Wakinyan LaPointe leads a prayer during a sunrise Ceremony on Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

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Seventy community members gathered at 7 a.m. at Bde Maka Ska for a sunrise ceremony on October 10–Indigenous People’s Day. The event was organized by the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors.

Community members gathered in a circle to offer prayers and songs led by Wakinyan, Thorne, and Lemoine LaPointe (Sicangu Lakota) as the sun rose above the lake in Minneapolis. Lemoine LaPointe offered sage to participants to smudge in an abalone shell while Wakinyan and Thorne offered reflections on the day’s significance to Indigenous peoples. 

The event marked the kick off of Indigenous People’s Day celebrations throughout the Twin Cities. In 2019, Governor Tim Walz declared Indigenous Peoples Day an official holiday, making Minneapolis one of the first cities in the United States to celebrate it.

Jaida Grey Eagle is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribe originally from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She is a photojournalist, producer, beadwork artist, and writer. She is a member of the Women’s...