The All-American Indian Days Honoring Project seeks to address the lack of knowledge and public record about the extraordinary generosity of local volunteers, civic groups, churches, and businesses in Sheridan County and by neighboring Native American people who invested in the dream of All-American Indian Days from 1953-1984. This inter-racial collaboration is considered the first humanitarian project in Indian Country and took place eleven years before the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
We invite you to join us in making this Honoring Project a reality, to rebuild public awareness and preserve this legacy. Our goal of raising $100,000 by July 2021 will happen through many donations, small and large, just as All-American Indian Days was achieved through the collective and individual efforts of many ordinary people. Fundraising will dedicate a sculpture by a Native American artist, memorial benches and pavers, and a native plant garden within a Four Directions Circle with pathways to the four directions. Its location on city property, within the Sheridan Railroad Historic District and next to the 1892 Wood Sheridan Railroad Depot will recognize the collaboration of non-Natives and Native Americans and will become a visitor destination.
We hope you will consider a tax-deductible donation to the All-American Indian Days Honoring Project. Please know these options are available for donating: click the donate button (upper left corner of this page) - you may choose to use PayPal or use your debit or credit card or physically mail a check to: Big Horn City Historical Society at P.O. Box 566, Big Horn, Wyoming, 82833. Or, you may wish to memorialize a family member through purchase of a $50 Memorial Paver. To do so, please use the following link:
We thank you for your support! If you need more information or have questions, please contact Sarah Luther, Chair, Miss Indian America Committee at email@example.com
Historical Summary: (for more detail, read the Nickerson article under Archives)
In 1951, Native Americans faced discrimination, were widely regarded as second-class citizens, and unwelcome in towns near their reservations. Local merchants in Sheridan deterred Native people with signage, such as “No Indians served here” and “No Indians or Dogs Allowed.”
This reality was shattered when Lucy Yellowmule, a member of the Crow tribe, was selected Queen of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo, the first time a Native American won that contest.
Between 1953 and 1984, a coalition formed between churches, business leaders, and local families, and with Native leadership, to create an annual three-day event to build awareness between races, known as All-American Indian Days. Its goals were the honoring and promotion of Indian culture, encouraging better race relations, addressing injustices and fostering egalitarian ideals. The Freedom Foundation recognized Sheridan, Wyoming for its efforts to eliminate racial discrimination. And later in 1958, Sheridan was awarded another national award as an All American City for its efforts in eliminating racial discrimination.
During All-American Indian Days, a Miss Indian America was chosen to implement a goodwill platform of public engagement as a cultural ambassador. She shared her tribal heritage and the history of Native Americans and filled the gap that historically has been left out of the educational system, to provide knowledge about Native American people. Each titleholder traveled extensively throughout Indian Country, the United States, and even internationally.