American Indian Awareness Week April 7-13, 2014



During the week of April 7th-13th, 2014 the Lakota Omniciye student organization will host the 31st annual "Lakota Omniciye Wacipi" during American Indian Awareness Week. This event is dedicated to educating the community about Indian culture, featuring daily speakers and a variety of events at Black Hills State University. All events are open to the public.

Activities will take place April 7-13. The 2014 schedule of events will be updated regularly as we continue to add events and speakers. Please check back often.

All Events are open to the public
For further information, locations, and updates contact: Center for American Indian Studies 605.642.6578. Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations for these events should contact Urla Marcus at 605.642.6578 at least 48 hours prior to start of event.

All activities are drug and alcohol free.


31st Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi
Black Hills State University
"The Earth is Sacred; Honor Our Mother"

  • Friday, April 11, 2014
    Grand entry: 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, April 12, 2014
    Grand entry: 12 p.m. & 7 p.m.
    Free Buffalo Feed: 5:00 pm in the Student Union Cafeteria

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Grand entry 12 p.m.

  • Total Prize Money: $TBA

- View 2014 event poster!
- Download the full Awareness Week schedule
- Miss & Jr. Miss Lakota Omniciye Wacipi contest information!
- Vendors Application Form
For information, contact Urla Marcus or Rosie Sprague at 605-642-6578.


Monday, April 7

2:00 pm -5:00 pm - Crying Rise Up - Jonas 107
Debra White Plume
Oglala Lakota
Environmental Advocate

Debra White Plume is an enrolled member of the Oglala Band of the Lakota Nation and has lived on the Pine Ridge, SD Indian Reservation all her life. In 1997, White Plume co-founded a grassroots non-governmental organization called “Owe Aku”, Bring Back the Way, to focus on social change work, cultural preservation, and Lakota Treaty Territory defense work. With her husband Alex and their extended families. Since 2005, Debra has been engaged in Sacred Water Protection Work through the Crying Earth Rise Up community education and action campaign of Owe Aku to challenge the worlds largest uranium producer, Cameco, Inc.


Tuesday, April 8

9:30 am - 10:45 am - 21st Century Global Perspectives - Jonas 107
Dr. Nels Granholm
Professor, SDSU

Conducted research in developmental genetics at South Dakota State University for forty-one years and taught courses in biology (bioethics, genetics, and histology) as well as global studies from 2004-2011 with emphases on credentials of global citizenship and intercultural competence - learning to value other cultures. Since retirement in 2011, Professor Emeritus of Global Studies and Biology, SDSU.

11:00 am - 12:15 pm - Wotakuye: Environmental Ethics - Jonas 104
Rosalie Little Thunder
Rosebud Lakota
Lakota Educator
Rosalie 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. Little Thunder is also an adjunct faculty member at BHSU, teaching the Lakota language courses offered through the American Indian Studies program.



11:00 am - 12:15 pm - Harvest and the Use of Foods and Medicines in the Siouan Homelands - Jonas 309
Jerome Kills Small
Oglala Lakota Lakota Artist

Jerome Kills Small is an Oglala Lakota from Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Jerome retire from teaching at the University of South Dakota for twenty years. A 1997 graduate of the University of South Dakota, with an MA in Selected Studies, he stayed to teach at the USD. He taught Lakota language, American Indian Oratory and Argumentation, Siouan Tribal Culture, and Early American Indian History and Culture at USD.

12:30 pm -1:45 pm - Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF): Dewatering the Underground Laboratory - Jonas 303
John Scheetz
Environmental Manager, SURF

Environmental Manager- Sanford Laboratory (last six Years); Environmental Manager- Homestake Mining Company; Halliburton Energy Services- Environmental Manager, Wyoming.





2:00 pm - 3:15 pm - From Traditional to Block Art - Jonas 206
Sandy Swallow
Oglala Lakota Lakota Artist and Owner of Swallow Gallery
World known Artist and art gallery owner, Ms. Swallow has participated and has to her credit a long list of accomplishments that she has received from the art world. Winning awards from many art shows such as the Northern Plains Indian Art Market, Sioux Falls, SD; Sweet Willow Indian Market at Great Falls, MT; and Grand River Indian Artists Gathering at Grand Junction, CO have helped inspire her art career.


Wednesday, April 9

9:00 am - 9:50 am - Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge - Jonas 306
Dr. Daniel Wildcat
Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma
Author and Professor at Haskell Indian Nations University

Dr. Daniel Wildcat, Ph.D., is a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, and an accomplished scholar who writes on indigenous knowledge, technology, environment, and education. He is also co-director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center, which he founded with colleagues from the Center for Hazardous Substance Research at Kansas State University.




