Celebrating Native American Day

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For 29 years, South Dakotans have celebrated Native American Day instead of Columbus Day. The late Governor George Mickelson, along with the editor of the Native Sun News, Tim Giago, and tribal leaders, worked together to proclaim 1990 the Year of Reconciliation. The decision to change Columbus Day to Native American Day was made by the state legislature as a way to honor the deep history of the tribal people who have long called this land their home.

Every year since, we have worked to preserve the culture and history of Native American people, acknowledge our challenges and work together on the issues we face. Native Americans make up around 10 percent of our state’s population, and South Dakota is home to nine tribal reservations. It is important for all South Dakotans to understand the history and hardships that Native Americans have gone through so we can have a better understanding of one another.



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