Oyàte Circle

The Oyàte Circle is a resource, education, outreach and training effort that serves Native Americans with disabilities in South Dakota.


Led by Oglala Lakota tribal member Jim Warne and named after the Lakota word for "the people," the Oyàte Circle conducts education and outreach campaigns about the needs of Native Americans with disabilities. It also offers resources and training for tribal communities and informs them about programs and opportunities available through the center and other agencies.

Learn more about the Oyàte Circle

Disability Awareness Training Project

The Disability Awareness Training (DAT) Project provides four trainings throughout the state of South Dakota, strategically placed to include rural Native communities. The product that will be developed is a “how-to” handbook for Native community members and service providers, including tribal vocational rehabilitation, tribal college counselors and other professionals working with people with disabilities. We hosted a tribal vocational rehabilitation meeting last December in Rapid City at the South Dakota State University College of Nursing Indian Education Center to provide a forum for discussion and planning for the DAT trainings and a foundation for the “how-to” handbook.

Learn more about learning disabilities

Partnership with Sinte Gleska Disability Center

We are partnering with Sinte Gleska University, a four-year tribal college on the Rosebud Reservation in central South Dakota, to provide training and develop new curriculum for a new human services degree specialization that addresses disability. These courses will be initiated through Sinte Gleska University with supported coursework at USD.

Additional Partners/Trainings

  • Disability Rights of SD: Oyàte Wich`ho Unki - The People's Voice Native Disability Voting Project
  • Head Start AI/AN National Office
  • AMCHP: Region VIII Presentation Developing Meaningful Tribal Relations
  • Niagara University: Partnership with Niagara University First Responder Advocacy Training (FRAT)
  • University of Syracuse: Community Partners for Veterans - Tribal Warriors Workgroup

Oyàte Circle Representatives

The Oyàte Circle recognizes the knowledge and strength of Tribal members. The Oyàte Wicha `ho Unki` (The People’s Voice) is a non-partisan project to help showcase that the Native voice counts. Tribal members represent 10% of the South Dakota population. People with disabilities make up nearly 20% of our state’s population. Together, as a collective voice, the impact can be great.