Scenes from South Dakota's Annual Lakota Nation Invitational
The Lakota Nation Invitational is a series of tournaments held each year in Rapid City, S.D. Native students from schools from all over South Dakota participate in a variety of sports including basketball, archery, wrestling and cheerleading but also holds competitions for Lakota language, knowledge, fine arts, and hand games as well.
On December 19 - 22 the 36th Annual LNI held thousands of students who filled the stands and took part in the activities which is big difference from the event's humble beginnings. Since its small start in 1977, "each year, the Lakota Nation Invitational has grown," according to their site, "We have been proud of all the young people who have given their best as they compete in honor of their schools, families and respected nations from near and far. Their efforts are exceptional and they are the reason we all come together in the spirit of friendship and good will."