The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly meeting Tuesday, March 21, at the Neuharth Center on the campus of USD. President Mercy Hobbs brought the meeting to order and also presented the invocation. Guests introduced were Dr. Ralph Brown and Dianne Nesselhuf.
Rotarian Matt Moen introduced our guest and speaker Dr. Mark Daniels, chair and associate professor in the Department of American Indian Studies and Director of the Institute of American Indian Studies. Dr. Daniels is a licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo specializing in clinical psychology.
Dr. Daniels began his presentation by listing some of the upcoming events which highlight the growth of awareness with regard to Indian Studies. He mentioned the upcoming Indian Law Symposium to be held in conjunction with the USD School of Law and the awarding of a leadership award to the Native American student group on campus.
He also mentioned the upcoming "Building Bridges" Conference where high school and college students will gather to look at creating value in education. In April they will host Dr. Duane Champaign as a Visiting Scholar followed the next week by a symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the Institute of American Indian Studies.
The symposium title will be "From Termination to Sovereignty: A 50 Year Retrospective on Native American Policy". Termination refers to the termination or cessation of recognition of many recognized tribes by the U.S. government. The symposium will feature many nationally recognized leaders and speakers and will look at the effects of the National Indian Policy.
The institute was established to increase levels of research into the history of Native Americans, strengthen ties between the university and Native American groups, and to recruit and retain Native American faculty and students.
USD has had a major in American Indian Studies since 1998 and has established an American Indian Studies department as of July 1.
Dr. Daniels said that a lot of work remains to be done. He would like to see master's and Ph.D. programs in Indian Studies within the next 10 years. He then entertained questions.
from the Rotary members.