SIOUX FALLS— The Native American Day Parade has been a celebration and recognition of the Oceti Sakowin and all Indigenous people in South Dakota since 2018. Last year, the parade was canceled as COVID-19 cases rose in South Dakota. This year, despite the availability of a COVID vaccine, another surge of COVID-19 cases has caused parade organizers to cancel again.
“We were hopeful to be able to celebrate Native American Day with a parade this year. The planning process was well underway when we had to make a call,” said Char Green-Maximo, parade organizer and grant project manager for South Dakota Urban Indian Health. “We are choosing to be safe this year. For our relatives and our community, we don’t want to host an event that could possibly spread a disease that has killed more than 2,000 South Dakotans, or add any strain to our health care systems caring for sick patients.”
Although the parade has been called off, several smaller events are being planned to celebrate Native American Day. This year’s celebration is centered around Wokiksuye (in remembrance); remembering and honoring the return of the children found at residential schools and those who have passed during the pandemic.
More details will be released about the organized events for Native American Day in the coming weeks. Information about Native American Day activities can be found on the Sioux Falls Native American Day Parade Facebook page, and also at sduih.org/events/parade.