Black Hills Learning Center - Rapid City, SD

Black Hills Learning Center

Exciting Summer Schedule
By Laurette Pourier, BHLC Community Outreach Coordinator
UTTC Black Hills Learning Center (BHLC) is ready for an exciting summer in Rapid City. We’re thrilled to join Main Street Square with new, community-based activities that celebrate Rapid City’s creative side.

Art Night Downtown
BHLC will take part in “Art Night Downtown,” every second Friday from June 13 through September 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. It brings businesses and artists together to create an interactive experience for participants.

BHLC will feature poetry, rappers, dance, interactive art activities and displays of Native artwork, including watching artists create!

Native Artists Week – July 16-19
BHLC has partnered with First People’s Fund to offer a week filled with activities for Native American Artists. It begins with a two-day Professional Development Training July 16-17. This will provide artists with basic business fundamentals to assist their continued and future success.

Friday, July 18, BHLC hosts a memorial for Albert White Hat from noon to 2 p.m.  Albert White Hat, Sr. (1938-2013) was a Sicangu (Rosebud) Lakota educator, author, linguist, tribal and spiritual leader, and respected elder. His awards included the SD Governor's Award and Living Indian Treasure Award, “for his many contributions to Native American art forms, National Indian Education Association Elder, Peace and Justice Gamahiel Chair, and National Indian Educator of the year. We honor his work that continues to promote education and awareness.

Concluding the week on Saturday, July 19 will be the “Gathering of People, Wind and Water” Native Art Market and Cultural Celebration at Main Street Square. Gene Declay (White Mt. Apache/Pima) is the featured artist for the event.

BHLC staff will assist with a Friday evening reception and activities throughout the day Saturday, including hosting an interactive family art event.

Successful Spring Event
The BHLC kicked off spring with “Partnering for Success,” March 5–8. It was a successful recognition and relations-building event with Black Hills-area agencies and organizations. Twenty service agencies were involved, including: Rapid City Police Dept., Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service, Project Solutions, Career Learning Center, IHS Wellness/Fitness Program/Diabetes Program, and IHS Substance Abuse Program.

One day’s theme, “Buffalo and Native Health,” featured Inter-Tribal Bison Cooperative, Buffalo foods/nutrition, Buffalo art and a free Buffalo soup meal. The center was honored to have presentations and book-signings from well-known Native authors Elizabeth Cook-Lynn and Virginia Driving Hawk. On the last day, a dodge ball tourney attracted 100 attendees and participants.

It was a successful and action-packed four days and BHLC hopes to do it again!


Scholarship Awarded
Jo Lynn Little Wounded, a non-traditional student from Rapid City, attending United Tribes Technical College-Black Hills Learning Center, has been awarded a $500 scholarship toward her Criminal Justice degree. The award came from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation.

Jo Lynn has been an active community volunteer over the past four years as well as a dedicated student beginning in the Fall 2013 semester. 

Black Hills Area Community Foundation scholarships are awarded through the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce to area residents who are pursuing further education to advance their skills to successfully participate in the business sector of Rapid City.
Jo Little Wounded


Memorial Walk
By Nikkole Bostnar, BHLC Small Business Management Student
On May 17, a few close friends joined me to walk the WAVI (Working Against Violence Inc.) “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” 5k walk at the Memorial Park Walking/Bike Path. The walk promotes domestic violence awareness.

Even though I feel strongly about domestic violence, and am a survivor myself, this walk was dedicated to family very close to me. In October, my sister-in-law Yessenia, my niece and nephew, Thalia-9 and Elijah-8 went missing. They were presumed dead a short time later.

Yessenia’s husband, who had a history of domestic violence, is charged with one count of second degree murder and two counts of first degree murder, and is currently awaiting trial.

I wanted to share their story with everyone. I especially hope it will reach other women who are living with domestic violence but are afraid to leave. There is a way to leave safely. They have to confide in a domestic violence worker and follow their guidance.

I started my team in the middle of May and set my goal to raise $300. I exceeded that by almost $200 with a team of nearly 25 people.

Sharing the story of Yessenia, Thalia and Elijah, if only to those who attended, was enough for me. The day was very emotional for everyone involved.

So ‘thank you’ everyone who attended, and to everyone who showed their support in some way.

More info about UTTC Black Hills Learning Center: Kathlene Thurman, 605-721-3310
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Contact Information:

Black Hills Learning Center
United Tribes Technical College
321 Kansas City Street
Rapid City, SD

Phone: (605) 721-3310
Fax: (605) 721-3327
bhlc@uttc.edu