Rapid City to Celebrate Native American Culture, Memory of Giago | Local

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Native American Day Parade is back.

The parade is sponsored by Rural American Initiatives. Executive Director Bruce Long Fox said this will be the seventh year the organization has sponsored the event, which kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, just two days before Native American Day.

Long Fox said Jackie Giago, editor emeritus of Native Sun News and widow of the late Tim Giago, who died earlier this year, will be the parade grand marshal in honor of Tim’s passing.

“Without giving away much information from the committee, it made sense to honor her husband,” Long Fox said.

Tim Giago helped launch Native American Day with former Governor George Mickelson. The holiday replaces Columbus Day. The first Native American Day was celebrated in 1990.

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“Tim Giago and Governor Mickelson wanted everyone in the state to start working on racial reconciliation,” Long Fox said.

He said the parade is being held the Saturday before Native American Day and in tandem with the Black Hills Powwow, which will also return for the first time in two years Oct. 7-9.

Long Fox said the parade is a time to celebrate Native American culture and is a positive outlook, especially for children.

“They sometimes don’t learn much about what it’s like to be Native American,” he said. “It’s important to teach them about culture and history so they can have a stronger identity. … It’s a celebration for kids to see us as adults openly and publicly celebrating being Indians, they can possibly be proud to be Indians too.”

Long Fox said Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender will also participate in the parade.

He said everyone is welcome to take part in the parade, which has been simplified this year. He said those who wanted to participate just had to show up and line up.

The parade will line up on Third and Main streets in Rapid City. Numbers will be given out at the finish and the judges will choose first, second and third place. Long Fox said there will be no subcategories this year.

Once everyone is lined up, they will walk down Main Street to Seventh Street and back down St. Joseph Street to Second Street. He said there will be lunch served after including Indian tacos.

Those interested in joining the parade should contact Laura Laurence at 605-341-3339. Long Fox said horses are welcome.

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