South Dakota State University and Crazy Horse Memorial’s Indian University of North America have formed a partnership to offer an undergraduate certificate in leadership and sustainability. The program starts with the fall 2020 semester.
The 15-credit-hour program is titled Wachante Hecha Wizipan or Wizipan for short. In the Lakota language, it means “The Heart of Everything that Is.”
According to Laurie Becvar, Crazy Horse Memorial’s president and chief operating officer, the title is fitting, because everything one needs can be found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She noted the program’s points of distinction include the Black Hills, the people the students will meet and the unique problems the students will study.
“The entire program is taught from an indigenous lens with the major themes of care of self, care of culture, care of community and care of the environment,” Becvar said. “The delivery of Wizipan will use transdisciplinary problem-based learning, aligned with clear and measurable student learning outcomes.”
The Wizipan program continues building upon SDSU’s Wokini Initiative that provides resources and access for Native American students pursuing the benefits of higher education. The Wokini Initiative was started when SDSU President Barry Dunn took office in 2016.
“The Wizipan program is an example of two higher education entities working together to ensure Native American students have the ability to gain access to higher education and begin pursuing opportunities that will benefit themselves, their families and communities,” Dunn said. “This is an exciting partnership that will allow Native American students a unique pathway for educational advancement. We look forward to working with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation and students to expand its impact.”
Monique and Jadwiga Ziolkowski, daughters of sculptor Korczak and Ruth Ziolkowski, both said the program expands Crazy Horse Memorial’s educational mission.
“This is another step toward fulfilling the dream that was started by the Crazy Horse Memorial’s founders—Chief Henry Standing Bear, and Dad and Mother,” said Monique Ziolkowski, Crazy Horse Memorial’s chief executive officer and director of mountain carving.
“I think Mom and Dad would be really pleased that we are expanding our educational mission this way,” said Jadwiga Ziolkowski, Crazy Horse Memorial’s CEO and director of public affairs.
The program’s intent is to improve Native American student recruitment, retention and success in higher education. It will be delivered to college-level, second-semester freshmen through senior-level students using a study-abroad model. The distinctive program will be offered at Crazy Horse Memorial’s Indian University of North America. The Black Hills will serve as a natural laboratory for case studies.
The program’s objective is to validate, empower and inspire students toward college graduation and success in life. Course credits are transferable to any accredited college or university if accepted by the institution, and the program’s seamless applicability to each student’s program of study will vary, contingent on the student’s degree and university.
According to the Higher Learning Commission of Chicago, The Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial is an approved additional location for academic courses and programs recognized by the HLC.
To learn more about Crazy Horse Memorial, to plan a visit and for information about making a contribution, call 605-673-4681 or visit crazyhorsememorial.org. To stay up to date on the latest news and events, follow the Crazy Horse Memorial on Facebook (/crazyhorsememorial), Twitter (@crazyhorsemem) and Instagram (@crazyhorsememorial); and follow The Indian University of North America on Facebook (/TheIndianUniversityofNorthAmerica) and Instagram (@IndianUniversityCrazyHorse).
The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians by continuing the progress on the world’s largest sculptural undertaking, the memorial of Lakota leader Crazy Horse; providing educational and cultural programming to encourage harmony and reconciliation among all peoples and nations; acting as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts and crafts through the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center; and establishing and operating the Indian University of North America and, when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.