Native American Culture Conference events, Wacipi set for this week

Brian Borden

Brian Borden

Author Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve will give the the keynote address on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Volstorff Ballroom as part of the 10th Annual conference on American Indian History and Culture.

Her speech is entitled “With Respect and Honor,” which is a tribute to Native American families. The conference will run Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21 and 22.

Other presenters on Friday include Joyzelle Godfrey, Mary Jo Brooks Hunter and Art War Bonnet.

History professor David Crain, who is the co-coordinator for the event, said the conference is a chance to learn about an important part of South Dakota.

“It provides an opportunity for people to get acquainted with an important culture in this state,” Crain said.

“All of the people who take in these over the years are Native American.”

Crain said the sessions on Friday are set-up with the student in mind. Most sessions start on the hour and are 50 minutes long.

Two events are being held in conjunction with the conference.

On Thursday, the Native American Law Students Association from the University of South Dakota will present an open forum on “Sovereignty and Tribal State Relations” in the Volstorff at 2 p.m.

The other event is the 12th Annual Wacipi, sponsored by the Native American Club. It takes place Saturday at the Frost Arena

Senior Louis Whitehead, Native American Club President and a journalism major, said the event has many participants.

“The 2002 wacipi/pow-wow will be the 12th annual one held at SDSU. As in prior years, we expect at least 200 dancers and at least 10 drums to attend,” Whitehead said.

“Along with the dancers and drums, numerous craft vendors have booths and the Native American Club serves Indian tacos and provides a supper of buffalo stew for all attendees in the evening,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead also said that it takes a great deal of work to put the pow-wow together.

“Planning for the pow-wow actually begins one year in advance,” he said. “Last spring after our last pow-wow, for instance, I was one of the students who made arrangements for Frost Arena and with Physical Plant to have the pow-wow date set for this year,” Whitehead said.