How does the way we are raised impact our self-expression? This Native Americans’ Day, Monday, October 9, Wind Cave explores this question within the theme “Culture Through Art: A Celebration of Native American Expression.”

There are multiple activities throughout the day, starting in the Visitor Center auditorium at 9a.m. with a welcome from park Superintendent Leigh Welling and National Park Service (NPS) Native American Affairs Liaison, Dorothy FireCloud. An enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux
Tribe, FireCloud is the first person to hold her position within the NPS, working on a national stage to support the agency’s commitment to tribal relations and policy implementation.

At 9:30 a.m., Jhon Goes in Center, an Oglala Lakota metalsmith who played a seminal role in the revival and adaptation of plains metalwork, will give a presentation entitled, “Another America and a Regional Landscape.” This talk highlights the Black Hills as a pivotal cultural and creative landscape for Indigenous peoples.

Following Goes in Center, at 10:30 a.m., award-winning fashion designer Tosa Two Heart will discuss her journey in design and the aesthetic influences of her contemporary clothing designs in a talk titled, “Lakota Storytelling Through Fashion Design.”

The dedication of the sculpture “Cȟaŋgléška-Wakȟaŋ”, or “Sacred Hoop,” will occur at 11:30 a.m. with artist Kelly Looking Horse telling the story of its creation and the philosophical influences of each part. The sculpture is over 20 feet tall and reaches from the lower exhibit level
of the park’s Visitors Center up into the skylight.

Activities move outside at 1:30 p.m. with world-renowned hoop dancers Starr Chief Eagle and Jasmine Bell. Chief Eagle and Bell will lead demonstrations, accompanied by a live drum, and invite participation from the audience to help understand the art of the hoop dance.

At 3:30 pm, Emmy Her Many Horses, a Sicangu Lakota author, musician, and actress, will conclude the talks with a presentation entitled, “Classical, Traditional, Ancestral: What Makes it Native?” In this discussion, Her Many Horses confronts her personal experience within a
university music program and its tension with her own culturally-based systems of knowing.

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.
Throughout the day, Native American artists will be available at booths, allowing visitors to learn about the continuum of Native American cultural expression and to purchase art from local artists. A food truck with Native American selections will also be available.

The Native Americans’ Day Celebration demonstrations are free and appropriate for all ages.
Funding for this event is provided by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, a non-profitpartner with Wind Cave National Park.
For more information, call the park at (605) 745-4600.

Hoop dancing by Starr Chief Eagle is one of the many activities planned at Wind Cave National Park on Native Americans’ Day, October 9. (NPS Photo)