What Native American Day Means to Me: Family

Rose talks with Lyndsay, another colleague from Prairie Edge/Sioux Trading Post about her thoughts on October 8th being called Native American Day instead of Columbus Day.

[Lyndsay] Growing up, as a kid, that's all I ever knew it by. Other other schools and other people would celebrate it a Columbus Day, but I always said, "No, it's Native American Day".

[Rose] So, your teachers and your family always talked about it as Native American Day?

[Lyndsay] Yes, my Grandmother - she never spoke English, but we understood her - so whatever she said went, we had to agree with her. We were taught not to question her. She was really stern on certain things, and celebrating Native American Day was one of them.

[Rose] Did you do anything special for Native American Day?

[Lyndsay] Food…there was always food. We would eat and she would do the offering to the spirits. It was just one of those things you understood, you didn't have to ask.

[Rose] So Grandma included all the generations, too?

[Lyndsay] Yes.

[Rose] When the Lakota do offerings (these are offerings to our dead relatives), we invite them to stay with us forever.

[Lyndsay] That was something I always felt proud of. I felt that we didn't only have physical relatives, but spiritually as well. It always felt welcoming, comfortable.

[Rose] I remember when George Mickelson changed it to Native American Day, and as a state South Dakota took that positive step forward and said that we weren't going to talk about the Natives as having been discovered in a New World, we were going to respect them as people of an Old World…and that positive step forward continues into today.

Do you ever feel like there are other things the state of South Dakota could do to show more of a positive, forward progression?

[Lyndsay] Just Rapid City-wise, I think we do a pretty good job. I've never really felt upset about anything…I feel like everything is going the way it should.

[Rose] Anything else you'd like to say about Native American Day?

[Lyndsay] I'm proud of it. I'm proud to be Native American.