What Native American Day Means to Me: Leadership

Here in South Dakota, they changed the name of Monday, October 8th, from Columbus Day to Native American Day. The state of South Dakota is the only state of all 50 states that acknowledges it as Native American Day. Rose talks to Lisa, a member of the Prairie Edge/Sioux Trading Post team about her thoughts on Native American Day. 

[Lisa] When George S. Mickelson was governor of South Dakota, he really brought in the Native American population and listened to what their thoughts were and tried to put some of that into action. With his "Reconciliation" (this is what he called it), one of the things he did was change this to Native American Day instead of Columbus Day. I think for South Dakota, that was a really big step forward. [Rose] It was really positive, as far as the citizens of South Dakota, it was a step forward in acknowledging indigenous people. [Lisa] In the Native population, we think of everything in a circle, we're all inclusive; and I think Mickelson got that this is a circle and we're all included instead of thinking of this as a hierarchy. [Rose] Instead of a pyramid, it's a circle. [Lisa] Coming from the leadership and acknowledging us…we've been here…we've been open to that acknowledgment, that connection, and to be able to work with the non-Native population and we just needed it to come from that side, from them. [Rose] Because we all have to live together…and we are all dependent on each other. [Lisa] I think one of the big things with South Dakota, and with the reservations that are in South Dakota, we really show leadership in working with the Federal Government and have an open dialogue and open relationship and having them come and work with our Reservations. It sets an example for other states. They ask us for our leadership. [Rose] In a sense, it makes South Dakota a maverick state…you have to have a beginning, you have to start somewhere. [Lisa] And this is where we've always been…and especially with the Black Hills, this is where Lakota come from.