Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Scalp Creek still under the spotlight despite failure of renaming bill


A Senate committee is rejecting an effort to rename the Scalp Creek Lakeside Recreation Area in Gregory County.

Democrat Sen. Shawn Bordeaux, a Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud, said it’s time for the state to move away from hurtful names.

“Scalp Creek Recreation Area is a beautiful place, often visited by families and children," Bordeaux said. "Such a place should not be marked by an association with such terrible history. South Dakota should take the initiative here and change the name to fit the place.”

Bordeaux proposes the area be named “Naca Topa,” which translates to “Four Chiefs.”

State Game Fish and Parks oppose the bill idea. Deputy Secretary Scott Simpson said the name change should not appear in state statute.

“This legislation is not necessary because South Scalp Creek Lakeside Use Area is not named in statute," Simpson said. "I think that should be a much more public process. There’s no official process for the naming of a lakeside use area, we believe that we have an open palate and I’ve visited with the sponsor about this. I think there’s some different directions we can go and maybe come up with an appropriate alternative.”

Simpson said a name change public input process could take as long as a year but couldn’t offer a firm timeline.

Sen. Bordeaux said he will work with Game Fish and Parks officials through the process.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture