While a lot of groups have added their ingredients to the cultural mix of South Dakota, one of the biggest contributors is the oldest one. The various tribes that have called the place home since prehistoric times give the state its special flavor.
The Pierre Indian School has helped to bolster the traditions and values of these tribes among their youngest members. The image most people envision when they think of South Dakota is the Sioux warrior on horseback hunting a buffalo. It might seem cliched, but it’s stood the test of time, at least for me.
But the local Indian cultures consists of more than big game hunts. They have contributed everything from artistic styles to a deep, spiritual appreciation of the land. These contributions might appear to be ingrained in the state, but they are always in danger of being lost.
I was glad to see that a place like the Pierre Indian School is working to keep it alive through education of the tribal children. Probably the best way to prepare kids for the future is by giving them a history to work with. Their success in life will be the best way to preserve Indian culture.