Native American Day brings the community together

Some marked the holiday with a memorial walk, others a peaceful protest, and others a community luncheon.
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:57 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - October 12, 2020, marks Native American Day in South Dakota.

In 1968, the U-S Congress declared the second Monday of October Columbus Day, to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s so-called ‘discovery’ of America. But, here in South Dakota, we celebrate Native American Day. Former Governor George Mickelson wanted to reconcile historically bad relations between Native Americans and whites by renaming the holiday in 1990.

Men, women, and children gathered across Rapid City Monday to celebrate Native American Day. Some marked the holiday with a memorial walk, others a peaceful protest, and others a community luncheon. Coming together as one community.

“Everybody. Everyone’s welcome; young, old, Native, non-Native, we welcome everybody here at Legacy," said Morgan Bringswhite, I Am Lecagy co-founder.

I Am Legacy celebrated with a meal of their favorite traditional foods, as well as creating a space for honest and open conversations.

“Coming together, breaking bread, talking, having some meaningful conversations about the things we want to do in the community, about the children, our people," said Bringswhite.

Another event, a memorial walk for the lives lost during the Rapid City Indian Boarding School years, drew in all walks of life to not only celebrate the day but to use it as a time of remembrance.

“It’s important today of all days because it is Native American Day," said Jonathan Old Horse, a memorial walker. "So this is a day to start brand new and to make some positive changes and to honor our relatives, our children that were harmed in those times back then.”

“It’s important because the children were mistreated at the boarding school and its part of how Native American’s have been treated in our society which is especially important to memorialize today on Native Americans Day instead of Columbus Day," said Erica Haugtvedt, a memorial walker.

A member of I Am Legacy said today is about not getting stuck in the past but being present and celebrating.

South Dakota is one of 14 states that observe Native American or Indigenous Peoples Day.

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