City leaders look to improve the 2017 Lakota Nation Invitational

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RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI) is a statewide event where Native American youth showcase their creative and physical talents. With the event less than a week away, members of the community met to share their ideas for the event.

Rapid City leaders, businesses and locals gathered at Prairie Edge Trading Co. on Wednesday to talk about ways to improve and provide for the 41-year-old competition. The other goal is to foster relations with the community.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender discussed a red carpet entrance for LNI teams and community involvement in LNI hand games.

Rapid City Police will continue to provide security for the event. And St. Thomas More High School will host some of the final basketball games.

LNI will hold their competition from Dec. 13-16 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

An added bonus for LNI participants is free passes to the Main Street Square ice rink. All in all, every contribution improves the experience for young competitors.

"What we try to do is have students ... be able to share from others, educationally and culturally," said John Haas, LNI board member. "They become a family and they look forward to seeing their family from other reservations come in."

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