Our Ongoing Commitment
The Memorial's namesake, Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse and the founders of Crazy Horse Memorial–Chief Henry Standing Bear (1874-1953) and Korczak (1908-1982) and Ruth (1926-2014) Ziolkowski, continue to serve as examples of discernment, determination, courage, faith, imagination, fortitude, freedom, promises, strength, and character. Their stories continue to inspire and they live on through the work at the Memorial with the Ziolkowski family and American Indians at the Foundation's very core along with administrators, staff, faculty, and students from all walks of life and ethnicities who also commit their lives to advancing the Foundation's robust mission and vision. Ultimately, Crazy Horse Memorial, which honors all indigenous people of North America, stands as a reminder of the importance of reconciliation, respecting differences, embracing diversity, striving for unity, and appreciating life's deeper meaning as it has always been represented in Native American cultural values. This will never change.
Today, Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is governed by a diverse board of directors, which includes Native and non-Native members, and led by an executive management team including CEOs and daughters of Korczak and Ruth, Jadwiga and Monique Ziolkowski and Dr. Laurie Becvar, President and Chief Operating Officer. With the recent passing of Mrs. Ruth Ziolkowski, affectionately known to so many as "Mrs. Z," this newly named leadership team has been called upon to carry on the dream. Realizing fully the importance of the task appointed them, this team remains committed to the original purpose, mission, and ideals of the Memorial and their passion for progress in all aspects of the Foundation's mission "to protect and preserve the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians" is strong as is the desire to keep the promise Korczak made to Standing Bear.
Ultimately, the future of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation continues to take shape – a future in which a mission will continue to be met, a dream will continue to resonate, and an educational and humanitarian project will continue to endure. A project that began simply with a letter, then a series of letters, and eventually became a dialogue between two men from different cultures and that through a lifetime of work from a dedicated wife, mother, and leader, support from hundreds of thousands of visitors and supporters throughout the world, a dedicated board of directors, and now, an executive management team along with diverse staff, faculty, and students has grown into an icon of history, culture, and humanity and continues to possess far-reaching implications for both the state of South Dakota and the nation. Consequently, a new horizon awaits for this vibrant 501c3 Foundation -- spread out before the world as an example of what can be, what should be, and what will one day be . . . a dream realized.