Pierre, S.D. – Eighteen national and international journalists will visit the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation this week. The South Dakota Office of Tourism partnered with community members from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to host the journalists.
While on the reservation, the journalists will make stops at the Pine Ridge Visitor Center near Kyle, the Oglala Lakota College Historical Center, and the Red Cloud Indian School and Heritage Center.
“We’re excited to share our culture with this group of journalists,” said Ivan Sorbel, Director of the Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce. “Telling the Lakota story helps perpetuate our legacy, grow understanding of our people, and bring opportunity to our communities.”
The journalists, from as far away as Germany and the Netherlands, will learn about Native American art, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and Native American culture and traditions.
“Every year we provide journalists who are in the Black Hills area for the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup with opportunities to learn more about the Lakota culture,” said Melissa Miller, Director of the South Dakota Office of Tourism. “The journalists enjoy learning more about the Native American way of life, and their writings reflect that.”
The Annual Buffalo Roundup and Art show is Sept. 24-27 at CusterState Park.
“The trip to Pine Ridge is really a nice complement to the Roundup. Buffalo are a central part of the Lakota culture. This partnership between Tourism and Pine Ridge just makes sense, and I anticipate that the journalists will find the visit very interesting,” said Tina Merdanian, Director of Institutional Relations, Red Cloud Indian School.
In February, Gov. Mike Rounds proclaimed 2010 the Year of Unity.
“The Year of Unity provides us with a prime opportunity to celebrate the positive results of working together,” said Roger Campbell, Director of the South Dakota Office of Tribal Government Relations. “This partnership is a good example of how working together can be mutually beneficial. These journalist visits lead to positive stories about all of South Dakota’s cultures.”
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 among all South Dakotans to address shared challenges and opportunities.