In South Dakota, we celebrate Native American Day

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Today, in celebration of Native American Day, Governor Kristi Noem issued the following statement:

“For South Dakotans, the second Monday in October, is recognized as Native American Day. In 1990 South Dakota was the first state in the nation to establish Native American Day as an official state holiday. This difference from the rest of the nation is one of the many reasons why this state is so special.

“Native American Day recognizes the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota people that have shaped, and continue to contribute, to South Dakota’s rich history.

To recognize this important aspect of South Dakota history and culture, I designated Seven Council Fires as the official indigenous language of the state. This is also known by treaty as the Great Sioux Nation, comprised of three dialects, Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. I did this by signing Senate Bill 126 into law in 2019. This year, I also signed House Bill 1196, which designated the traditional flute as the official state indigenous musical instrument of South Dakota.

“The “Stronger Families Together” initiative continues to strengthen our state through foster families. Children deserve to grow up in a home that reflects their culture and values. I have placed a specific importance on recruiting more Native American foster families, so that Native American children can be placed with families that nurture cultural continuity.

“Just last month, Fort Pierre hosted that Horse Nation Indian Relay Council’s 2022 Championship of Champions. Events like this encourage public awareness of tribal culture and history. The SD Department of Tourism and my Office of Economic Development sponsored $50,000 in grants to support the future of Horse Nations Indian Relay events in South Dakota.

“In celebration of Native American Day, I encourage people to reflect on the importance of Native American history and culture in our state.”