SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Native Americans’ Day was enshrined as a South Dakota state holiday in 1990. Passed by the legislature and signed into law by then Governor George S. Mickelson, the new holiday replaced Columbus Day and South Dakota because the first state in the country to officially recognize Native Americans’ Day.

The 2021 Native American Day Parade in downtown Sioux Falls has been cancelled due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, but that doesn’t mean that people in the state are without ways to celebrate Native Americans’ Day.

Some notable events on the day in question are Native Americans’ Day at Crazy Horse Memorial, Native American Day at the Village, and the Remembering the Children Memorial Walk in Rapid City.

Remembering the Children Memorial Walk:

This event honors the children who died while attending the Rapid City Indian Boarding School and will begin with remarks at Sioux Park’s Flower Gardens, followed by the one-mile Memorial Walk at 10am.
The event will close with Prayers for the Children at 11am at the Sioux San Hospital.

Native American Day at the Village:

The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village is an archeological site open to the public on the shore of Lake Mitchell. On October 11 from 1-5 p.m., the site will honor the first people to live in South Dakota with a guided tour of the village. Admission is free.

Native Americans’ Day at Crazy Horse Memorial:

Included in the Native Americans’ Day celebration at Crazy Horse Memorial is the naming of the Crazy Horse Memorial Educator of the Year, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to Native American education. The honor includes a $1,000 grant for the winner’s school library or to programs of their choice which help students.

The program also features Native American singers and dancers.  A free buffalo stew lunch is available to all visitors.

The South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations also suggests the following ways to also celebrate Native Americans’ Day, as well as suggestions for where to do so.

  1. Patron a Native American owned business
  2. Visit a Native American museum
  3. Enjoy Native American Art
  4. Visit an outdoor historical site
  5. Go to a dance performance
  6. Visit the Dignity Statue
  7. Visit the Crazy Horse Memorial

Urban Indian Health, the organization which plans and hosts the annual Native American Day Parade in downtown Sioux Falls says that while the parade will not be held, smaller scale events will be planned throughout the month of November. You can stay up to date with news on those events on their website, and on their Facebook page.

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