College of Arts & Sciences Native Studies

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Our Native Studies program gives you the education, research and experience to prepare for living and working in a multicultural world. 

The curriculum is grounded in a Native Studies foundation but draws from anthropology, art history, English, health sciences, history, Lakota language, and psychology.

The program provides an intellectual environment where teaching and research are based on the priorities and knowledge of South Dakota's Native communities. Your experience is grounded within the fabric of South Dakota, the whole of North America, and the global indigenous experience.

Native Studies promotes sound academic preparation in the classroom, but also expects its faculty and students to interact with and conduct research for Native governments, Native-based community organizations, and other organizations that serve Native Country. Additionally, the program emphasizes the continued effort of the university to establish respectful partnerships with Native nations at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Our Goals:

To ensure accountability to both the university and Native Peoples, the Native Studies program adheres to the following goals:

  • To encourage and conduct original scholarly research of Native history and life ways. The perspectives of Indigenous peoples within the University of South Dakota and Vermillion communities and the fourteen nearby Indian nations located in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska contribute to the development of research skills relevant to the needs of these communities.
  • To encourage and support Native scholars and honor their achievements.
  • To foster academic and teaching excellence.
  • To understand and appreciate Native societies and acknowledge the contributions of those societies to the South Dakota, national, and international communities.
  • To foster and value cultural diversity, while promoting cross-cultural understanding and eliminating racial intolerance and stereotypes.
  • To contribute to the development of Native Studies as its own discipline, within a culturally appropriate framework founded in Indigenous life ways.

ContactUs  Native Studies Acting Coordinator
Kurt Hackemer, Professor
(605) 677-5571