BHSU News & Events

BHSU hosts annual powwow as part of American Indian Awareness Week

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Nearly 2,800 participants and spectators attended the 25th annual Wacipi (powwow) last weekend as part of the activities scheduled at Black Hills State University for Indian Awareness Week. The student selected theme was “Walking in Two Worlds” which emphasized the role of Indians in traditional life and contemporary military service. This year’s event also included a symposium entitled “The RED in the Red, White & Blue: Indians and the Armed Forces.”

Nearly 2,800 participants and spectators attended the 25th annual Wacipi (powwow) last weekend as part of the activities scheduled at Black Hills State University for Indian Awareness Week. A highlight of this year’s events was the many participants in the military color guards.

The student selected theme was “Walking in Two Worlds” which emphasized the role of Indians in traditional life and contemporary military service. Supported in part by a grant from the South Dakota humanities council, this year’s event included a symposium entitled “The RED in the Red, White & Blue: Indians and the Armed Forces.”

Several speakers participated including Vietnam fighter pilot and author Ed McGaa; WWII nurse, Marcella LeBeau; and University of South Dakota, fine arts director, John Day, who discussed the life of artist Oscar Howe.

“Due in part to great weather conditions, our event attracted many folks from across the state and throughout the region,” said Dr. John Glover, director of the BHSU Center for American Indian Studies. “Hundreds of competitors and nineteen drum groups combined to make a truly impressive celebration,” said Glover. The event was a great success according to organizers.           

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