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May is Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month

Gov. Kristi Noem has proclaimed May as Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month in South Dakota.

In a proclamation dated April 24, 2024, Noem cited the importance of a public appreciation of historic resources. “It is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals who preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that shapes us as South Dakotans,” she said in the proclamation. The Governor’s Proclamation can be read in full at

Historic Preservation Month has been celebrated in South Dakota since it was established at the national level in 1973. The state added archaeology in 2005 to recognize it as a partner in historic preservation. 

“South Dakota’s cultural heritage is rich and diverse as represented by thousands of archaeological and historical sites, historic buildings and landscapes that have been recorded throughout the state,” said Jenna Carlson Dietmeier, the interim South Dakota Historic Preservation Officer in Pierre. “Public appreciation and understanding are the foundation to preserving South Dakota’s past for future generations.”

The 2024 theme for the month is “Preservation Adventures”. The South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office (SDSHPO) encourages South Dakotans to celebrate this theme by learning about and exploring historical locations in their local communities and throughout the state.

The SDSHPO offers more ways for individuals to observe the occasion: 

·         Take a walk around a local historic residential and/or commercial district or tour a historic cemetery;

·         Research local historic buildings and places, learn about their history, and support the preservation of those places;

·         Reach out to a local preservationist or historian to learn more about what they do in their job and ask them how you can assist in preservation efforts;

·         Follow the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Facebook page to learn about local historic places and archaeological sites throughout the state during the month of May; and,

·         Check the online calendar at for activities, educational programs, and more. Those interested in submitting an event to be posted on the calendar can submit a form on the website’s calendar page.

For more information on this annual celebration or other historic preservation programs, contact the State Historic Preservation Office in Pierre; telephone (605) 773-3458, e-mail, or website

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered in Pierre. The center houses the society’s museum, archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development departments. For questions or memberships, Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.