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Arts & Life

The bombing of the badlands

Badlands Aerial Gunnery Range
NPS Photo
Signs warning visitors about the bombing range dot the perimeter of the South Unit.

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

The Heart of All Oral History project is an audio series developed by Little Wound School with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project aims to preserve the oral traditions of the Lakota people.

In a new episode, elders remember land lost to "the bombing range," a 341,726 acre portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation that was seized by the Department of the Army during World War II.

Up until 1968, the U.S. Army and South Dakota National Guard used this land for air-to-air and air-to-ground gunnery practice and bombing exercises. To this day, the area is littered with bullets and debris.

Keith Janis, Joe Whiting, Gaka Mustang Wilbur Witt, and Jimmy Christensen share their stories in a new episode of the oral history series entitled "Darkest Night: Pine Ridge to Bombing Range."

News episodes of audio series air Wednesdays on KILI Radio. You can listen to this week's full episode now on your favorite streaming service