Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Lakota Omniciye holds first meeting this fall

Brianna Amaral
Members of Lakota Omniciye pose with advisers Urla Marcus and Rosie Sprague.

Black Hills State University’s indigenous student organization, Lakota Omniciye, held its first meeting on Sept.18. Lakota Omniciye seeks to bridge the cultural gap between non-Native and Native students and to provide educational assistance to its members. The organization will meet every other Monday at 3 p.m. for the fall semester. The first meeting included introductions of officers, homecoming, fundraising and upcoming events on campus. 

The meeting was run by Urla Marcus, director of American Indian Studies, and Rosie Sprague, instructor of American Indian Studies. Marcus and Sprague are both alumni of BHSU. Marcus started the meeting by having every attendee introduce themselves to the group. Then Marcus introduced the new officers of Lakota Omniciye. The organization’s co-presidents are Tristine Cross Dog and Kayla McCloskey, co-vice presidents are Raina Ghost Bear and Sapphire Tiger, the secretary is Wicah’pe T’o Win, and the treasurer is Katelyn Vocu.

With homecoming coming up, the group started working on ideas for their homecoming poster and float.

“The fun part is helping with the poster especially because we won the past three years,” McCloskey said. 

Marcus told the members to support one another and attend homecoming events with each other to make new friends.

This semester Lakota Omniciye will be bringing back its Indian Taco sales and Wahanpi Wednesday. 

“My favorite part about the Indian Taco sales is helping work the stand and getting to know the customers that aren’t apart of Lakota O,” T’o Win said. “I also like seeing the social interaction between non-Native and Native students.” 

The group fundraises through its Indian Taco sales for its annual spring powwow. The frybread for the Indian Taco is made by Lakota Omniciye members and the sale is also run by members. Wahanpi is the Lakota language means “soup.” Wahanpi Wednesday is when Marcus and Sprague make different kinds of soup for students. The soups range from vegetable soup to chicken soup to chili. The event is for students to grab some soup and socialize with each other. The first Indian Taco sale and Wahanpi Wednesday will be in October.

Officers McCloskey and Tiger worked this past summer on an event schedule for the 2023-2024 school year. Some events already held have been an ice cream social, donut social, hiking event and a canvas painting night. The organization has some good turnouts but would love more students to attend future events. 

“Don’t be shy just stop by,” McCloskey said. “We try to encourage other students that they have a community and support here on campus,” 

Upcoming fall semester events include movie nights, game nights, PowerPoint night, pumpkin painting and beading 101. The organization welcomes everyone to attend its events.

“Midterms will be here before you know it,” Marcus said.

She spoke to attendees about the importance of midterms and explained what the term “deficiency” means. Lakota Omniciye is a place to ask for help if you need it. The organization will be holding a study night event before midterms start. The group then started getting more in depth about big fall and spring events. 

“I love Lakota O because it’s about finding your community and giving back to your community,” McCloskey said.

Every year Lakota Omniciye holds a holiday exchange with elementary students of Red Shirt, South Dakota. Marcus and Sprague wanted the group to start thinking of ideas for gifts so they can start preparing for it now. The organization does this to give back to the indigenous youth community. 

In the spring, the organization has a line-up of speakers for American Indian Awareness Week. Marcus and Sprague encouraged members to start thinking of a theme and speakers for the events. Soon after American Indian Awareness Week, the group holds the “Lakota Omniciye Wacipi.” The term “Wacipi” means dance or powwow. The event is a time for indigenous people to celebrate. A powwow is a gathering with dances held by many Native American and First Nations communities. Powwows allow indigenous people to socialize, dance, sing and honor their cultures. The group fundraises all school year for its powwow. 

After the meeting adjourned, members stayed after to talk about ideas for upcoming events while Marcus and Sprague expressed their expectations for Lakota O. 

“I want Lakota O to enhance their skills in accounting, advertising and fundraising to help them as adults after they graduate,” Marcus said.

She believes that building on these skills will help get them prepared for lifelong experiences. It will also help them balance their responsibilities and to stay organized as students.

“We love to see the new faces of students that come to the center,” Sprague said. “It’s a place where we have our meetings and a place to support one another.” 

Sprague wants all the younger students to utilize the center the way that the juniors and seniors have. She wants them to come to events and take advantage of the center and what it has to offer. One of the main things that Marcus and Sprague encourage new students to get to know both of them. They are both excellent resources because they have a lot of knowledge about scholarships, funding, and academics.

About the Contributors
Sapphire Tiger, Senior Staff Writer
Brianna Amaral
Brianna Amaral, Photographer & Reporter