Hundreds of Natives across South Dakota will come to Sioux Falls to celebrate the comeback of the Native American Day Parade in October, two years after the COVID-19 pandemic put the event on hiatus.
The parade’s theme this year is "Wounspewicakyag Hena Ob Maunipi." In Dakota, that translates to “We Walk With Our Teachers.”
“It means your teacher in life,” said Shaina Yellowback, a planning committee member for the parade. “With the Native community, our teachers are our elders. It’s amazing how much our elders have held on to so much of our culture, language and ceremonies, and what they’re able to teach us.”
The parade will take place on Monday, starting with a prayer ceremony at 9 a.m. After the opening prayer at Lyon Park, a fun run will start at 10:45 a.m.
The parade, the main event, starts at 11 a.m., following the traditional parade route in downtown Sioux Falls.
Biggest turnout for Native American Day Parade yet, organizers say
Yellowback says organizers with South Dakota Urban Indian Health anticipate the parade will be the biggest one they’ve planned for yet. The Facebook event currently has about 1,900 people RSVP'ed to the parade.
Parade organizers added new components to the parade this year, like the fun run, to provide a “full experience” of Native American Day and show representation across all reservations.
Barb Jens, a seamstress and jingle dancer from Sisseton, will fill in as this year’s parade grand marshal.
A feeding and gathering reception is another new addition to the parade. It will feature Native American food vendors like The Night Owl, from Sioux Falls, and Dan’s Smokin’ Country BBQ, from Pine Ridge, at the open-air shelter in Falls Park after the parade.
The first 500 meals will be served for free, Yellowback said.
This year’s Native American Day Parade will also have representation from nearly all reservations in South Dakota and will include a new float for Jefferson High School, the first year the high school is participating since opening last fall.
About 30 floats are already signed up, including the Dakota 38 riders of the Horse Nation, coming from Flandreau, Sisseton, Rosebud and Lake Andes, Yellowback said.
“We're really excited for the day and hope everybody comes down and enjoys it,” Yellowback said. “We also want to mention that the parade isn't just for Native Americans, everybody is welcome.”
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Sioux Falls Native American Day Parade anticipates biggest turnout