How To Honor Native Americans’ Day In South Dakota 2022

Nicole Mann has just become the first Native American woman in space and serves as commander for SpaceX and NASA’s Crew 5 mission to the International Space Station. Although Commander Mann hails from the Round Valley Indian tribes of the Sacramento Valley, Lakota Country, South Dakota is a perfect place to learn more about Native Americans. Ever since it was declared a public holiday in South Dakota in 1990, the second Monday in October has been observed as Native American Day (also known as Indigenous Peoples Day), dedicated to commemorating the great leaders of Native Americans who contributed to Southern history have contributed Dakota. Celebrating Native American Day this October 10th, there are many ways across the state to celebrate the holiday.

Crazy Horse Commemorations:

The famous Crazy Horse Memorial was the first memorial to celebrate Native American Day. At the first holiday gathering, held at the Crazy Horse Memorial®, Governor Mickelson told the audience of more than 1,200, “We cannot turn back the clock. We can only face the future together. What we can do as leaders, both Native American and white, teach others that we can change attitudes.”

The event includes performances by Native American singers and dancers, artist exhibits, storytelling, hands-on activities for children, a buffalo stew lunch, and the recognition of the Crazy Horse Memorial Educator of the Year recipient (for significant contributions to Native American education).

Native American Day Parade in Sioux Falls:

Sioux Falls, the state’s largest city, celebrates the holiday downtown with a Native American Day parade. To pay respect to their teachers in life, this year’s theme is Wounspewicakyag Hena Ob Maunipi – We go with our teachers. The event includes an opening prayer, fun run and parade.

The Native American National and State Scenic Byway:

Running from the Chief Standing Bear Bridge on the Nebraska border to the North Dakota border near Kenel, South Dakota, this scenic byway takes highway explorers on a natural trail criss-crossed by the Missouri River and through mixed grass prairies, rolling hills, limestone cliffs and an abundance of wildlife such as prairie dogs, pronghorn, deer, bison and herds of elk. Along the route, travelers can stop at the Akta Lakota Museum in Chamberlain and the Heritage Center in Pierre and learn about tribal history and tales. Follow the route through the land of the Yankton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock tribes and get a first-hand look at the life, ways and history of South Dakota’s Native Americans.

Experience the prehistoric Indian village of Mitchell

Located on the shores of Lake Mitchell, the prehistoric Indian village of Mitchell is a 1,000-year-old Native American village and the only archaeological site in South Dakota open to the public. Guests can watch archaeologists uncover artifacts in the comfort of the Thomsen Center Archeodome and tour the Boehnen Memorial Museum to see the reconstructed lodge and many of the 1.5 million artifacts. Kids can dig for arrowheads for free, and anyone can learn the art of javelin throwing.

Vacation on Buffalo Road

This new Farlee Ranch (Buffalo Road Ranch) experience in Lakota Country allows travelers to enjoy a Buffalo Road vacation at the legendary Farlee Ranch on the Cheyenne River Reservation. An educational adventure in the heart of Lakota Country, the experience provides visitors with an understanding of Native American life past and present. Guests experience the cultural and spiritual connection between Mother Earth (Maka Unci), their children, the two-legged Lakota (oyate)the four-legged animals and the winged and finned animals, all deeply rooted in the Lakota way of life.

If you don’t make it on October 10th,th do not worry. There are many other year-round Native American offerings in South Dakota, and you’ll find them in a new visitor’s guide to tribal nations, A Guide to Tribal Nations: Oceti Sakowin Homelands. Here you will find a map of tribal lands, a brief history of each tribe, suggested visitor etiquette, and travel destinations that provide opportunities to learn more about each tribe. So hop in the car, fly or take a train to South Dakota.

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