Eagle Sculptures


In celebration of the Lewis and Clark Bicententennial, the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, along with United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) and the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, worked together to create a series of public art pieces along the Missouri Valley Legacy Trail (see map), enhancing the park and trail system experience along the scenic Missouri River for both visitors and residents of Bismarck-Mandan.

In collaboration with students in the Art/Art Marketing Department at UTTC, a series of five eagle sculptures were created along the trail. The student artists were responsible for the design, creation and construction.  The first sculpture was completed and dedicated in 2004.

As you walk the trail, enjoy the scenery, the river, the eagles and the legacy of the land.


Keelboat Park (1605 River Road)
Dedicated: October 21, 2004

Student Artists:
Jamie Ducheneaux, Stacy Speedis, Todd Trottier, Joaquin Andrews, Mark Scher, Brianna McHugh, Dustin Black and Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy

Throughout history, as early as the third millennium B.C., stories about giant birds often associated with thunderstorms appeared in many parts of the world. To the Native peoples, the Thunderbird is a belief. He is not known as a myth. Native American lore tells us that the Thunderbirds are part of the Great Spirit who lives among us in the clouds. They are not like living beings but enormous Gods. The Thunder being carries a storm to extreme measures, lightning flashes from his eyes and produces thunder by the flapping of his wings.

Gathering of Visions

Sertoma Park (300 Riverside Park Road)
Dedicated: November 18, 2005

Student Artists:
Lyman “Yogi” Vivier, Brandon McDonald, Christina Ross, LaRae Laundreaux and Steven White Mountain

To Native people, the four directions and four colors of a medicine wheel signify the diversity and unity in the circle of life. The mosaic art represents the pride and beauty of our land and the eagles soaring above are keeping watch over the people while protecting their young. “Gathering of Visions” is an interpretation of the circle of life and the diverse cultures within the state of North Dakota. It is a reminder to people to live in balance and harmony.


Steamboat Park (1970 River Road)
Dedicated: November 3, 2006; Refurbished 2015-2016

Student Artists:
Josephine “Josie” Redday, Jeremy Pettigrew and Mike Gopher, Jr.

The earth is mother to all nations and must be honored by all who dwell upon it. The majestic eagles are courageous “masters of the sky.” To the Native people, they are seen as messengers that carry our prayers to the spirit world. A spirit eagle with its powerful wings engulfs the earth to create balance between all living things so that we may live in harmony. “Reflections” serves as a reminder to treat all beings with respect as all living things have a spirit.

Rising Eagle

Pioneer Park (1500 River Road)
Dedicated: September 5, 2007; Refurbished 2018; Replaced 2020

Student Artists:
David Black Cloud, John Clifford, Bethany Drapeau and Martha Garreaux

This creature speaks directly with Wakan Tanka (the great mystery) and is guided by his will. He hears our prayers and carries them to our creator. In this sculpture, the Eagle is being portrayed in a contemporary context. The circular wall that encompasses Rising Eagle represents the earth. Attached to the wall is a bench that welcomes the public to sit and reflect. With careful thought and consideration, the original Rising Eagle was replaced in 2020.




The Keeper

Sertoma Park (300 Riverside Park Road)
Dedicated: September 4, 2008

Student Artists:
Kristina Kalenze-Luna, Brenna Jo Ashburn, Stacey Lynn Grant, Emanuel Joseph Red Bear III, Charles Evan Anderson, Tina R. Azure, Freedom McLaughlin and Dustin Thompson

This eagle represents the community, the state and the nation. We are beautiful, humble, independent and strong people. These values are old as time and will be used always for many generations to comes. This eagle is a symbol of protection, strength and freedom. The eagle has many different types, looks, colors, habitats – much like us. We come together as one, in a time of need, a time of sorrow and a time of happiness. We come together to make one community, one state and one nation. No matter what our color is, what we look like, or where we came from. That is what make us “one.”

Special Thanks and Recognition