Sinte Gleska Becomes a University

Feb 15th, 1992 | By | Category: 3-4: Indians Teaching America, Tribal College News
By Jennifer Gray Reddish

Sinte Gleska College christened itself Sinte Gleska University after twenty-one years of service to the Indian community. A dedication ceremony was held February 2, 1992 at the college.

The university has come a long way since it began as a small institution with barely 100 students and a volunteer staff. In 1971, it began by offering various asso­ciate degrees and in 1983 Sinte Gleska offered its first bachelor degrees in human services and elementary educa­tion. The university now offers graduate degrees as well.

The name change represents more than the need for new letterhead, but a reminder that new changes must occur. As Dean of Instruction, Leland Bordeaux stated, “The name change has been earned. It is based on achievement.”

Sinte Gleska’s growth is the result of emphasis on community, said Bordeaux. “What has helped us most is the strength of the community and the commitment to the culture as well as education. We began as a modern idea ingrained in and old cul­ture. This idea has remained with us and has helped us stay culturally correct, as well as attaining reservation support.”

Lionel Bordeaux, president of Sinte Gleska University, believed that the university’s name change symbolizes a continuing commitment to the strengthening of tribal sovereignty and of the entire reservation.

“We must strengthen ourselves as indi­viduals and families.” Bordeaux said. So we too can be strong, so we can address the issues of sovereignty in our treaties, in our Black Hills claim and our water rights, and our rights as Lakota people. That is why Sinte Gleska University exists, and why it expanded, so we as Lakota people can have a greater forum on which to address these issues.”

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