Native American Club provides opportunities, shares culture

Darcie Walkes

Darcie Walkes

Travelling to local powwows, attending various conferences and organizing a powwow on campus involving over 200 dancers are among just a few of the activities that the SDSU Native American Club offers.

The club, co-advised by Lenora Hudson and Valerian Three Irons, promotes a sharing of cultures for Native American students and the community.

“The Native American Club works as a good-will ambassador,” says Three Irons. “It is a social group to encourage and inspire Native American students.”

The Native American Club is involved in several upcoming activities.

“We have an awards banquet each spring,” Three Irons said. The club is also responsible for organizing the wacipi, otherwise known as the powwow. The powwow is the largest event directed by a single organization on the SDSU campus.

The club promotes educational advancement through many programs.

“At SDSU, we have the 2+2+2 program, the Developing Native American Scientists Program and the Flandreau Indian School-SDSU Success Academy,” says club president, Louis Whitehead.

The 2+2+2 program encourages Native Americans to advance their education in agriculture and biology and assists in their career paths.

The FIS-SDSU Success Academy offers Flandreau Indian School sophomores and freshmen the opportunity to visit campus nine times during the spring semester to participate in various campus activities. Students also have the opportunity to attend summer workshops.

“Native American Club members are hired to serve as RAs, motivators and mentors with that program,” says Whitehead.

Whitehead is enthusiastic for the upcoming powwow. The powwow will be in the Frost Arena on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. In addition to food preparation and the event set-up, he and other club officers will participate in the grand entries. In their normal street clothes, they will dance and march in with the color guard and dancers.

He encourages students to consider what the club has to offer.

“I feel I’ve gained an opportunity to meet people from all over and see the world in a little different way than I did before,” Whitehead said.

“Basically, you get out of it what you put into it.”

If interested in joining the Native American Club or learning more about their mission, check out their website. Maintained by Whitehead, it includes pictures, facts and updates for upcoming events and meetings:

#1.888367:1590589225.jpg:nativeamclub.jpg:Native American Club President Louis Whitehead conducts the first meeting of the semester.:Benjamin Hoefer