SDSU dedicates its annual revenue from the South Dakota Permanent Trust Fund to provide sustainable financial resources to the Wokini Initiative. The state's Permanent Trust Fund holds 120,000 acres of land granted to the state in 1889 by the federal government to support SDSU's land-grant mission. Much of the land granted to SDSU had been promised in the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty as protected reservation lands to the tribes of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires), a collective reference to the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people. The university now invests revenue generated by this land, coupled with focused fundraising efforts and grant opportunities to support Wokini.
The Wokini Initiative is a holistic model that will achieve these goals in the following ways:
- Establishing Wokini scholarships for qualifying students enrolled in a South Dakota tribe;
- Constructing a new stand- alone American Indian Student Center (AISC);
- Building a welcoming campus environment through culturally appropriate recruitment strategies;
- Creating an American Indian Student Recruiter Coordinator position dedicated to working with tribal communities;
- Recruiting American Indian students through culturally appropriate student retention advising;
- Offering summer programming to engage middle and high school students;
- Building authentic and respectful relationships with tribal communities;
- Offering internal Wokini Challenge Grants to SDSU employees to support campus-wide involvement with the Wokini Initiative; and
- Supporting American Indian Studies (AIS) "Indigenizing Spaces" conferences and other cultural events on campus.