Rapid City Celebrates the Year of Unity with Native American Culture Series

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On February 19, 2010, Governor Mike Rounds proclaimed 2010 the Year of Unity in South Dakota.

Rapid City Convention and Visitor's Bureau

On February 19, 2010, Governor Mike Rounds proclaimed 2010 the Year of Unity in South Dakota.

In celebration of this proclamation, the Rapid City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau announces a monthly story series highlighting and celebrating Native American cultural events, attractions and personalities in Rapid City and the Black Hills.

Planned topics include:

  •     Native American artisans in Rapid City: Prairie Edge & Sioux Pottery
  •     Profile on Gerard Baker, first Native American superintendant of Mount Rushmore
  •     The Journey Museum
  •     Crazy Horse
  •     Black Hills Pow Wow

The series will be delivered monthly to local, national and international audiences. Stories will include photos, links, videos and fast facts.

The Year of Unity promotes initiatives and events that encourage Chambers of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, civic groups, schools and business owners to support racial unity across the state. State government has also planned a variety of initiatives to promote education regarding racial and cultural diversity and improve communication and coordination between all South Dakotans to address shared challenges and opportunities.

Specific Year of Unity initiatives include:

  •     A student essay contest on the meaning of Native American Day, coordinated by the Department of Education.
  •     South Dakota tribes and education leaders will work together to update South Dakota public school curriculum to reflect Native American history and culture.
  •     The South Dakota State Historical Society will promote children’s books about American Indian culture and history for local library summer reading programs.
  •     The South Dakota Office of Tourism will continue to support the Tribal Arts Festival at Custer State Park and promote topics like economic development in Indian country at the 2010 Economic Development Conference.
  •     The South Dakota Arts Council will promote tribal arts and participation in the Congressional Arts Program and the 2010 Statewide Arts Conference.
  •     The South Dakota Department of Health has planned several initiatives aimed at improving healthcare for Native Americans in the areas of immunization, cancer screening and tobacco prevention. The department will also work with tribal colleges to create internships and health documents to better outline tribal needs.
  •     Governor Rounds also encouraged communities, citizens and local organization to submit their own ideas to celebrate the Year of Unity.

The Year of Unity commemorates the twenty-year anniversary of a “Year of Reconciliation” proclamation by Governor George Mickelson. The 1990 proclamation celebrated the coming together of Mickelson and the elected leaders of nine South Dakota tribes.

CONTACT: Michelle Lintz, (605) 718-8485, http://www.visitrapidcity.com/

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