Highlighting tribal culture in the Black Hills through a new garden at SURF

LEAD, S.D. (KOTA) – The development of an ethnobotanical garden on the Sanford Underground Research Facility grounds in Lead is set to highlight and explore the connections between science, art, and the rich culture of the Black Hills.

Čhaŋgléška Wakȟáŋ is the name of the garden and means sacred circle in Lakota. The garden will showcase the cultural connection between the local flora and the area’s tribes.

More importantly, the garden will serve as a space where people can reflect on the region’s cultural history.

“First and foremost, we wanted to recognize the nature of the Black Hills, the sacredness of the Black Hills to different Indigenous communities in this region and beyond,” explained Sanford Underground Research Facility community relations specialist Rochelle Zens. “So, we hope that this will be an area where people can reflect on that and share in conversation with their fellow community members.”

The garden will also be a key part of the SURF Deep Roots speaker series, highlighting voices from South Dakota’s indigenous communities.

The first part of the SURF Deep Roots series will take place on June 12. For volunteer registration, click here or go to the SURF website.

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