In an announcement released today by U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), the Rosebud Sioux Tribe will receive a $6.8 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish the first cemetery in the nation established jointly by the VA and a federally recognized tribe.
“The VA has never before provided a tribe with funding to establish a cemetery for Native veterans,” said Johnson, Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. “I’m glad that this first-in-the-nation cemetery will be built right here in South Dakota. This joint effort between the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the VA should serve as a model for similar cemeteries in our state and across the nation.”
According to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Sicangu Akicita Owicahe Veterans Cemetery will be built upon 80 acres located approximately 10 miles from the junction of Highway 18 and 83 Highway in Mellete County. It will include a public information center, offices and maintenance yard and will be open to enrolled tribal veterans, eligible spouses and dependents.
The grant will cover construction with the tribe handling operations upon completion.