sioux
Tourism and Sioux economic development
Producing Organization
University of South Dakota
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on tourism and Sioux economic development.
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A documentary series about the history, culture and contemporary problems of the Sioux, a Native American tribe.
Race and Ethnicity
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Producing Organization: University of South Dakota
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-10-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:18
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Chicago: “Ruffled feathers: The Dakota Sioux; Tourism and Sioux economic development,” 1967-04-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “Ruffled feathers: The Dakota Sioux; Tourism and Sioux economic development.” 1967-04-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: Ruffled feathers: The Dakota Sioux; Tourism and Sioux economic development. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from