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.