While many places around the nation commemorated Columbus Day on Monday, at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota’s Black Hills, it was Native Americans’ Day.
As part of the celebration, the memorial announced a new partnership with the University of South Dakota, according to this Rapid City (S.D.) Journal story.
Courses could be offered there as soon as next summer, when a classroom and residence hall now under construction are to be completed, Jack Marsh tells the Journal.
Marsh is a board member of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, which will cover tuition costs for as many as 40 Native American students when the program is fully
Monday’s celebration was also meant to be a step toward racial reconciliation in South Dakota. It featured the recorded words of the late Gov. George Mickelson as he spoke about the state’s 1989 decision to replace its observance of Columbus Day with Native Americans’ Day.
Traditional singing, drumming and dancing entertained a large audience who also heard from several guest speakers, among them Mount Rushmore Superintendent Gerard Baker, who is Mandan-Hidatsa.
Baker told schoolchildren in the audience that he dreams of the day he can stand before a group of students and ask them what prejudice or racism is and “nobody would know the answer.”
To watch a video of yesterday’s event, click here.