VERMILLION, S.D. – Elise Boxer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Native American Studies at the University of South Dakota, discussed the importance of Native studies and her new role as the director of the Institute of American Indian Studies on the podcast Credit Hour.
“I really believe that Native studies is for everybody as it will result in understanding what is happening in the state and region,” said Boxer. “If you are going to live in this region, having a working understanding of tribal nations and people will better facilitate an individual in their profession whether its education, social work or law enforcement. The list goes on.”
Boxer was recently named the director of the revitalized Institute of American Indian Studies at USD. The institute has a rich history in South Dakota and a notable reputation throughout the nation. Originally established in 1955 through the concerted efforts of Dr. William O. Farber and Dr. Wesley Hurt, the Institute of American Indian Studies was part of a nationwide effort to aid in the preservation of American Indian heritage and to promote opportunities in higher education for Indigenous students. During its first decade of existence, the institute sponsored programs and conferences centered around economic, legal and political issues facing the Lakota and Dakota people during the period of federal termination. The Board of Regents formally established the institute on April 30, 1955 and was the first of its kind in the nation. It was later formally recognized by the South Dakota Legislature in 1974.
The Institute will award more than $80,000 dollars in scholarships to Indigenous students at USD. In addition to offering educational opportunities to American Indian students, USD will actively focus on encouraging student engagement through cultural workshops and Indigenous research and connecting USD students to tribal communities and to each other.
Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.