Tribal complaints prompt national park to stop selling pipes
PIPESTONE, Minn. (AP) — The Pipestone National Monument in southwestern Minnesota says it will stop selling pipes following decades of tribal complaints that the sales desecrate sacred grounds.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports that Faith Spotted Eagle of the Yankton Sioux Tribe calls the pipestone from which the pipes are carved “the blood of our people.”
Superintendent Lauren Blacik says the monument’s leadership has come to understand that carrying a pipe is a deeply personal, cultural and spiritual responsibility.
Native American craftspeople will continue to demonstrate pipestone carving and share their cultural history with visitors to the national monument. And the Pipestone Indian Shrine Association, which operates the park’s store, says it will open a location downtown where pipes carved from pipestone may be sold.
Spotted Eagle says the decision answers decades of prayer.