PIERRE, S.D. – The Great Lakes of South Dakota Tourism Association is doing its part to encourage racial harmony. The Association, which promotes counties along the Missouri River, has issued a statement of support for the 2010 Year of Unity.
“Visitors are fascinated by Native American culture and history, and our goal is to work with tribes to define and grow tourism – at the same time, honoring tribal traditions and values,” said Karen Kern, Executive Director of the Great Lakes of South Dakota Tourism Association. “The Year of Unity is the perfect opportunity for the Association to emphasize its ongoing work with tribal entities.”
The Association works with five different tribes to promote tribal tourism. Efforts include promotion of tribal lands, distribution of Pow Wow schedules, marketing the Native American Scenic Byway, and participating in state/tribal tourism roundtables.
Throughout the Year of Unity, the Association is also committed to educating visitors about South Dakota’s diverse cultures, addressing cross-cultural opportunities and challenges, and improving communications and coordination with tribes.
Kern says communication between South Dakota’s tribes and the Great Lakes Association is an important part of the statement of support.
“Keeping the lines of communication open is a vital part of building unity,” she says. “The Association is working hard to keep tribal entities looped in on plans and opportunities.”
In February, Gov. Mike Rounds proclaimed 2010 the Year of Unity. The goals of the Year of Unity are to promote active engagement of all races and cultures, promote education on racial and cultural diversity and history, and improve the channels of communication and coordination between all South Dakotans to address shared challenges and opportunities.