Though USD will still host classes due to COVID-19’s impact on the academic calendar set by the South Dakota Board of Regents, USD President Sheila K. Gestring said recognizing the holiday in meaningful ways that celebrate the culture and contributions of Native American Tribes was important during this unprecedented time.

“USD is deeply committed to supporting our Native American students, faculty and staff, and celebrating the history, culture and language of the sovereign Tribal nations in South Dakota,” Gestring said. “We have the honor and the responsibility to acknowledge the Tribal histories that predate our university and show appreciation for the many ways in which the culture of Indigenous people enriches our state and community.”

On Saturday, Oct. 10, Tiospaye student leaders, Native American faculty and community members, will hold a ceremony to set up a tepee as they have done the past several years. The tepee will be located on the Muenster University Center west lawn and will stay up from Native American Day through November, which is Native American Heritage month, until semester classes end at Thanksgiving.

On Monday, Oct. 12, President Gestring and Native American faculty and staff will participate in a ceremony that marks the rebirth of USD and Native American scholarship in higher education. The event culminates in an important announcement as USD reaffirms its commitment to Native American education, research and tribal partnerships. The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Muenster University Center Ballroom. All students, faculty and staff are invited. Masks and social distancing will be required.

The Center for Diversity and Community, the Native American Studies program, the Office for Diversity and Academic Affairs sponsors a screening of the documentary "What Was Ours," followed by a virtual Q&A with the documentary's co-producer Jordan Dresser, Northern Arapaho. The event starts at 4 p.m. in the MUC ballroom on Oct. 12. Masks and social distancing will be required.

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