Hello and welcome to the 38th Lakota Nation Invitational.
This year we are pleased to share our 38th LNI with you. From a very small start in 1977-78 we have experienced many changes and have grown immensely. The last 37 years have been filled with great memories and exciting games, including cultural and academic events with outstanding young men and women.
Each year, the Lakota Nation Invitational has grown. We have been proud of all the young people who have given their best as they compete in honor of their schools, families and respected nations from near and far. Their efforts are exceptional and they are the reason we all come together in the spirit of friendship and good will.
The best athletes are here in basketball, wrestling and cheerleading! We also have outstanding students competing in the Lakota Language, Academic and Knowledge Bowls as well as the Hand game Tournament, Art Show, Story Telling and Business Competitions. This year the LNI Youth Summit opens its doors to all students nationally who wish to attend. In this our 37th year, we will also honor our Female Veterans who have served our country in the military. From Athletics, Academics, Fine Arts or in promoting our cultural traditions in honoring, we carry on the LNI spirit and there is something for everyone.
The countdown begins as we head into the next four days of fun and excitement. Who do you think will claim the titles this year? You have already chosen your favorites but there will certainly be some surprises and upsets. We all have our favorite team but each and every student at the Lakota Nation Invitational is special to us. We have already crowned LNI champions in Vollyball Pine Ridge Lady Thorpes is the Volleyball Champions. Pine Ridge won the Boys LNI cross country title! CEB won the Girls LNI Cross Country title. Todd County High School won the State A Cross Country title. We are so proud of all the teams and these notable athletes.
All the events are exciting and fun to watch and the excitement is building! Can you hear the roar of the crowd? Will the colors of your favorite team wave victory when it’s all said and done? The time is now and the message I want to send to our LNI youth is, to rise to the occasion and do your very best. We are proud of you for making positive choices in representing your respected schools, communities and the LNI Organization.
In closing, we invite you to have a good time and take in as many events as you can in supporting all of our LNI student athletes and scholars. Remember to take time and shake the hand of a veteran who has served our country, or our LNI student athletes who have gone on to attend college, trade school or the military and who have returned home for the holidays. Please show your sportsmanship and appreciation to all participants, sports and public safety officials and all our workers who have volunteered their time to make this a memorable event for the youth. Enjoy the tournament and all the pageantry that goes with it. We hope that the38th LNI will be one of the best ever and we look forward to our 38th celebration next year.