SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An event to celebrate and recognize the Oceti Sakowin and all Indigenous people in South Dakota is being cancelled due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the state.
The decision to cancel the Native American Day Parade in Sioux Falls was announced on Wednesday.
Organizers say despite the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, another surge of cases is forcing them to not hold the event.
“We are choosing to be safe this year. For our relatives and our community, we don’t want to host an event that could possibly spread a disease that has killed more than 2,000 South Dakotans, or add any strain to our health care systems caring for sick patients,” Char Green-Maximo, parade organizer and grant project manager for South Dakota Urban Indian Health, said in the announcement post.
The parade through downtown was held in 2018 and 2019; it didn’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several smaller events will still be held to celebrate Native American Day. More details will be released about the organized events in the coming weeks.