Dakota State University students walking around campus

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Majors & Degrees

Native american club's first community event

December 11, 2017

The fall semester will be one day longer for students in the new Dakota State University Native American Student Association. The six students are staying to help with the December 14 community event, held in conjunction with the Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride.

The annual 330-mile ride across South Dakota and Minnesota is intended to bring healing and reconciliation to native and white people after incidents including the 1862 deaths of 40 natives, hanged for their part in the Dakota War of 1862. The riders have made Madison an overnight stop for several years, and Dakota State University has hosted a meal and program. The community is invited to attend this year’s event on December 14 at about 5:45 p.m. in the Trojan Center.

In addition to the ride’s memorial aspect, several inspirational living natives will be taking part in the community event this year, artist and DSU alumnus Jerry Fogg, and members of the team with the Sioux Chef. They will provide examples that natives can succeed in ways that are not necessarily mainstream, said Jack Thompson, the club’s advisor and the DSU JUMP Start advisor.

The Sioux Chef staff are committed to revitalizing Native American cuisine by bringing healthy indigenous foods back to all communities, says the website, sioux-chef.com. Dana Thompson, co-owner and chief operating officer for the Sioux Chef, said they are participating because they “feel compelled to leverage our status as food educators within the food sovereignty movement to support activities that assist with ancestral healing.”

Thompson said, “We know that our team will represent us well, and add value and hopefully inspiration to the school and the community there.”

Dakota State University alumnus and artist Jerry Fogg said his work, like that of the Sioux Chef team, is a demonstration that you can produce Native American art that educates and thrives while adhering to the traditional methods. His visit is made possible by the Madison Area Arts Council, headed by Chris Francis.

“Great art serves a greater purpose, through awareness, understanding, reconciliation, and ultimately friendship. Jerry’s work really breaks barriers as it encourages conversation and reflection among all of us,” said Francis.

“I hope the presence of Jerry Fogg and the Sioux Chef team have an impact on the way the students approach information and their classes,” said Jack Thompson, as DSU students take what they learn in class and think about how they can use it in their own lives.

“I would tell the students to learn as much as they can,” Fogg agreed, “and never forget you are Native American.”

Area residents may also support the ride by contributing to a trail gift shower for the riders. Items such as warm gloves, hats, scarves and thermal socks, beef jerky or granola bars may be dropped off at the Madison Public Library before noon on Thursday. Those who bring their gifts to the event will receive an Einstein’s Bros. Bagels gift certificate (while supplies last).