Sunday, just before noon, people gathered in front of the 7th Generation Movie Theater for the Unity Walk.
Ryan Moran, CRST member and 2018-2019 basketball coach for Tiospaye Topa School, set up a tent with Bonnie LeBeau, while Lynnette Dupris and her team set up a sign-up booth for people interested in participating in the Unity Walk.
The Unity Walk was led by the drum group Wakiyan Maza and was a short walk of prayer for the unification of the people for peaceful progress and continued personal and communal positive growth on the CRST reservation and beyond.
“The Unity walk was made to inspire all tribal and non-tribal members to come together in solidarity for the sake of the youth. Only together can we be our best for the future of our community,” Moran said.
The walk began in front of the old tribal offices on Main Street in Eagle Butte and circled around the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School block, ending at the lawn in front of the theater, where participants created the shape of a medicine wheel.
“By using the medicine wheel or sacred hoop, we hoped that the circle would promote health and healing for all. We were honored to have the drum group Wakiyan Maza sing an honor song in the middle of the sacred hoop. The energy of this wheel was palpable and there were many smiles and a positive feeling with the events,” Moran said.
Leon Veaux took aerial pictures and videos of the medicine wheel using a drone. This was not the first time Moran worked to create a medicine wheel made of people. His first effort was at the Medicine Wheel Village.
“Just a simple idea but when we joined together to form the medicine wheel one could feel the positive energy flowing through the circle,” said Moran in a Facebook post about the event.
The Unity Walk was just one of the numerous activities for everyone attending the CRST Labor Day Fair and Rodeo the first weekend in September.
Events ranged from softball to running, volleyball to dancing, art to performing arts, basketball to horseshoes and horse races, to just enjoying the various food venues and rides at the carnival.
Inside, you will find photo essays documenting the events of the five-day celebration.
The events of the fair are not a one-man or one committee effort, but a combined effort from tribal and non-tribal members to put on a series of events that will bring people together before the cold weather settles across the plains, and promotes friendly competition among participants, and brings together family and new and old friends.
As with many large gatherings, tragedies occur, and the West River Eagle offers condolences to those who were affected by accidents that happened over the fair weekend.