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Oak Lake Writers' Society Records

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Collection Summary

Identifier

MA 103

Title

Oak Lake Writers’ Society Records

Dates

1989-2016

Physical Description

2.94 linear feet [7 document cases]

Name of Creator(s)

Oak Lake Writers’ Society

Language

English

Repository

South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections
Hilton M. Briggs Library (SBL) Room 241, Box 2115
300 North Campus Drive, Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: 605-688-5094
Email: arcrefs@sdstate.edu

Access Note

Open. This material does not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item, ID, box #, folder #, TITLE, South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Abstract

The Oak Lake Writer’s Society hosts annual retreats for Indigenous writers. The focus of the retreat is to strengthen and preserve Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota culture, oral traditions, and histories. This collection is composed of materials related to the Oak Lake Writers Society and their summer retreats.

Historical Note

In 1993, the Oak Lake Writer’s Society was founded by Charles Woodard, an English professor, and Lowell Amiotte, an assistant professor in Counseling and Education. That same year, the Oak Lake Writer’s Society held their first retreat at the Oak Lake Field Station.

Oak Lake is located roughly 23 miles northeast of Brookings and was once a camp for girl scouts. In 1988, the Department of Schools and Public Lands bought Oak Lake from the girl scouts and transferred the land to South Dakota State University. The Oak Lake Field Station is considered a multi-use facility that holds many activities including biology labs, bird watching, canoeing, club events, and Oak Lake Writer’s Society retreats.

The first Oak Lake Writer’s Society Retreat was titled “Storytelling and Storykeeping” and hosted guest speakers N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a novelist and editor. The retreat serves three main purposes. First, it promotes interest in Oceti Sakowin literature. Second, it brings acclaimed Native American writers to the area. Third, it provides an opportunity for Oceti Sakowin people to improve and develop their writing skills. The Oak Lake Writers Society has continued to foster these three main purposes but has also gained another purpose of publishing society members' work. The Oak Lake Writer’s Society had since published three anthologies which are Woyake Kinikiya (1995), This Stretch of the River (2006), and He Sapa Woihanble (2011).

The Oak Lake Writers Society continues to hold retreats, but in 2021, the society became a nonprofit organization and was no longer tied to South Dakota State University.

CONTENT and ARRANGEMENT

Contents Note

This collection is composed of materials related to the Oak Lake Writers Society and their summer retreats. A large portion of the collection is email correspondence between Charles Woodard, a member of the English department at South Dakota State University, and applicants. Folders also contain newspaper clippings, application forms, written stories, and funding materials. 

Subject Headings

  • Oak Lake Writers’ Society
  • Oak Lake Writers’ Society – Literary collections
  • Dakota Indians – Literary collections
  • Lakota Indians – Literary collections
  • Indians of North America – South Dakota – Literary collections

RELATED MATERIALS

Publications

  • Renville, Florestine Kiyukanpi, and Oak Lake Writers' Society. We're Still Here: Oak Lake Writers 20th Anniversary Publication. 2013. Print. Archives/Upper level: PS508.I5 W47 2013
  • Howe, Craig Phillip., Kimberly. TallBear, and Oak Lake Writers' Society. This Stretch of the River. South Dakota: Oak Lake Writers' Society, 2006. Print. South Dakota Collection/Upper level: F592.4.T44 2003
  • Woyake Kinikiya: A Tribal Model Literary Journal. (1994). Print. South Dakota Collection/Upper level: PS508.I5 W69
  • Howe, Craig Phillip., Lydia Whirlwind Soldier, Lanniko L. Lee, and Oak Lake Writers' Society. He Sapa Woihanble : Black Hills Dream. St. Paul, Minn.: Living Justice, 2011. Print. South Dakota Collection/Upper Level: E99.D1 H4 2011

ACCESS

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

Physical Access

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

RIGHTS

Copyright Notice

Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the SDSU Archives and Special Collections.

Container list: MA 103 Oak Lake Writers' Society Records

BoxFolderDescriptionDate(s)
11Applicants1994-1996
12Lowell Amiotte1993-1996
13History1994-1996
14Participants1995-1997
15WritingsUndated
16Retreat History1994
17Mentors1996-2000
18Indian Ed Summit2006
19Devils Tower1989
110Reflection PapersUndated
111Environment (1 of 3)1990
21Environment (2 of 3)1990
22Environment (3 of 3)1990
23English Ed1991-1993
24Enemy Swim Course1999
25Elders2000
26Economic development1990s-2000s
31Grants1990s
32Letters1993
33Writings1993
34News Stories1993
35Clippings1993
36Joyzelle Godfrey1994
37Correspondence1994
38Correspondence1995
39Correspondence1996
310Retreat1999
311Education 2000's (1 of 3)2000
41Education 2000's (2 of 3)2000
42Education 2000's (3 of 3)2000
43Oak Lake Writers' Retreat Story2000
44Retreat History2000
45News Articles2000
46Oak Lake News Stories2000
47Writings2001
48Retreat2001
51Writings2002
52Retreat2002
53Retreat2003
54\Correspondence2003
55Retreat2004 February
56Correspondence2004
57Retreat2005
58Retreat2005 February
59Correspondence2005
510Correspondence2006
61Retreat2007
62Correspondence2007
63Retreat2008
64Article2008
65Retreat2009
66Correspondence2009
67Email2010
68Retreat2010
69Reports2011
610Retreat2011
611Correspondence2011
612Writings2012
613Oak Lake Writers Society2012
71Oak Lake Writers Retreat2012
72Chuck Woodward Photos, essays, etc2012
73Correspondence2013
74Anniversary Conference2013
75Oak Lake Film2014
76Retreat2016