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Native American Day

Lakota girl.

South Dakota is one of the richest states in the nation because of the culture, heritage and history of its many federally recognized Indian tribes. From the Santee Sioux in Flandreau to the Oglala Sioux in Pine Ridge to the Cheyenne River Sioux in Eagle Butte, the indigenous people of South Dakota each have a diverse and peaceful existence that has lasted for many thousands of years. Today there are nine recognized tribes in South Dakota.

South Dakota established Native American Day in the 1989 state legislature at the urging of Governor George S. Mickelson. Governor Mickelson signed a resolution calling for the second Monday of each October to be Native American Day.

An acknowledgment of the South Dakota Indians came in 1990 when Governor Mickelson and representatives of South Dakota’s nine tribal governments proclaimed 1990 a Year of Reconciliation and called for the first Native American Day observance to be held to honor Native Americans. It was hoped that this acknowledgment would help to inform the general public about Indian heritage and the problems that are confronted by Indians in South Dakota. A Century of Reconciliation was later declared in 1991.

Today, people of all ages celebrate South Dakota Native American Day by learning more about the culture, heritage and traditions of the South Dakota Indian.


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