SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota is home to roughly 77,000 Native Americans, according to the latest census numbers.

Monday was a day to honor and celebrate Indigenous people and their contributions to the state.

The sound of beating drums could be heard in the heart of the city on Monday.

Floats, dancers, and horses caravanned down Phillips Avenue for the Sioux Falls Native American Day Parade.

Kelli Volk: What do you think of the parade today?
Parade walker: I think this is fantastic. Every year it gets bigger and bigger, and it’s nice to see.

Kelli Volk: What’s your favorite part of the parade?
Parade watcher: People.

Lisa Weston joined the crowd of spectators to watch her family members in the parade.

“Everybody’s here learning. They’re learning. A lot of people don’t understand. If they come to a Pow Wow they’re always inquiring, ‘What’s going on here?’ Well, this is how we were brought up. This is how we were raised. We teach our children this so that they know,” Weston said.

A nine-year-old in the parade wore a ribbon skirt representing a story of siblings reuniting after boarding school.

“People used to go to boarding school. They would sometimes get kicked out of their house to go to boarding school,” Medrano said.

From Native American history to traditions and culture, they’re all a part of Native Americans’ Day in South Dakota.

“It’s good for other people to see other culture,” Medrano said.

Young parade watchers also enjoyed the candy handed out on Phillips Avenue Monday.

After the parade, people gathered for a Wacipi at the Levitt.

Following the parade in Downtown Sioux Falls, many took to Levitt at the Falls for a Wacipi.
The event featured drummers, singers and dancers performing their traditional songs.