South Dakota was the first state to officially celebrate Native Americans’ Day each year on the second Monday in October. Elsewhere, the day is observed as Columbus Day.

The South Dakota Legislature established the Native Americans’ Day holiday at the urging of Gov. George S. Mickelson. He declared 1990 as a “Year of Reconciliation” and called for the first Native Americans’ Day observance to be held at Crazy Horse Memorial, where the likeness of the Lakota leader is being carved to honor the Native Americans.

At the first holiday gathering, Gov. Mickelson told more than 1,200 people, “We can’t turn back the clock. We can only turn to the future together. What we can do as leaders, both Native American and white, is teach others that we can change attitudes.”

The Native Americans’ Day celebration at Crazy Horse each year includes naming the Crazy Horse Memorial Educator of the Year, honoring an individual who has made significant contributions to Native American education at the primary or secondary school level.

The award includes a $1,000 grant to the recipient’s school library or to programs of his or her choice that help students. The holiday’s program also includes a free public program featuring Native American singers and dancers. Programs and displays featuring artists, storytellers and hands-on activities for children are offered in the visitor complex. A blast on the mountain carving is detonated, weather permitting, and a free buffalo stew lunch is available for all visitors.

VIDEO Lakota dance at Crazy Horse memorial

Responses to "Crazy Horse To Celebrate Native American Day (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is that "Frankie"? (I think that was his name) I was there when I was 15. One of my all time favorite memories. I can remember he, and his father on the drum, were giving dance demonstrations and asked the tourists to join them. No one would even step out of the crowd so I shoved my way thru and joined him :) we got our photo taken together and I still have it to this day. Was an honor and I hope I can go back someday. I'm now 34, and still a special place in my heart. Pilamiya

    Mary B.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i think that is so awesome. its about time that the native americans have been recognized as the real founders of america. at least its a start.

  3. Windsalot says:

    You said it ,baby

Write a comment