The Colossus of Chamberlain, SD: Massive Statue of Native Woman Gets a Boost

A 45-foot-tall steel statue of a Native woman receiving a star quilt may soon be rising in Chamberlain, South Dakota, by the Missouri River.

Sculptor Dale Lamphere of South Dakota wants to put a 45-foot-tall sculpture of a Native American woman on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River in Chamberlain, South Dakota. With a $1 million donation from Norm and Eunabel McKie, the artist's grand vision has taken a major step toward becoming reality.

The planned monument is titled "Dignity," and depicts a Native woman receiving a star quilt. The quilt is being designed by Lakota silversmith David Claymore. The entire statue will be made of steel, with the star quilt illuminated from inside, creating a beacon visible from I-90. 

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"This gift will mean a lot to South Dakota," said Governor Dennis Daugaard. "In addition to being the state of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, South Dakota will also be the state of the 'Dignity' statue." If all goes to plan, the monument will be installed in 2015 as part of the state's 125th anniversary celebration, which began on November 2.

Here's a full-length photo of the design, with a human figure at the bottom edge of the photo to show scale:

Dale Lamphere's proposed design for 'Dignity.' Note human figure at the bottom edge of the photo. Image courtesy South Dakota Governor's office.