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Native American Weekend at USD

Activities include powwow, speech by American Indian historian and native alumni banquet

Image 2015 USD Wacipi. USD's annual Wacipi is March 19-20 in the DakotaDome.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota's sixth annual Native American Visit Weekend March 17-19 will include several public events and the opportunity for American Indian high school students to experience the college setting.

The 19th Annual Building Bridges Conference, entitled “Keeping the Fire,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, in the Muenster University Center. Doors for the Native American Alumni Banquet open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. The keynote speaker is Joseph M. Marshall III, a Brulé Lakota historian, writer, teacher, craftsman, administrator and public speaker who was born and raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota; an inaugural Spring Round Dance will follow the meal. The banquet is free for students and alumni but costs $5 for non-alumni.

The 44th Annual Wacipi takes place in the DakotaDome from 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 19 until 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 20. This year’s theme is “A Proud Past, and a Promising Future,” featuring host drum Mato Pejuta.

“This event brings together many different people to learn from each other,” said Beth Boyd, director and professor in the clinical psychology program. “I hope that visitors see USD as a safe place where we can learn about each other’s cultures and share a good time.”

The weekend event is a collaborative campus effort sponsored by the USD clinical psychology program, admissions office and Tiospaye, the student organization for Native American students. USD also offers a bachelor's degree in Native American studies and partners with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation to operate the Indian University of North America every summer in the Black Hills.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News