Wacipi attendees and celebrators standing in line awaiting the event start.


Immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions of Native American culture at the annual Wacipi celebration.

Celebrating 50 Years of Tradition: April 5-7, 2024

Join us for the 50th Annual Wacipi, a powwow that encapsulates the rich tapestry of Native traditions, dance and song. Hosted by the Tiospaye Student Council and USD Native Student Services, this event serves not only as a cultural celebration but also as a platform for prospective students, alumni and current leaders to connect and engage.

Wacipi History

The Wacipi underscores USD’s dedication to Native students and the broader community. For Native attendees, it's a unique chance to showcase their culture on campus. For non-Native participants, it offers an immersive experience into the beauty of Native traditions. Beyond a cultural celebration, the Wacipi is a recruitment magnet, drawing prospective students from the region and serving as a nostalgic homecoming for alumni. With exponential growth in attendance, the Wacipi has become the longest-running student and campus powwow in South Dakota.

Schedule of Events

Friday, April 5: 

Building Bridges Conference

Attend the the 26th Annual Building Bridges Conference—an initiative designed to introduce Native American students to higher education. Witness the transformation as 150 to 200 high school students, counselors and community members embark on a journey of educational exploration.

Alumni Dinner

Join us for the 12th Annual Alumni Dinner hosted by the Tiospaye Student Council. Last year, over 350 alumni, current students and USD staff came together to reminisce and celebrate. This year’s dinner honors the legacy of the Tiospaye Student Council over the past 50 years. Programming begins at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 6:


Head to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Saturday morning, doors open at 10 a.m. The main Wacipi event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until midnight. Grand entries are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Watch Native dancers, drummers and competitions from across the state and region.

Sunday, April 7


Sunday at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center is your final chance to join the Wacipi celebrations. Doors open at 10 a.m., with the grand entry at 1 p.m. Enjoy a day packed with programming from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., showcasing exciting performances and competitions.



Volunteer Application

Looking to learn more about Native American Culture? Want to dedicate your time to a great cause? Tiospaye Student Council is looking for volunteers during the Wacipi weekend. Volunteers will be asked to help set up, assist vendors, register dancers and help clean up at the end of both days. Any questions? Please contact Tiospaye@coyotes.usd.edu.

Anyone interested in volunteering should fill out this form

Tiospaye Royalty Application

Interested in competing for Little Miss Tiospaye, Junior Miss Tiospaye, or Miss Tiospaye at USD's 50th Annual Wacipi & 12th Annual Alumni Dinner? Please fill out the following form and give to the judges by 8:00 P.M. on the Saturday of Wacipi. The competition will begin at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday. Please contact Anna Harlan or Kylie Parisien with any questions at Tiospaye@coyotes.usd.edu.

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Native Student Services

At the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), you'll find a home that provides a culturally relevant environment for Native American students and others interested in Native American cultures. The NACC also houses Native Student Services (NSS), which provides student support services and culturally relevant programming throughout the year.


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Wiyuskinyan Unpi Tipi Living Learning Community is an immersive residential program that enhances the campus experience for Native American students.

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