Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

On October 8, 1990 Mickelson invited Giago to celebrate the Year of Reconciliation at the Crazy Horse Memorial.
On October 8, 1990 Mickelson invited Giago to celebrate the Year of Reconciliation at the Crazy Horse Memorial.
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
October 5, 2017

IN HISTORY: South Dakota Celebrates First Native Americans’ Day

At the urging of longtime Native Sun News editor Tim Giago, Governor George Mickelson proclaimed 1990 as the Year of Reconciliation to honor of the 100th anniversary of Wounded Knee. The Year of Reconciliation was intended to health the relationships between the state and tribal governments in South Dakota.

However, that was not the only challenge Giago posed to Governor Mickelson. Giago also requested that Governor Mickelson take up an effort to nix Columbus Day in South Dakota in favor of Native Americans’ Day. With a strong lobbying effort, the South Dakota Legislature was swayed to rename the day.

On October 8, 1990 Mickelson invited Giago to celebrate the Year of Reconciliation at the Crazy Horse Memorial. The event also commemorated the first Native Americans’ Day, which would be held later that week. South Dakota was the first state in the nation to rename Columbus Day in favor of celebrating the rich histories and cultures of American Indians.

Today, several states and municipalities have chosen to rename Columbus Day, with the most recent additions including the state of Vermont as well as Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado. Meanwhile, the states of Alaska and Hawaii have never officially celebrated Columbus Day. Alaska officially adopted an Indigenous Peoples Day in 2015, while Hawaii has celebrated Discoverer’s Day, in remembrance of the Polynesian explorers who originally settled on the islands.

Related items

  • New Grocery Store Opens In Pine Ridge

    The old Sioux Nation store building has recently reopened its doors in Pine Ridge Village, as Buche Foods was awarded the contract to operate the…
  • Flooding Causes Emergency Situations on Pine Ridge Reservation

    Many on the Pine Ridge Reservation have been stranded in their homes after first a blizzard and now flooding from snowmelt have ravaged the area,…
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Bill Becomes SD Law

    Senate Bill 164 was signed into law by Governor Kristi Noem last week, laying out guidelines for law enforcement officers to handle and report on…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]