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.