Addressing racial wealth gaps

Our Commitment

Wokini Initiative at South Dakota State University Case Study

South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University

Through a partnership with Pollen Midwest, we created a case study to learn how the Wokini Initiative at South Dakota State University is elevating Native students and building economic, cultural and educational opportunities within those communities. 

Excerpt from The Case Study

A program of South Dakota State University, the Wokini Initiative is a catalyst for American Indian student success on campus and Indigenous Nation-building throughout the region — all done in deep collaboration between the university and tribal stakeholders.

Trust and Nation Building

trust and nation building

Progress moves at the speed of trust, and for Wokini to thrive, its leaders had to build and strengthen relationships with both its colleagues at the university and tribal leaders in the region — letting both groups know that big changes were on the way.

Innovative Investment

innovative investment

In his push to become the first university president in the country to dedicate land grant funds to elevate American Indian student success, Barry Dunn was motivated by moral responsibility and undaunted by the risk of failure.

Dreams to Come

dreams to come

Despite its historic launch and early success, the architects of the Wokini Institute don’t see it as the finished article. They’re working toward big goals for the university and the state: a future where all people have an equal opportunity to access higher education.

American Indian Student Center at South Dakota State University


See how the Wokini Initiative at South Dakota State University is elevating Native students.