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Lakota Nation Invitational kicks off in Rapid City

The 29th annual Lakota Nation Invitational kicks off today in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The invitational, which started out on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1977, have grown into a major celebration of Lakota culture, education, art and athletics. Thousands of participants, joined by thousands of spectators, will attend games and events at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The basketball tourney for boys and girls starts today, along with an art show and dance. On Thursday and Friday, the Lakota Nation Knowledge Bowl, the Lakota Language Bowl and the Hand Game Tournament will be held.

Vine Deloria Jr., the late Standing Rock Sioux scholar, will be honored on Friday right before the pow-wow grand entry. The basketball championships will be held on Saturday, the final day of the invitational.

This year, Oglala Lakota College's KOLC will broadcast the events on videotape delay on a local cable channel. People who are unable to attend the games will be able to watch from their homes throughout the state.

"About 2,500 students take part in the Lakota Nation Invitational, which, including their families and friends, makes the tournament one of the largest events held in Rapid City," The Rapid City Journal said in an editorial. "According to the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, LNI is a $5 million bump to the local economy."

Get the Story:
Invitational shows diversity (The Rapid City Journal 12/14)
Tournament to air on new cultural channel (The Rapid City Journal 12/14)
Editorial: LNI tourney welcome (The Rapid City Journal 12/14)

Relevant Links:
Lakota Nation Invitational -

Related Stories:
Students compete in Lakota Invitational events (12/17)
Lakota Nation Invitational kicks off in South Dakota (12/15)
Language bowl at hit at Lakota Nation invitational (12/19)