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Black Hills State University kicks off American Indian Awareness Week Tuesday

Black Hills State University will kick of the celebration of American Indian Awareness Week Tuesday, April 10.  The culmination of the celebration, the 29th Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi (powwow), will be held April 13-15 at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center Field House.

This year’s theme of American Indian Awareness week is “Mending the Sacred Hoop: A Circle of Unity.” Phillip White Man Jr. will begin the week of events with his presentation of Respect for Diversity and Cultural Humility (more than Integrity) Tuesday, April 10 at 9:30 a.m. in Jonas Hall, room 107All events are open to the public. A complete schedule of events for the week is as follows:

Tuesday, April 10

·         9:30 – 10:45 a.m. Respect for Diversity and Cultural Humility (more than Integrity); Jonas Hall, room 107
Northern Cheyenne cultural consultant, presenter, storyteller, horse trainer, champion grass dancer and rodeo saddle bronc champion

·         12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Respect for Diversity and Cultural Humility (more than Integrity); Phillip White Man Jr., Woodburn Hall, room 300
Northern Cheyenne cultural consultant, presenter, storyteller, horse trainer, champion grass dancer and rodeo saddle bronc champion

·         2– 3:15 p.m. Turning Issues into Action: Inside Secrets to Advocacy”; Heather Dawn Thompson, Jonas Hall, room 309
Thompson,  a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is an attorney who focuses on a broad range of legislative and policy issues, including tribal sovereignty, economic development, law enforcement, energy, telecom, and homeland security.

 Wednesday, April 11

·         9- 9:50 a.m. Oglala Lakota Ledger Artist, Author and Illustrator; Donald Montileaux, Jonas Hall, room 107
Montileaux is a world-renowned artist and illustrator and an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. He has received nearly 20 awards and commissions and attended over 25 major art shows throughout his artistic career.  His art is illustrated on the covers of six books and his art is included in numerous private collections as well as public, and has been featured artist in art galleries in New Mexico, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado, as well as South Dakota.

·         10 - 10:50 a.m. Current Legal Issues Facing South Dakota Tribes; J.R. LaPlante, Jonas Hall, room 304
LaPlante is the State of South Dakota Secretary of Tribal Relations and an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.  He is a practicing attorney in Vermillion and serves as the Chief Judge and court Administrator for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in Ft. Thompson.

·         12– 12:50 p.m. Access Possibilities: Building Friendly Diversity in our Communities*; Candy Hamilton, Jonas Hall, room 107
Hamilton is a published poet and short story writer. In addition to completing her master’s degree at USD with a collection of short stories as her thesis, Hamilton has worked as a researcher and consultant to several films made in South Dakota. *This presentation is made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

·         3– 3:50 p.m.  The Role of Media in Creating Unity or Division; Tim Giago, Jonas Hall, room 102
Giago, Oglala Lakota, is an award winning journalist who has been instrumental in reconciliation and unity efforts in South Dakota. He is the founder of the Lakota Times newspaper and also created the Native American Journalists Association.

 Thursday, April 12

·         9:30 – 10:45 a.m. Legalistic Approach to Eagle Feathers Not the Lakota Spirituality of Her Ancestors; Rosalie Little Thunder, Jonas Hall, room 107
Little Thunder is a Lakota linguist, educator and activist. She is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and is chair of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development. As a longtime activist, Little Thunder has worn many hats. But the one consistent "career," as she put it, is being a teacher of the Lakota language.

·         11a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Being Dakota in the Modern World*; Harvey DuMarce, Jonas Hall, room 105
This presentation focuses on the history of American Indians from a native perspective as well as examines federal policies that have impacted all American Indians including tribes in South Dakota. DuMarce is an Adjunct Instructor at Sisseton Wahpeton College.
*This presentation is made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

·         12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Gerald Yellow Hawk, Room TBD
Respected Elder, artist, speaker, pastor, traditional dancer and Lakota translator

·         2- 3:15 p.m. Unity in Education: Experiences From a Tribal Perspective; Walt Swan, Jonas Hall, room 309
Swan is a respected educator and leader with the US Department of the Interior -Bureau of Indian Education.

Friday, April 13

·         9 – 9:50 a.m. Wacipi – A Way of Life Whitney Rencountre, Jonas Hall, room 107; Whitney, BHSU Alumni and Powwow Arena Director, is an accomplished singer and drummer who has traveled the world, sharing traditional American Indian ways of living. He is also a singer with the award-winning American Indian drum group, Midnight Express, which is based out of the Minneapolis area.

·         12– 12:50 p.m. Unity Through Healing; Lila Mehlhaff, Jonas Hall, room 107
Mehlhaff, Hunkpapa from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is owner of Native Legacy Media, and has 18 years of business development experience with franchise and retail stores. Recently, she worked for a United States Senator as a Tribal Liaison to the South Dakota Tribes.

·         7 – 11 p.m. 29th Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, BHSU Young Center Field House
Grand Entry, Warm up and Social Dancing

Saturday, April 14

·         10 a.m. 27th Annual Kevin Whirlwind Horse Run; Registration at Salem Park

·         12 – 5 p.m. Lakota Omniciye Wacipi; Young Center Field House

·         5 – 6:30 p.m. Free Buffalo Feed; BHSU Student Union

·         7 – 11 p.m. Lakota Omniciye Wacipi; Young Center Field House

Sunday, April 15

·         12 – 5 p.m. Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, Young Center Field House

For further information, locations, and updates contact the Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) at 605.642.6578 or visit Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations for these events should contact Urla Marcus, directory of CAIS at 605.642.6578 at least 48 hours prior to start of event.  All activities are drug and alcohol free.

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