RAPID CITY– The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board, in partnership with multiple Native American organizations from around the Black Hills Area, has organized a unique community event to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost in recent years.
For the better part of the past year, the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board has hosted both a community sobriety event and an elderly-focused event to give community members in the Black Hills Area an opportunity to participate in a sober community activity.
These alcohol and drug-free events have included everything from free swims at city pools, outdoor movie nights, and a Halloween masquerade attended by more than 700 people. The Cante Skuya “Sweet Heart” Community Round Dance will continue this series.
The Cante Skuya Sweet Heart Community Round Dance will take place on February 11, 2023, in Rapid City at the Club for Boys Gym located at 320 N. Fourth St, beginning with a meal at 6 PM and events kicking off at 7 PM.
The Health Board partnered with the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center, the Thunder Valley CDC, Rural America Initiatives, and the Community Organizing for Unified Power Council to fund and organize this event.
Round Dances serve as a memorial for those who have moved on to the next step of their spiritual journeys. Protocol for round dances can vary based on geography and the community hosting the gathering. For example, the Cante Skuya Community round dance will feature Hand Drum contests, a Best Dressed award, Akis’a contest, “Lili” contest, Rabbit Dance contest, and a Potato Dance category.
Some of the more prominent and recognizable voices across Indian Country will contribute to the festivities. Invited singers include Jay Lebeau, Dallas Waskahat, Nakoa HeavyRunner, Chontay Standing Rock, Tommy Two Braids, Emannuel “Bull” Black Bear, and Brent Spoonhunter, with Fawn Wood as an invited backup singer.
Redwing Thomas will serve as Eyapaha, and the Stick Man will be Mark Kingbird.
*The Great Plains Tribal Leader’s Health Board (GPTLHB) is dedicated to serving the health and wellness needs of the tribal members it represents. Assisting with the needs of 18 tribes and tribal communities in the four-state region of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa, GPTLHB addresses the health necessities of its members by assisting in accessing health-related programs and resources. GPTLHB provides critical health promotion and education outreach services through its various programs and departments. Furthermore, the health board advocates nationally for improved Indian health policies on behalf of the tribes and tribal communities it represents, which comprise nearly 170,000 individuals.