The Center for American Indian Studies was established at Black Hills State University by an act of the South Dakota Legislature. The mandate of the Center is:
The Center currently administers four academic programs: the Major in American Indian Studies, leading to the Bachelor of Science degree; a general Minor in American Indian Studies; the Minor in American Indian Studies - Teaching; and an American Indian Studies Minor, Emphasis in Communications.
The Major in American Indian Studies was first offered in the Fall of 1997. It is cooperatively offered by Black Hills State University and the University of South Dakota, and is the only such cooperative program in the United States. For further information on these programs, please follow the link indicated above.
The Center for American Indian Studies actively supports two student organizations: Lakota Omniciye ("a gathering, assembly"), and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).
Lakota Omniciye is currently the largest student organization on the BHSU campus, in terms of budget. This organization promotes fellowship among Indian and non-Indian students, and organizes an annual Cultural Awareness Week and Wacipi (pow-wow) in early April which is now in its 33rd year. In past years, the Wacipi has attracted as many as 3,500 persons, making it one of the larger pow-wows in the state.
AISES assists and supports American Indian students who are preparing for careers in the areas of science, engineering, and technology.