Lakota Omniciye Wacipi brings back tradition, culture to BHSU campus

It has been two years since the Lakota Omniciye Wacipi had been held on the campus of Black Hills State University.

SPEARFISH, S.D. — It has been two years since the Lakota Omniciye Wacipi had been held on the campus of Black Hills State University.

That streak came to an end on Saturday.

Lakota Omniciye Wacipi 3It even wrapped up American Indian Awareness week, where Black Hills State has been hosting speakers to teach about Native American history and culture.

“This is our first Powwow since 2019, since COVID happened and we’re just really happy to be here,” said Selena Tobacco, the president of the Lakota Omniciye Student Organization, who organize the event.

Indeed, the traditional Powwow was back with all its color, singing and dancing.

“It’s just to bring the culture here and to have everybody experience it at this college and it’s just to bring everybody together,” said Tristine Cross Dog of the Lakota Omniciye Student Organization.

The Lakota Omniciye Student Organization works tirelessly to raise funds and put together the event that also brings vendors, dancers and families together to celebrate a college program that recognizes culture.

“It’s kind of nice just to come here and have people that I am familiar with, like my culture and bring awareness to campus about our culture,” Tobacco said.

It’s also a celebration of the hard work that it took to get to there.

“The whole point of a Wacipi is a gathering, it’s a celebration. So for us it’s just to celebrate all the hard work we’ve done as a student organization and then it’s a celebration for everybody to come together and dance,” said Lara No Braid, an outreach coordinator for the Lakota Omniciye Student Organization.

Other found that the tradition was back for those that needed it most.

“Some people had such a hard time during the pandemic, so this is a way for them to come back out into the circle and really come back to what they’re used to and what’s familiar to them,” No Braid said.

Others kept the tradition of coming back to the Powwow, mainly because of what it’s brought down for them.

“My whole family dances, so it’s just really entertaining to watch, see everybody’s different styles and just seeing everybody’s happiness and feeling the excitement and everything,” Cross Dog said.

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