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

Join us for 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.

Saturday, April 6 & Sunday, April 7:

Wacipi Main Event 

The main wacipi event takes place all day Saturday and Sunday in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Witness a mesmerizing display of Native dancers and drummers, and a variety of competitions that showcase the incredible talent from across the state and region.

Downtown Buildings in Vermillion.

Travel Information

Whether you are planning an over-night stay or quick trip, Vermillion has something for everyone.

Plan Your Visit
Two native students holding a USD flag.

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.


Learn More
Two Students Examining a Native American Artifact

Discover Your Community

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

Learn About Our Living Learning Communities

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