SOUTH DAKOTA: Dignity of Earth and Sky Statue

June 8th ~ Chamberlain,  SD

Front of Dignity Statue

We decided to have a shorter day. Our only scheduled stop was to see the Dignity Statue which is located at a rest stop/information center overlooking the Missouri River along I-90 near the town of Chamberlain, SD.


Made out of stainless steel, artist Dale Lamphere designed the statue to represent Native American women who are indigenous to South Dakota, especially the Lakota and Dakota peoples.

Dignity of Earth and Sky

She is wrapped in a star quilt that features 128 blue diamonds, which represents respect, honor and admiration in Native American cultures. The quilt glitters in the sun and changes colors depending upon how much light is shining on it.

Back side of the statue showing more of the diamond quilt

“The statue measures 50 feet (15.24m) high, 16 (4.88m) feet deep and 32 feet (9.75m) wide. The star quilt held by the woman has more than 100 blue diamond shapes that move in the wind “like an Aspen leaf”.” ~ Wikipedia

Built and installed in 2016, the statue was made possible by a generous gift from the Norm and Enable McKie family.

Tim and Shirley in front of the statue


  • She does not represent any one individual or tribe
  • Three Lakota women were used as models for her face
  • Her dress, leggings and moccasins are patterned from 1850’s Native dress
  • The statue weighs 27,000 pounds
  • She was built in the Badlands and transported to the site in one piece
  • The star quilt is one of the most valued gifts of the Lakota and Dakota people
  • The 128 diamonds are four feet across and covered with seven coats of paint
  • LED lights highlight the diamonds at night


Inside the visitors center is an exhibit about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Shirley at one of the Lewis & Clark displays

The winds were back blowing pretty fiercely again this afternoon and we are happy to be parked for the night at a KOA in Midland, SD and just taking it easy.

We will head into Badlands National Park tomorrow.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we have gained back an hour (now in Mountain Time Zone). An extra hour of sleep tonight will feel good. We are also enjoying seeing literally hundreds of dragon flies here in the campsite. There must have just been a hatching as they are swarming everywhere around us. We associate them with good luck 🙂

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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22 Responses to SOUTH DAKOTA: Dignity of Earth and Sky Statue

  1. vivian meade says:

    This is absolutely an awesome tribute.. (and a fantastic trip you are on).. Thank you so much…


  2. Darlene says:

    I have heard of this amazing statue. You are so lucky to see it first hand! Sounds like a great day. xo


  3. Tshaering Daendup Bigbro says:

    Happy to hear about this amazing statue. Thank you for your wonderful information


  4. I have to remember to stop and see this on my way out/back this year. There’s also an excellent Akta Lakota museum in Chamberlain.



  5. Isn’t she magnificent? Glad you got to see her and share the story.


  6. joliesattic says:

    Beautiful! The Dakota’s are two of 6 states I’ve not been to. You’re giving me so much to look forward to. Thank you!


  7. Good thing Shirley is along to slow you down. 🙃


  8. Kimberly Thomas says:

    I loved the statue of dignity.


  9. mvbattelle says:

    Looks wonderful! Have you visited the National Music Museum on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion? It’s amazing but I know they are adding on so you should make sure it’s open before going there. I don’t know if they have started yet.


  10. Widdershins says:

    She is glorious! 😀


  11. M Miles says:

    Sounds awesome! South Dakota is on my places to go, I was there once but just cross the border and that was when I was a teenager.


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