Native American Day

This region is home to a thriving contemporary indigenous arts scene. As South Dakota recognizes Native American Day, we spend time in conversation with a few artists. 

Chynna Lockett

A memorial honoring children who died in the Rapid City Indian Boarding School was held on Native American Day. Organizers spent years researching the facility’s history. This event is one way to acknowledge the findings with the community. 


It takes nine minutes for Heather Dawn Thompson to read the names of 45 deceased children. 

“Ida Logan, Oglala Sioux, age 15, December 15th, 1918. Infant Naomi Goings, Sioux, unknown, August 6th, 1920.”


Native American Day Parade

Oct 4, 2018
Lee Strubinger

In The Moment ... October 4. 2018 Show 436 Hour 2

This Monday morning beginning at 10 in downtown Sioux Falls, the Native American Day parade takes place.

In 1990, Tim Giago of the Native Sun News Today convinced then governor George S. Mickelson to make Native American Day a state holiday.

The theme is "Honoring our Elders" where Tim Giago is going to be the Grand Marshall.

He joined In The Moment with a preview of the celebration.

Memorial Walk For Children

Oct 3, 2018
Chynna Lockett

In The Moment ... October 3. 2018 Show 435 Hour 1

The Mayor of Rapid City has proclaimed this year’s Native American day as “The Day of the Grandmothers.” MOA is helping host the Memorial Walk on Monday, October 8 at 9 a.m.

Karen Mortimer and Heather Dawn Thompson joined In The Moment for a preview of the Memorial Walk for the children of the Rapid City Indian Boarding School.

This coming Monday a Memorial Walk to Honor 45 children who died at the Rapid City Indian Boarding School will take place on the city’s west side.

Images Of The Past: Jim Pitts

Oct 1, 2018

In The Moment ... October 1. 2018 Show 433 Hour 2

One of the most productive archaeological sites in North America was inhabited by the Paleo Indians and is located in South Dakota. Two decades ago, Archaeologist Jim Pitts began excavating on this site in western Custer county.

Gary Enright is the director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer joined In The Moment with an insight on Jim Pitts.

Native American Day Celebrates Everyone

Oct 10, 2016
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

If you’re enjoying your day off that’s because it’s Native American Day. In 1989 the state changed the holiday from Columbus Day.

Many native children shared what Native American Day means to them at the Black Hills Pow Wow this weekend.

Friday morning the Rapid City Civic Center is filled with youth from all the Rapid City area schools. The sound of a drum circle floods the auditorium during the women’s fancy dance portion of the Black Hills Pow Wow You Day Symposium.

Dakota Digest for October 16, 2015

Oct 16, 2015
Black Hills State University

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, Native Americans Day was this week, a TSA leader toured the Sioux Falls airport, and a transgender author gives a presentation in Rapid City. For more radio news and other South Dakota Public Broadcasting programming, visit

Follow our twitter accounts: @SoDakPB, @SDPBNews, @SDPBSports, and @SDPB

Kealey Bultena / SDPB News

A visible member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe says work between Indians and the rest of the state is not done. While much of the country took Monday off for Columbus Day, South Dakotans celebrated Native American Day. Leaders made the decision to change the holiday years ago. One man says some people still don’t use the holiday’s proper name.

JR LaPlante spent nearly four years as South Dakota’s first Secretary of Tribal Relations. He says changes made in 1990 were not answers to Native-white relations, but starting points. He says issues still exist.