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15th Annual Young Native Pride Performance in Prior Lake, Minnesota

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The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is hosting the 15th annual Young Native Pride Performance on Thursday, May 10 at the Prior Lake High School Auditorium. The evening performance, which starts at 7 pm, is open to the public.

In their handmade regalia and dancing to traditional songs, the SMSC youth will celebrate "Dakota culture, traditions, and spirituality with a free dance exhibition and art show," an SMSC press release states.

The Native Pride Performance has spent the past three years honoring the natural elements of land, water, and fire. This year they will honor wind- "representing the breath of Dakota life will be honored." Through incredible songs and dancing, the students will vividly demonstrate how wind has been crucial to the Dakota people in the past and how it continues to be important today. "The students will portray the story of Wicanhpi Hoksidan (Star Boy) and Tate Waziyata (North Wind). Star Boy ushers in the warmth of spring and summer while North Wind arrives in the autumn and gives people enough time to prepare for the hard days of the winter."

Young Native Pride includes children as young as kindergarten to seniors in high school. The idea behind the group is simple and powerful; "to instill pride and respect for American Indian values and culture."

This year participating students attend school at the SMSC Education Department- Home School along with Prior Lake, Savage, Shakopee, New Prague, Belle Plaine, Bloomington, and Hopkins public and private schools. Included in the performance is an intertribal drum group of adults and youth.

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There will also be an art show of original works in various media .

"The parents and families of the students have worked throughout the school year as a large family Tiospaye [tee-osh-peye] preparing for the annual Young Native Pride event," the release stated. "They have helped the dancers put together beautiful Dakota dance regalia consisting of beadwork, appliqué, ribbon work, moccasins, bustles, shawls, and more. The regalia worn by the dancers have personal and symbolic meaning to each individual. Dance styles to be featured are fancy feather, fancy shawl, traditional, grass, and jingle."

“We expect to have more than 60 young people participate in this year’s performance,” said SMSC Vice-Chairman Charlie Vig. “We are very proud of our Community youth who demonstrate great pride in their heritage through their participation in this program.”

SMSC Secretary/Treasurer Keith B. Anderson who sits on the tribe’s Education Committee said, “This has been a successful program over the years which has encouraged our youth to practice their traditions.”

Each performance will begin with a prayer followed by a Grand Entry where the dancers enter in a procession behind the flags and eagle feather staffs. Typically a member of the SMSC Business Council extends a brief welcome to the crowd. A narrator will describe the various dance styles. Audience members are invited to participate in a round dance to conclude the event. Refreshments will be served following the 7:00 p.m. performance.

Location: Prior Lake High School, 7575 150th Street West in Savage, Minnesota 55378.