Institute of American Indian Studies

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Our Future

Independent of the Department of Native Studies and the Native American Student Services programs, the Institute will continue to work closely with the Department of Native Studies and the Student Services and will participate in planning and promoting campus events and activities relating to American Indian issues at USD and in the region, sharing plans and progress and seeking and offering advice and assistance to their efforts.

The Institute shall serve as the central point for Indian affairs in the University structure, convening an annual meeting of all disciplines, courses, programs and services relating to American Indian affairs, and shall advise and assist them in their relations with the tribes and their respect for Native American culture and protocols.

  • Develop a Northern Plains American Indian academic research center at the University of South Dakota (USD) that serves the University community and the regional tribal communities, on par at least with the University of Oklahoma, the University of New Mexico, the University of Arizona and UCLA.
  • Unify the American Indian presence and resources at USD.
  • Establish a sense of permanence and stability in the Institute by raising an endowment to provide and support:
    • Funds for the administration and ongoing development of the Institute.
    • Research, focusing on innovative undergraduate and graduate projects relating to Northern Plains Indian Tribes and tribal communities.
    • Publishing research projects, literary works, works of art and treatises on various issues of importance to Indian tribes and peoples.
Goals & Objectives
  • Promote undergraduate and graduate research in cooperation with the DAIS.
  • Research: assist in developing, coordinating, and funding interdisciplinary research projects.
  • Publish periodic newsletters and Annual Report.
  • Administer special awards - Ullyot Scholarships and annual Essay Competition.
  • Maintain on-going relations with Tribes and Tribal Colleges.
  • Provide briefings and advice on Tribal culture and relations to USD projects or services dealing with Tribes and Tribal institutions.
  • Assist in fundraising for Indian programs and activities.
  • Plan special events - conferences, lectures, symposia.
  • Coordinate American Indian-related campus activities.
  • Recruit Native American students – in coordination with Student Services and Office of Diversity.
  • Assist in development of American Indian Language Institute at USD.
Our History

Established in 1955 through the concerted efforts of Dr. William O. Farber and Dr. Wesley Hurt, director of the W. H. Over Museum, the Institute of American Indian Studies was part of a nation-wide effort to preserve Indian heritage and promote higher educational opportunities for Indian students. During its first decade of existence, the Institute sponsored programs and conferences centered around economic, legal, and political issues facing the Lakota and Dakota people during the period of federal termination.  Read More.