RAPID CITY, S.D. — November is Native American Heritage month, and as the month comes to a close the U.S. Small Business Administration is honoring the growing number of Indian entrepreneurs. Rapid City has its share of Native American owned businesses, some making it their mission to keep cultural traditions in the storefront.
Prairie Edge has been a local Native American shop in Rapid City for 40 years. Its current location on the corner of 6th street and Main has been a fixture of the downtown area since 1990. Dedicated to preserving the heritage of the native people, Prairie Edge is filled with artwork mainly from Northern Plains artists.
“We have everything from buffalo robes to buffalo skulls to tomahawks, knives so you know everything in between. But also too everything reflects the culture of here the lakota culture but also too we try to include you know the crow” said Frank Night Pipe who works in Retails Sales for the store.
The two primary goals of the organization is to give local native artists an outlet to showcase their pieces. Also, Prairie Edge seeks to halt the perpetuation of Native American stereotypes and educate non-natives with historical accuracy. Frank says they are all about providing cultural knowledge.
“You know people want to learn more about Native americans. For example in school you know we learn about American history so we’re here to provide knowledge of Native Americans.”
Frank who is from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe says having Native American Heritage Month is important because it reminds the masses that natives are still very much alive in the fabric of the American way.