Institute of American Indian Studies

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Programs & Events

Annual Essay Competition

The Native American Essay Competition awards up to three USD scholarships as prizes.  First prize will be a scholarship of $1500.  Any USD freshman, sophomore, or junior is eligible to submit an essay.

Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Lectures

Part of the Institute of American Indian Studies mission statement directs that we organize "campus programs to promote education and awareness of American Indian culture, issues, and problems." Because of this charge, and after consultation with the Cash family, the Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Lecture series was inaugurated in the fall of 1995. Featuring scholars in the fields of Indian studies, frontier, western, and mining history, the University community is annually enlightened on current scholarship in the respective fields. The four major areas of study reflect the interests of the late Dean Cash.

Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Library

The Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Library holds an array of printed sources for research pertaining to Native American history and culture. Located in the basement of Dakota Hall, the Cash Library contains the Joseph Harper Cash and Herman P. Chilson collections of donated books, catalogues, directories, maps, and several resources useful to the study of Native American heritage and the history of South Dakota. 

The Cash Library provides a quiet space for researchers to browse and discover materials. Because of the need for preservation, items from the Cash Library collection do not circulate.  The library is open during normal business hours and welcomes visitors.  For more information, call 605-677-6525.

Ullyot Scholarship

The Ullyot Scholarship is supported by the Ullyot Lakota Education Endowment and is administered by the Institute of American Indian Studies.

Graduate Assistantship

The Institute of American Indian Studies offers the opportunity for Graduate Assistantships throughout the year to those who are qualified. This Research Assistant participates as an active staff member of the IAIS, in addition to reviewing and evaluating literature and program material and administrative tasks as assigned.

The assistantship begins this fall and continues through the spring semester. We are currently accepting applications for the position, which is open until filled. Compensation includes a financial stipend and tuition remission. Applicants must submit a letter of interest, a resumé and a minimum of two references. For more information, contact us at