In 1989, South Dakota adopted it. Then in 1990, Governor George Mickelson deemed Columbus Day as Native Americans Day. Today, the reconciliation efforts continue. Crazy Horse Memorial continues to 'lead the charge' in racial equality. A quarter of a century after Governor Mickelson's remedy for the racial conflicts in South Dakota efforts continue at Crazy Horse. In the form of song, dance and speech.
Art Red Horse performed at the event, "a drum beat it'll carry your heart and it'll make you dance" he said. He expresses his culture through song, dance and storytelling. Something he's happy to share with all people. "And there's not only the Sioux people that come out here, Lakota and Dakota there's other tribes like myself. I'm Dene, I'm Navajo" said Red Horse.
Performances and celebrations for Native Americans Days are an effort to break down racial walls. Pat Dobbs of the Crazy Horse Memorial said "make an effort to get young people here as a part of their education and learning about Native American culture and trying to tear down some of those stereotypes and find out that people are people."
Red Horse said "it's important especially for younger people that don't have an idea they think that's the right thing to do but actually it's not"
The program also aims to recognize leadership in the Native American Community, like Tom Shortbull, President of Oglala Lakota College. Dobbs says "here is what we get to see is the opportunity to recognize some of the leadership efforts, you saw that today with a couple of the long time educators in the west river area"
While racism toward native people still exists, its events like this Red Horse said gets us closer to reconciliation. " It's beautiful, you know, that the State of South Dakota recognizes this day" Red Horse said.