Parade celebrates Native American history, bridges cultures

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Downtown Rapid City was filled with the sounds of drum and song as part of a cultural celebration Saturday morning.

Candidates for Miss He Sapa Win participate in the fourth annual Native American Day Parade in Downtown Rapid City. The parade is part of the Black Hills Powwow. Photo Date: Oct. 6, 2018.

Candidates for Miss He Sapa Win participate in the parade.

Thousands lined Main Street for the fourth annual Native American Day Parade. The parade occurs every year during Native American Day weekend in South Dakota. The weekend is known as Columbus Day in most other states but became Native American Day in South Dakota in 1990.

The parade, led by Mayor Steve Allender, is part of the 32nd Black Hills Powwow at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The parade and the powwow are part of a celebration of the history and culture of the Native Americans of the Black Hills.

“It’s so important for us to celebrate the fact that Native American culture has been a big part of this land,” said Whitney Rencountre, one of the parade’s organizers. “No better way to celebrate and bridge cultures here in our city.”

And with the bridging of cultures, organizers hope more people will be inspired to learn about America’s native peoples.

“Our hope is that people would be inspired to sit and learn and maybe do their own research about what Native American culture really represents,” Rencountre said. “And I believe they’ll really have a connection to what our people try to portray.”

More than 100 organizations fielded floats for the parade – the most since the parade was resurrected four years ago.

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