Indian Education Summit holds youth day

Photos by Benjamin Chase / Plainsman Those attending a youth day on Saturday as part of the Indian Education Summit in Huron learned about the various ways the buffalo was utilized in Lakota culture, from food to clothing to housing and much more. Bottom: Youth day attendees circle to open the day with a prayer, smudging, and song.

HURON – The three-day Indian Education Summit, hosted by the South Dakota Office of Indian Education through the Department of Tribal Relations in conjunction with the Department of Education, concluded Saturday at the Huron Event Center with a youth day that was free to attend for all.

Multiple schools brought students to Huron for the event to spend the day learning about storytelling, drumming and singing techniques, the importance of the buffalo, and instruction on the importance of the stars to the Lakota people.

Above: Youth were able to learn about Lakota song structure and even sing multiple songs while being instructed on drumming techniques in one breakout session. Below: The importance of passing on traditions and culture through storytelling was one of the sessions available for youth to attend.

The day began with an opening smudging ceremony and prayer (after some doughnuts and coffee or juice, of course). A song was song among the large group before youth, parents, and adult leaders dispersed to sessions.

A common thread throughout the summit among keynote speakers and Saturday’s youth presenters was the importance of putting aside any tribal rivalry within the nine federally-recognized tribes in the state and focusing on unity and passing on tradition, and language, to the next generation.