SD cemetery for tribal veterans near completion

Rapid City, South Dakota (AP) October 2012

Construction is ahead of schedule for a cemetery for military veterans who are members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and the project should be completed in the next two months, the project’s construction manager said.

“It literally grows by leaps and bounds every time I visit the site,” construction manager Chris Wehrle of Wyss Associates told the Rapid City Journal ( “It’s very impressive.”

Rosebud Sioux tribal members who completed a required amount of time on active military duty will be eligible for burial at the cemetery near Mission. There are more than 4,000 U.S. military veterans enrolled as members of the tribe.

The cemetery was funded with nearly $7 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The department also has given grants for tribal cemeteries to the Yurok Tribe in Humboldt County, Calif., and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe near Tucson, Ariz., the newspaper reported.

The Rosebud cemetery includes 600 sites for crypt burials, 544 traditional burial plots and 32 columbarium sites.

Architects incorporated several elements of Lakota design after discussing the cemetery with Rosebud tribal members, Wehrle said. A gathering place in the center of the cemetery will be painted with a traditional Lakota circle divided into colored quadrants, he said.

Construction was contracted to wrap up by Memorial Day next year but will likely be completed in October or November, Wehrle said.