12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Historical to Contemporary Warrior Women - Jonas 107

Reno Charette, Crow/Descendent of Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
Director of American Indian Outreach at MSU Billings


Thursday, April 10

9:30 am - 10:45 am - Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Great Plains - Jonas 107
Dr. Linda Jones
Catawba Nation Professor of Science and Ethnobotany at Sitting Bull College

Linda Bishop-Jones (Catawba Nation) is an ethnobotanist and restoration ecologist who specializes in culturally important plants of the Lakota. She currently serves as an instructor at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, ND.






11:00 am - 12:15 pm - Wacipi: A Way of Life - Jonas 104
Whitney Rencountre
Crow Creek Dakota
BHSU Alumni & Pow Wow Arena Director

Whitney Rencountre II, is Hunkpati Dakota from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. After attending Black Hills State University, Whitney taught Native Studies at Marty High School from 2007-2009. Currently, he is the Director of Ateyapi, a culturally based mentoring program serving three elementary schools in Rapid City, SD. Whitney is a life-long singer and a former traditional dancer. Whitney’s outlook is to share his culture with the goal of creating understanding and fostering positive change in our schools and communities.

11:00 am - 12:15 pm - Recent Advances in Environmental Science Research at Oglala Lakota College - Dr. Hannan LaGarry
Professor at Oglala Lakota College

Dr. La Garry currently teaches classes in geology, biology, statistics, and research methods for the SEM, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, and Nursing (RN) degree programs. Specifically, Hannan is interested in Cenozoic stratigraphy, vertebrate paleontology, and predator-prey relationships in northern Great Plains mammals. Hannan is also interested in the ecological, human, and social impact of declining water supplies, water contamination, and prolonged drought in the northern Great Plains region.

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm - Where Does Oil End? - Jonas 303
Mato Standing High, esq., Rosebud Lakota Attorney

Mato is a licensed Colorado and South Dakota attorney and co-owner of Owl Nest Consulting. He has a strong background in the practice of Indian law and a passion to serve and assist underrepresented individuals. Currently, Mato is vice president of the South Dakota Indian Country Bar Association, as well as vice president of Native Educational Endeavors. He was the attorney general for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe from 2007 to 2012. Mato has taught American Indian law, American Indian history and sociology at Black Hills State University in his hometown of Spearfish, South Dakota. Mato is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing, as well as the University of Montana School of Law, where he earned a Juris doctorate.




2:00 pm - 3:15 pm - Lakota Arts of the Prairies - Jonas 206
Marshall Burnette, Rosebud Lakota
Lakota Artist

As of 2012, Marshall has been a practicing bowyer for 25 years. Now classified as a master-bowyer and master-flintknapper. Marshall has been flint knapping every year for the past 20 years. Marshall also enjoys creating brain-tanning leather and making traditional clothing. Also, jewelery from horn and antler, and creating a vast array of old-world primitive arts.


Friday, April 11

9:00 am - 9:50 am - Geothermal Energy Development on the Standing Rock Reservation - Jonas 306
Kimberlynn Cameron, Standing Rock Lakota
SMSM&T Engineering Graduate

Kimberlynn Cameron is a senior majoring in Geological Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She grew up in Wakpala, South Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation Kim is a Scholar in the NSF Tiospaye Scholars in Science & Engineering Program and will be the first enrolled female member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to graduate from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with her engineering degree in May.





12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Women’s Roles - Jonas 107
Jesse “Jay” Taken Alive, Standing Rock Lakota

Born in Fort Yates on May 1, 1955.He received his education at the BIA elementary school and Fort Yates Public High School. He is married and has five children. A fluent Lakota Speaker, Jesse is a descendent of Rain-in-the-Face. During his early years, Jesse Taken Alive worked with Standing Rock Community College, the BIA elementary school, and chemical prevention program. In 1991, at the age of 38, he was elected to the Tribal Council. In 1993, he became Tribal Chairman.

7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
31st Annual Lakota Omniciye Wacipi
BHSU Young Center Field House
Grand Entry, Warm up and Social Dancing


Saturday, April 12

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Lakota Omniciye Wacipi
Young Center Field House

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Free Buffalo Feed
BHSU Student Union

7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Lakota Omniciye Wacipi
Young Center Field House


Sunday, April 13

10:30 am
29th Annual Kevin Whirlwind Horse Run
Starts at Lyle Hare Stadium

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lakota Omniciye Wacipi
Young Center Field House