Dancers participate in the 2012 Lakota Omniciye Wacipi (powwow). The 2013 wacipi will be held April 12-14 at the Donald E. Young Sports & Fitness Center Field House.

Black Hills State University will kick off its week-long celebration of Native American culture Monday, April 8. This year’s theme for American Indian Awareness week is  “STRONG: Solid Tribal Roots Offer New Growth” and includes the 30th Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi taking place April 12-14 at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center Field House. 

The week-long celebration is dedicated to educating the community about Indian culture, featuring daily speakers and a variety of events at BHSU. All events are open to the public.

A complete schedule of events for the week is as follows:

Monday, April 8

·         9-9:50 a.m. World-renowned artist and gallery owner; Sandy Swallow; Jonas Hall, room 107

Sandy Swallow is a world-renowned artist and gallery owner who has a long list of accomplishments throughout the art world. She’s won awards from art shows such as the Northing Plains Indian Art Market in Sioux Falls; Sweet Willow Indian Market in Great Falls, Mont.; and Grand River Indian Artists Gathering in Grand Junction, Colo. She is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

Tuesday, April 9

·         11-12:15 p.m. “Wacipi – A Way of Life” ; Whitney Rencountre, Jonas Hall, room 104

Rencountre, a BHSU alumnus and Lakota Omniciye Wacipi 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.

·         11-12:15 p.m. “Our Relationship with Money and Success”; James A. Cordry, Jonas Hall, room 107

Cordry, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, holds the position of Fiduciary Trust Officer for the Rosebud Agency, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians. For nearly 20 years, Cordry was a registered investment advisor and financial advisor in Kansas City, Mo. During that time, he hosted a weekly call-in radio show featuring investment talk of the day and interviewing notable investment professionals from around the country.

·         12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Executive Director of Four Bands Community Fund, Tanya Fiddler, Jonas Hall, room 107

Fiddler, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is the executive director of the Four Bands Community Fund, a Native community development financial institute focused on entrepreneurship and financial literacy development on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation located in north central South Dakota.

·         2-3 p.m.  Executive Director Lakota Funds; Tawney Brunsch, Meier Hall, room 206

Brunsch, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is the executive director of Lakota Funds, the first certified Native community development financial institution on a reservation. She has provided tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation with asset building tools including: individual development accounts, homebuyer education, business planning assistance, credit building loans and free tax preparations.

Wednesday, April 10

·         9-9:50 a.m. “’Entrepreneurship: Idea to Reality, The building of the Tanka Brand”; Mark Tilsen, Jonas Hall, room 107

Tilsen is president of Native American Natural Foods and a longtime business partner with Karlene Hunter in Lakota Express, Inc., a direct marketing and customer care management company. Tilsen has co-founded several successful community organizations and businesses including: KILI Radio, the largest indigenous community-owned radio station in North America; and The Black Hills Alliance, a coalition of Native and non-Native Americans that had a major impact on changing the environmental policies and practices in the Black Hills.

·         12-12:50 p.m. The Arikara; Dr. Brad Tennant, Jonas Hall, room 107

Tennant, associate professor of history at Presentation College, will talk about the history and culture of the Arikara: their role in intertribal trade, the impact of disease, their encounter with Lewis and Clark, and conflicts with the government from 1807-1820s.

Thursday, April 11

·         11-12:15 p.m. Dakota Sound Records; Brandis Knudson, Jonas Hall, room 104

Knudson, CEO of Dakota Sound Records and artist, better known in the music world as B, grew up in Eastern South Dakota where he was influenced by multiple cultures and genres of music and found love in the art of Hip-Hop. After recording his first studio single during the summer of 2007, he founded Dakota Sound Records as an underground label which saw quick growth and serious potential for a larger market.

·         12:30-1:45 p.m. Lastrealindians.com;  Chase Iron Eyes, Jonas Hall, room 107

Iron Eyes is founding writer at lastrealindians.com, a ground breaking new site. Iron Eyes is a lawyer, scholar and activist. His work has been published in major media, and he has been instrumental in the recent effort to push for a collective purchase of Black Hills sacred land in the Pe’Sla campaign.

Friday, April 12

·         12-12:50 p.m. Lakota Solar Enterprises; Henry Red Cloud, Jonas Hall, room 107

Red Cloud, proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises, is the direct fifth generation descendant of Chief Red Cloud. He was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation. For more than a decade, Red Cloud has devoted himself to developing his expertise with renewable energy applications that are environmentally sound, economically beneficial and culturally appropriate.

·         7-11 p.m. 30th Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi; BHSU Young Center Field House

      Grand entry, warm up and social dancing

Saturday, April 13

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

·         5-6:30 p.m. Free Buffalo Feed; BHSU David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union

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


Sunday, April 14

·         10:30 a.m.  28th Annual Kevin Whirlwind Horse Run; Starts at Lyle Hare Stadium

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

For more information about American Indian Awareness Week at BHSU call 605-642-6578.