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Center for Disabilities Establishes Oyate’ Circle

Photo of Jim Warne. Jim Warne will help lead the Center for Disabilities' new Oyate' Circle.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Center for Disabilities, located at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, has launched a new resource, education, outreach and training effort serving Native Americans with disabilities in South Dakota.

Called the Oyate’ Circle, this effort will be led by Jim E. Warne, an enrolled Oglala Lakota tribal member, and the new community engagement director for the USD Center for Disabilities. In the Lakota language, Oyate’ translates as “the people.”

Warne has devoted his professional life to improving quality of life and opportunities for underserved populations, with a focus on Indian country. He previously developed programs at San Diego State University to aid tribal professionals interested in serving their tribes with improved opportunities for members with disabilities.

Warne’s emphasis in South Dakota will be to organize trainings and workshops, develop programs and resources for Native Americans with disabilities, and cultivate relevant partnerships to better serve tribal members throughout South Dakota.

The USD Center for Disabilities’ Oyate’ Circle will conduct education and outreach campaigns to heighten public awareness about the needs of Native Americans with disabilities, and to inform Native Americans and tribal communities about new programs and opportunities available through the Oyate’ Circle and other institutions and agencies.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


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