Native American Day celebrated in South Dakota
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Native American Day celebrated in South Dakota

This year, for the first time in history, the United States president recognized the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

In 1990, Columbus Day was changed to Native American Day in South Dakota. USD student Rachel Overstreet is the new Tiospaye Student Council president. 

“Indigenous people, especially in South Dakota and in the US have historically not just been marginalized, but they’ve been completely absent from the historical conversation about America and what it means to be American,” Overstreet said. “This (Native American Day) allows native people to celebrate their identity as a native person, and also, as an American.” 

Overstreet said Columbus Day is a painful reminder of a person who committed genocide against native people—and who never even set foot in the continental U.S.

“The replacement of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, or Native American Day in South Dakota, helps show that the U.S. values native people and that native people are important, and that their stories are important, and that their existence is important,” Overstreet said.

The Tiospaye Student Council and the Native American Cultural Center (NACC) are planning to collaborate for Native American History Month this coming November. 

There will be a week full of activities the week of Nov. 15th, Overstreet said. 

The NACC and Tiospaye are tentatively planning to restart the monthly Indian taco feeds that were canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Along with the celebrations this November, in the spring during April, Tiospaye will be hosting the annual Wacipi.