| Black Hills State University’s American Indian Awareness Week celebration kicks off Monday, April 7 with this year’s theme “Earth is Sacred; Honor our Mother.” The week of events includes the 31st Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi taking place April 11-13. The annual powwow brings dancers from all over the region to compete in a variety of categories.
Black Hills State University’s week-long celebration of Native culture kicks off Monday, April 7 with this year’s theme “Earth is Sacred; Honor our Mother” focusing on environmental concerns.
The celebration is dedicated to educating the community about Indian culture, featuring daily speakers and a variety of events at BHSU, according to Rosie Sprague, assistant director of the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU. “The overall goal of American Indian Awareness week is to bring awareness to these topics concerning Native Americans and Native American communities to the students, faculty and staff of BHSU as well as the Black Hills community,” she said.
Next month’s events will focus on environmental concerns as well as water rights and issues surrounding and affecting Native American communities. “The speakers for American Indian Awareness Week will be incorporating different aspects of the theme into their presentations. Some will be speaking directly about environmental issues like the Keystone XL Pipeline while others will speak on American Indian traditions and values,” Sprague said.
The week also includes the 31st Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi taking place April 11-13 at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center Field House. The annual powwow brings dancers from all over the region including Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska to compete in a variety of categories.
All events are open to the public.
A complete schedule of events for the week is as follows:
Monday, April 7
- 2-5 p.m. “Crying Rise Up”; Debra White Plume, Lakota Environmental Advocate, Jonas Hall, room 107.
Tuesday, April 8
- 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. “21st Century Global Perspectives”; Dr. Nels Granholm, South Dakota State University professor; Jonas Hall, room 107;
- 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “Wotakuye: Environmental Ethics”; Roaslie Little Thunder, Lakota educator and BHSU adjunct faculty member, Jonas Hall, room 104;
- 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “Harvest and the Use of Foods and Medicines in the Siouan Homeland”; Jerome Kills Small, Lakota artist; Jonas Hall, room 309;
- 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. “Sanford Underground Research Facility: Dewatering the Underground Laboratory”; John Scheetz, environmental manager at Sanford Lab; Jonas Hall, room 303;
- 2-3:15 p.m. “From Traditional to Block Art”; Sandy Swallow, Lakota artist and owner of Swallow Gallery, Jonas Hall, room 206.
Wednesday, April 9
- 9-9:50 a.m. “Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge”; Dr. Daniel Wildcat, author and professor at Haskell Indian Nations University, Jonas Hall 306;
- Noon – 12:50 p.m. “Historical to Contemporary Warrior Women”; Reno Charette, director of American Indian Outreach at Montana State University – Billings, Jonas Hall, room 107.
Thursday, April 10
- 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. “Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Plains”; Dr. Linda Jones, professor of science and ethnobotany at Sitting Bull College, Jonas Hall, room 107;
- 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “Wacipi: A Way of Life”; Whitney Rencountre, BHSU alum and powwow arena director, Jonas Hall, room 104;
- 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “Recent advances in environmental science research at Oglala Lakota College”; Dr. Hannan LaGarry, professor at Oglala Lakota College, Jonas Hall, room 309;
- 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. “Where Does Oil End?”; Mato Standing High, attorney, Jonas Hall, room 303;
- 2 – 3:15 p.m. “Lakota Arts of the Prairies”; Marshall Burnette, Lakota artist, Jonas Hall, room 206.
Friday, April 11
- 9 – 9:50 a.m. “Geothermal Energy Development on the Standing Rock Reservation”; Kimberlynn Cameron, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology engineering student, Jonas Hall, room 306;
- Noon – 12:50 p.m. “Women’s Roles”; Jesse “Jay” Taken Alive, Standing Rock Lakota, Jonas Hall, room 107;
- 7-11 p.m. 31st Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, Grand entry, warm up and social dancing; BHSU Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.
Saturday, April 12
- Noon – 5 p.m. Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, Young Center;
- 5 – 6 p.m. Free Buffalo Feed, BHSU David B. Miller Student Union;
- 7 – 11 p.m. Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, Young Center.
Sunday, April 13
- 10:30 a.m. 29th Annual Kevin Whirlwind Horse Run, starts at Lyle Hare Stadium;
- Noon – 5 p.m. Lakota Omniciye Wacipi, Young Center.
For more information about American Indian Awareness Week contact Sprague or Dr. Urla Marcus, director of the Center for American Indian Studies at BHSU, at 605-642-6578.