The Endurance of Cultural Identity provides a hands-on experience for learning the basics of the endangered Lakota language. It will guide and inform the viewers about Lakota language resources at Briggs Library and SDSU. Understanding and learning the Lakota language is important so that someday it does not become history.
There are different dialects, or regional varieties, of the Oceti Sakowin language: Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. This exhibit focuses mainly on the Lakota dialect. The dialects are mutually intelligible, meaning the speakers of the different dialects can typically understand each other. South Dakota State University is located in the Dakota dialect territory.
South Dakota State University acknowledges the land it occupies across South Dakota is the ancestral, traditional and contemporary lands of the Oceti Sakowin (oh-CHEH-tee shaw-KOH-we) meaning Seven Council Fires, which is the proper name for the people referred to as Sioux. We acknowledge that before these sites were named South Dakota State University, they were called home by people of American Indian Nations indigenous to this region. The tribal alliance made up of individual bands of the Seven Council Fires is based on kinship, location and dialects: Santee-Dakota, Yankton-Nakota and Teton- Lakota. We acknowledge the sovereignty of the nine federally recognized Native Nations in South Dakota: Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Flandreau Santee, Lower Brule, Oglala, Rosebud, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Standing Rock and Yankton Sioux Tribes. As a land-grant university, it is our mission to provide access to higher education to all. We are committed to building respectful and positive relationships with indigenous communities through academic pursuits, partnerships, historical recognitions, extension programs and enrollment efforts.