Press Release • TACTICAL MEDIA

The Wičaktepi Remembrance Garden Opens in Rapid City

Rapid City, SD – Today, NDN Collective held a unveiling for the Wičaktepi Remembrance Garden – a space to memorialize local community members who were murdered by the police, provide a place for healing and gathering to continue the fight for accountability and justice. 

Around 150 people – including family members of those honored in the garden – gathered together to sing, pray, share a meal, and witness each other’s stories.

Native people are the most likely racial group to be killed by the police – a fact that is persistently erased and ignored in both data reporting and public consciousness. Native people represent about 8.5 percent of South Dakota’s population, but were victims of 75 percent of fatal police shootings since 2000. 

The memorial garden is inspired and endorsed by creators of the ‘Say Their Names’ Cemetery in South Minneapolis – a space created in 2020 to honor 100 of the countless Black lives taken by police violence. 

“The Wičaktepi Remembrance Garden is more than a memorial to our relatives taken at the hands of police – it speaks to a relationship rooted in white supremacy,” said Andy Iron Shell, action organizer at NDN Collective. “The systems of justice forced upon the lands of the Mni Luzahan continue to dehumanize us as they justify the taking of lands, water and our lives.”

“The Wičaktepi memorial garden offers a space for healing to those who’ve lost loved ones at the hands of police,” said Murray Lee, director of community engagement at NDN Collective. “This garden will also evolve over time based on input voiced from the community. It will become what the community needs it to be.”

“When the police take our loved ones, we must come together as a community to seek accountability and honor their true selves,” said Sunny Red Bear, associate director of organizing at NDN Collective. “The garden is a place to remember our relatives with dignity and love, not as the dehumanized, criminalized versions portrayed in their deaths. It stands as a testament to our resilience and our demand for justice.”

Learn more about Rapid City vs Racism.


NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.