Crazy Horse Memorial celebrates Native American Day

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While some cities and states celebrate Indigenous People's Day, South Dakota is unique, continuing to be the only state in the nation to celebrate Native American Day, previously known as Columbus Day.
Crazy Horse Memorial hosted its annual Native American Day celebration to honor the tradition and culture of Native Americans.

Lakota Jingle Dress Dancer, Jessie Rencountre, says, "We have a beautiful culture that has been sustained here around the area for thousands of years."

Native American Day, a day to celebrate the heritage of Native Americans.
This was the 27th year that Crazy Horse Memorial celebrated Native American Day.
Lakota Jingle Dress Dancer Jessie Rencountre says it's a day that's important to her so she can share her history and culture with others.

Rencountre says, "Being able to do this and share our culture here in the Black Hills is a very beautiful experience for me to be able to do and I always tell my family and my friends and relatives that it's an honor to do this , because our ancestors have prayed for us to be able to be here today with our culture and so I do my best to be able to share what I can."

For Jadwiga Ziolkowski, the daughter of sculptor Korczak, honoring the Native American people at the memorial her dad started is very special to her.

Crazy Horse Memorial CEO, Jadwiga Ziolkowski, says, "The idea that the red man wanted the white man to know that they have great heroes also and so that is the purpose of Crazy Horse, that's what Henry Standing Bear spoke about when he wrote to dad."

That's why Jadwiga says it's important to keep the culture alive, especially after all the hard work her parents put in.

Jadwiga says, "Not to be here and not to carry it on would be such a wrong thing to do, they taught us the right way to live and they taught us what's important in life and about other people and other things, besides yourself."