The 48th Lakota Nation Invitational is back after a year’s hiatus because of the COVID pandemic with a record number of basketball teams – 24 boys and 24 girls representing every reservation in South Dakota as well as some Nebraska schools.
Although basketball was the original reason for the LNI and is still one of its biggest draws, the gathering now includes wrestling, competitions centered around Lakota culture, academic sessions, and art exhibits.
LNI is at the same place as usual, although it has a new name – The Monument in Rapid City – with basketball in the new Summit Arena.
The opening night gathering was Tuesday and basketball began Wednesday. LNI concludes on Saturday.
There’s also a big guest this year: U-S Secretary of the Interior and former New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland, herself an enrolled member of a Native American tribe.