Native Americans’ Day

native american dayOctober 9, 2017

South Dakota was the first state to officially celebrate Native Americans’ Day each year on the second Monday in October. Elsewhere, the day is observed as Columbus Day.

The South Dakota Legislature established the Native Americans’ Day holiday at the urging of Gov. George S. Mickelson. He declared 1990 as a “Year of Reconciliation” and called for the first Native Americans’ Day observance to be held at Crazy Horse Memorial, where the likeness of the Lakota leader is being carved to honor the Native Americans. (Click here to see the 1990 state statute)

At the first holiday gathering, held at Crazy Horse Memorial, Gov. Mickelson told more than 1,200 people, “We can’t turn back the clock. We can only turn to the future together. What we can do as leaders, both Native American and white, is teach others that we can change attitudes.”

The Native Americans’ Day celebration at Crazy Horse each year includes naming the Crazy Horse Memorial Educator of the Year, honoring an individual who has made significant contributions to Native American education. The award includes a $1,000 grant to the recipient’s school library or to programs of his or her choice that help students. The holiday’s program also includes a free public program featuring Native American singers and dancers. Programs and displays featuring artists, storytellers and hands-on activities for children are offered in the visitor complex. A free buffalo stew lunch is available for all visitors.
  • “No one is ever wrong who desires to do that which is not required of them to do — and that which is of a noble purpose. The purpose of Crazy Horse is noble.”
     
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes also.”
     
    Chief Henry Standing Bear
  • “When the legends die, the dreams end. When the dreams end, there is no more greatness.”
     
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “The Important thing is that we never stop. That’s the main thing. And if you looked at it as strictly a view of being finished, you could get awfully distracted waiting for that day to come. This way, you’re pleased with every little step of progress that you make.”
     
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.”
     
    Crazy Horse
  • “By carving Crazy Horse, if I can give back to the Indian some of his pride and create a means to keep alive his culture and heritage, my life will have been worthwile.”
     
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “He left everything so we can carry on his work, and that’s just what we’re going to do. We’re dedicated to that. His whole life would be wasted if the mountain carving and the humanitarian goals are not completed.”
     
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”
     
    Crazy Horse
  • “If it weren’t for each and every one you, whether your gift was small or large monetarily, whether it was friendship and encouragement, without you we wouldn’t be here…”
     
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “Standing Bear explained that the Indian has a concept of honoring their great heroes that’s totally different from the white man’s. It was difficult for me to understand at first…The Indian uses the direct approach. He says: that man was my ancestor, and he was a great man, so we should honor him-I would not lie or cheat because I am his blood”
     
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor

Crazy Horse Memorial
12151 Avenue of the Chiefs
Crazy Horse, SD 57730-8900

(605) 673-4681

Email: memorial@crazyhorse.org

Upcoming Events

  • Memorial Weekend
    May 26-29
    2017

    Memorial Weekend <br />May 26-29,<br /> 2017
    Native American’s across this great nation have served and sacrificed in the United States Military, join us to honor all fallen heroes who fought and protected our freedom. American Indian artists will be featured throughout the Welcome Center. Admission to the Memorial will be waived with 3 cans of food per person.
  • Legends in Light
    May 26-Oct 1
    2017

    Legends in Light<br /> May 26-Oct 1<br />
    This spectacular light show tells the story of the Memorial in laser lights projected onto the Mountain. You will be treated to the story of Chief Henry Standing Bear’s invitation to Korczak, Ruth’s contributions and special features of many Native American heroes. This must see show is featured nightly at dark, for sun down times click here: http://www.calendar-updates.com/sun.asp