LNI'S RED CARPET WELCOME & HAND GAMES EVENTS PROMOTE
APPRECIATION & FOSTER UNDERSTANDING
Tuesday greeting line welcomes participants;
Corporate Challenge introduces community teams
to traditional Native American hand games
RAPID CITY, SD--Some of the best athletic, artistic and cultural talent will be on display next week as thousands of fans, supporters and participants are expected in Rapid City for the 42nd annual Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI), which showcases individual and team competitions in basketball, wrestling and cheerleading, as well as art, archery, chess, hand games, knowledge bowl, storytelling, poetry, business plans and language bowl.
Among the events bringing LNI participants and the community together are Tuesday's Red Carpet Welcome and the Friday, December 14 Corporate Challenge Hand Games event.
***POLICE ESCORT AND RED CARPET WELCOME***
For the third year in a row, teams will be escorted into Rapid City by law enforcement units, and the community will provide a red carpet welcome at 4 p.m. in the north concourse area in front of the Barnett Arena. Rapid City citizens, business and community leaders, tournament officials and supporters will line up to provide the entering participants with greetings, encouragement and high-fives.
"It's a beautiful scene as buses of teams receive a law enforcement escort to the Civic Center," said Mayor Steve Allender. "Players, coaches and cheerleaders enter the Civic Center where they are warmly welcomed by a large greeting line and a sea of high-fives and applause--everyone wishing them collective best wishes in the tournament.
"The LNI is a big deal to Rapid City and we look forward to again providing participants a community welcome they deserve and won't soon forget."
LNI officials say the community welcome is warmly received by participants.
"On behalf of myself and the LNI Board of Directors, I would like to again say thank you to everyone involved in the Tuesday's welcoming events--the caravan, red carpet greeting and meal for players and coaches. This is one of the most wonderful events the kids take part in!," said LNI Board Chairman Chuck Wilson. "The Lakota Nation Invitational and the City of Rapid City have come a long way together and the Tuesday welcome truly shows that Rapid City is our HOME!"
The public is invited to participate in the red carpet welcome of the teams. After the greeting line welcome, Visit Rapid City is hosting a dinner for players, coaches, cheerleaders and LNI board members.
“Visit Rapid City is so thrilled to once again partner with the City of Rapid City, MOA, Prairie Edge, the LNI Board and all the local hotels who provide complimentary rooms for officials of this tournament," said Julie Jensen, president and CEO of Visit Rapid City. "We can’t be prouder of the great strides which have been made to lay out the RED CARPET for this amazing cultural event!”
***HAND GAMES TO FEATURE CORPORATE CHALLENGE***
One of the most talked-about events at last year's tournament was the inaugural LNI Hand Games Corporate Citizen Challenge, where community teams squared off in the traditional Native American guessing game. The event is larger this year with 16 teams expected to participate. The event is scheduled for Friday, December 14 at 11 a.m. in Rushmore C&D and is hosted by the Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors (MOA).
"In an effort to continue to bridge cultures and to learn with each other and about one another, we are excited that Rapid City businesses and organizations are reaching out to be a part of the LNI," said Karen Mortimer, MOA executive director. "The Lakota Hand Games Tournament is an important part of the LNI and the culture and history of the Lakota Nations. We are honored to support this special event while continuing to commit to make Rapid City a better place for all!"
Teams competing against each other include the Rapid City Fire and Police Departments; Visit Rapid City and Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association; Security First Bank and Black Hills Community Bank; the City of Rapid City and Pennington County; Black Hills Surgical Hospital and Regional Health; Western Dakota Tech and Rapid City Area Schools; Scull Construction, Lifeways, Russian visitors with the Dakotah Territory International Visitors Program and the Great Plains Tribal Health Board.
"The traditional Native American guessing game is one of many popular competitions at the LNI," said Mayor Allender. "The Corporate Challenge is a friendly competition among businesses, city and county officials and others and helps to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of this very popular competition."
The hand games competition involves two sets of bones or sticks, one marked and one clear, that two hiders conceal in their hands while the opposing team's guesser chooses the hand holding the marked bones. Hand signals are a huge part of the action and can include the audience contributing hand movements designed to distract the opposing team's guesser. Each team begins with eight bones or sticks and correct guesses can build a team's stockpile with the opposing team's sticks.
Each of the bone sticks represents one of the spirits in the Lakota creation story and are often created from deer, elk or buffalo bones with a paint line designating the marked bones. Competitions are often accompanied by drummers and singers performing special songs.
EVENT INFORMATION #1:
WHAT: LNI Red Carpet Greeting
WHEN: Tuesday, December 11
TIME: 4 p.m
WHERE: North lobby concourse in front of the Barnett Arena
WHO: Participating LNI teams along with citizens, community, business and tournament officials. The red carpet welcome is followed by a dinner for tournament participants, cheerleaders, coaches and LNI board members, hosted by Visit Rapid City
EVENT INFORMATION #2:
WHAT: Hand Games Corporate Citizen Challenge, hosted by the Mniluzahan Okolakiciyapi Ambassadors.
WHEN: Friday, December 14
TIME: 11 a.m.
WHERE: Rushmore C&D, Civic Center
WHO: Several community teams competing in the traditional Native American guessing game
Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator
T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551