While 9 percent of South Dakota’s population is identified as American Indian or Alaskan Native, less than 1 percent of the student body at SDSU represents this demographic.
The Wokini Initiative will offer programming and support to enrolled members of the nine tribal nations in South Dakota interested in gaining access to educational and advancement opportunities at South Dakota State University. The initiative will also enhance research and outreach collaborations and programs with tribes, tribal colleges and other tribal organizations in the state.
The Wokini Initiative will align opportunities for students to pursue degrees that will impact the students, their communities and their tribes while recognizing the importance of family and culture.
Wokini-supported students will be given the resources and access to academic, personal, health and financial wellness knowledge needed to succeed at South Dakota State University and in life after graduation.
The initiative will help students overcome obstacles and anxieties that exist concerning attending college by providing financial assistance to help pay for college and some of the basic personal needs associated with living on a college campus.
SDSU staff and faculty will collaborate and consult Dakota and Lakota members of tribal communities, tribal leaders and the four tribal colleges in South Dakota to support educational opportunities and growth.
The Wokini Initiative will have programming on the SDSU campus, as well as throughout the state. It is designed to support existing programs at SDSU while allowing for the creation of new programs and partnerships.