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Rocky Boy playground construction begins


Eric Seidle

Phillip Sutherland, left, and Tyler Stump put metal pillars in the ground during construction of the new Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation playground on Upper Box Elder Road. The playground was donated by the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. Initial response to the foundation from some Native American advocates has been critical of the newly formed foundation.

The ground was broken for the new playground at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation and volunteers were working hard Saturday.

"It's been going great. Some of the guys have been here since 6 a.m.," said Tony Woods, the director of KHEW Radio.

The volunteers included people from the radio station, Tribal Water Resources, the Washington Redskins Original American Foundation, representatives from Playworld Systems and a few good Samaritans.

The foundation paid for the playground after representatives from the foundation met with Rocky Boy leaders and community members to talk about what the residents thought their reservation needed the most.

"The kids are really going to enjoy this thing," Woods said. " ... As long as they take care of it."

The playground is in the center of Middle Dryfork Village and will be shaped like a big teepee. Woods said there will be many graphics to decorate the structures, such as Chief Stone Child's image and alphabetical symbols from the traditional language. The playground will be rodeo-themed when it is finished.

Woods said a guess from the representatives of Playworld Systems, the company providing the equipment, was that the cost of all the pieces of the playground added to more than $150,000 and the entire bill was footed by the foundation.

"I can't thank the foundation enough," Woods said.

He added that the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins about them refusing to change their name to something more politically correct did not bother him.

"The ones who are angry are not stepping forward to help," Woods said. "Any little bit helps."

Woods said he hopes the playground will be appreciated by the community of Rocky Boy and that it will help keep kids out of trouble.

The representatives from the foundation, Tom Woolworth and Fred Rice, said they have been to around 12 reservations in the western United States in the last three months alone.

Woolworth, the regional director of the foundation for the western U.S., said he is currently working with a number of tribes in projects similar to the ones in Rocky Boy.

"A lot of tribes have expressed interest in playgrounds," Woolworth said.

He said when they met with Rocky Boy leaders, a priority list was made to better identify the reservation's wants and what is most important to them, such as elders, children and culture.

The deadline for completion of the playground is Aug. 1.


Reader Comments

Rick writes:

Free Land?? I think its been paid for over the past 100 years. Its the longest land mortage in the history.

Redskin writes:

Already vandalized and it's not even finished. Somebody felt they had to express themselves with spray paint.

BazookaJoe writes:

Land of the free was made from free land?

aimprez59521 writes:

So whats next? Inviting Ted Nugent to our Casino? Wouldnt surprise me at all.

Joe writes:

DonnieSue have you been to Pepin park or Highland park EVER?? There is not a whole lot there how many people do you see in the park when you drive by not many. As for Beaver Creek Park RB is within walking distance not sure what your talking about on that one. So where you going to go shopping for cars, cloths, food, entertainment, if you dont come to Havre with your free money you need havre just as bad as we need your free money. Not a whole lot of entrepreneurs providing services in RB!

Anotherjoe writes:

Free money? Interesting statement.

DonnieSue writes:

Awww Joe hope so too, in the mean time you have Pepin Park, Highland Park, Beaver Creek Park and so on and so forth, as far as new BIA, Ummm not sure about that. But at any rate thanks for the encouragement, I hope someday Rocky Boy would quit shopping at Havre ans then you may see how important our free money is to you. Maybe then you all would stop making assumptions about the people there. We are not all like the CCT Council. We shall remain strong, even after all the stupid remarks.

Joe writes:

I wish Havre could have as nice of facilities as Rocky Boy. A gym with a basketball court, track, swimming pool, weights, etc. New Clinic, new BIA, new college, now a new park. Must be nice


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