Kevin Killer, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is praising the National Park Service and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for the decision not to hold an Independence Day fireworks show at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Mount Rushmore held a fireworks show last year for the first time in a decade, but officials cited the threat of wildfire, COVID-19 social distancing concerns, and opposition from Native American tribes in saying no to another show this year.
President Killer commended Haaland, who is also a Native American, for “considering input from local tribal nations and their desire to protect the Black Hills from contamination, and the possibility of forest fires.”
KIller called the Black Hills “sacred to surrounding tribes” with the fireworks show ban “allowing our tribal citizens to observe their right to worship during a time of renewal” while keeping citizens and visitors safe during the pandemic.
South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem was instrumental in bring back fireworks and has gone to federal court to challenge the denial, calling it “arbitrary and capricious” while being “purely political.”