American Bison Exhibit
Learning about the American Bison
at the NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER®
At Crazy Horse Memorial
As her father watches, a young curly-haired girl stands transfixed by the sight before her. With mouth agape, the seven-year old cautiously leans in and then stops, motionless, eye-to-eye with the large, horned bison. After a close inspection of the large animal, the girl’s expression of curious awe slowly transforms into a wide smile of recognition that she turns to share with her father. The two let go of a collective laugh and then continue browsing the exhibit. A few moments later, the girl’s father can be seen concentrating intently as he runs his fingers across a luminescent screen – taking in an abundance of information on the history of the American bison. This was the scene recently in the NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER® at Crazy Horse Memorial.
The NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER®, a distinctive stone building completed in 1996 from rock removed from the Crazy Horse Memorial Mountain Carving, provides a number of unique educational and cultural opportunities geared toward enhancing the visitors' experience at Crazy Horse Memorial. One of the newest opportunities for visitors includes the Exhibit of the American Bison. This newly-acquired exhibit shares the history of bison throughout North America from prehistoric beginnings to near extinction. The interactive exhibit also tells of those who helped to save the bison near the end of the 19th-century and explores the cultural significance of the bison to various North American tribes. Visitors can browse information about the American bison on a user-friendly electronic kiosk and, also, get up close and personal with a taxidermy bison – affectionately known as “Bruno.”
The father and daughter duo walk hand-in-hand up the winding stairs. Before reaching the top step, the young girl turns to wave goodbye to her new, four-legged friend. Realizing that this experience will resonate for years within their family, her father once again smiles. The pair continues up the stairs and out the door into the bright sunshine-filled afternoon.
Crazy Horse Memorial is a family-friendly destination where American Indians and active members of the United States Military are always admitted free of charge. The Memorial, which is open 365 days a year, is the center of a multi-faceted Foundation mission, “to protect and preserve the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians.” For more information about Crazy Horse Memorial or any of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation’s ongoing educational and cultural offerings, please call 605-673-4681.