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

  • IN HISTORY: Town of Minnekahta is Renamed Hot Springs

    From its earliest days, Hot Springs was known for the warm, healing springs meandering through the town. However, Hot Springs was not always known as…
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe Hires New Attorney General

    The Oglala Sioux Tribe recently selected Scott James to fill the position of attorney general, reports KOTA News. James was previously a prosecutor for Kiowa…
  • IN HISTORY: Chairman Harold Frazier Delivers First State of the Tribes Address

    During the 2016 legislative session, Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, delivered the first State of the Tribes address. The address was…

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