Indian University of North America ®


The INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA® began with the Summer Program, which is one piece of the greater vision.

The Summer Program is a partnership between Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation and the University of South Dakota. Applicants that are accepted into the program receive a full tuition scholarship. This summer program offers students the ability to earn transferrable college credits, paid internships and scholarship opportunities.

Summer Program participants have the opportunity to earn:

  • Complete first full semester of college over the summer.
  • College credits earned can be transferred to a college or university of choice for continued study in the fall semester and beyond.
  • Study, live and work at the beautiful Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
  • Participate in numerous educational and cultural activities.
  • Receive a scholarship for summer tuition, books, instructional supplies and a portion of food and lodging.
  • Compete for additional scholarships.
  • Learn habits of success needed for college and for life.
  • Participate in a paid, credit-bearing internship (students also have opportunity to continue working after completion of the program in order to earn extra for the fall semester.)
  • Study with fellow students from across the United States.
  • Be a part of a global and engaging college experience, meet people from around the world.
  • Opportunity to earn back 50 percent of food and lodging costs at the end of the summer through a special incentive program.

Since its inception in 2010, 189 students from 32 different Native American communities and 17 states have successfully completed the summer program of the Indian University of North America. After completing their first semester of college at Crazy Horse with credits extended by the University of South Dakota (USD), many students continue their studies with USD and some transfer the credit and matriculate to a variety of public, private, and tribal colleges and universities throughout the United States.

In the spirit of reconciliation, both Native and non-Native students are accepted to the program, but 90% of the students has been Native American. The overall college persistence/graduation rate for American Indian students who have completed the program and responded to the annual survey is 83%, while the national persistence rate for American Indian students enrolled in college continues to linger. The American Indian Culture and Research Journal (2013) reports that of the 42% of Native American students who pursued some form of higher education, only 13% attained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 53% of the general population who earn a bachelor’s degree and 28% who earn beyond a bachelor’s degree. With respect to Native American students who go on to postsecondary education, only about 50% of those who enroll in major colleges and universities survive the first year of college compared to 70% of the general population. According to Jackson, Smith & Hill (United States Department of Education, 2009), American Indian and Alaskan Native students have the lowest college enrollment and graduation rates of any student cohort at mainstream colleges and universities.

Students who begin their college careers in the summer program of the Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial learn how to dream big and set goals worthy of their highest potential. Students learn how to navigate college while completing their first semester of college in a worldly setting unlike any other.

Click here for information on how you can apply to the INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA®

The INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA® is now taking applications for its summer 2017 program. Applicants who are accepted into the program receive a full tuition scholarship to complete their first full semester of college during the summer and can transfer 12-14 college credits to a college or university of their choice anywhere in the country. Courses offered during the summer program include English, math, speech, psychology, American Indian Art History, college success strategies, and a paid internship at Crazy Horse Memorial. Click here for information on how you can apply to the INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA®

Scholarship Assistance for Higher Education

The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Scholarship Fund began in 1978 with a single $250 award. Memorial founder Korczak Ziolkowski called it a “modest effort now toward the future, long-range educational goals of Crazy Horse.”

Since that first scholarship was awarded, The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, has been making a difference in the lives of American Indian students striving to meet their education goals. Through revenue generated by visitors’ admissions to Crazy Horse Memorial and through the generous donations from thousands of friends and supporters, American Indian and non-Indian alike, the scholarship program has experienced tremendous growth since its inception. To date, the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation has awarded over $2 million dollars in scholarships.

Scholarship applicants must be American Indian students who plan to attend, or are attending, tribal or state colleges, universities, nursing schools or vocational-technical schools in South Dakota.

Crazy Horse Memorial does not process applications and is not involved with the selection of scholarship recipients. Money is distributed to qualifying schools and recipients are selected by the institutions. Interested students should contact the financial aid office at their school for more information and scholarship application forms.

Meet the Summer Students:

  • Tyler Cullen Seidel - I was hesitant going to the Indian University of North America but, without the experience at Crazy Horse, I would not have met the amazing people there, learned more about my culture, and gotten a bit jump-start on my post-secondary education. My summer spent at Crazy Horse will always be a big part of my life.
  • Leo Chasing In TimberStill going to mines and almost a junior and worked an internship this summer but no job this semester and living with my mom and her bf along with two younger brothers. Also going to Florida in November for AISES conference
  • Dalton Pickering - The Indian University of North America summer program was a chance for me. . . a chance to go to college and make something of myself, a chance to improve the quality of my life and be successful, a chance to open doors to my future . . . the program meant everything to me.
  • David Estes- will be graduating in 2015 with a double major in Criminal Justice and Native Studies from the University of South Dakota. David is currently living in Lower Brule working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a Police Officer. David will attend the Indian Police Academy in Artesia New Mexico for 3 1/2 months to become a certified federal police officer.
  • Alexander Zane Zephier - My experience with the Indian University of North America was one I will never forget. Crazy Horse was certainly a unique opportunity to gain college credits, internship experience, and meet amazing people.
  • Molly Hagnauer - This summer I was lucky enough to attend the Indian University of North America. I jumpstarted my post-secondary education, met lifelong friends, and realized I can accomplish anything. I had the time of my life this summer . . . it was truly an unforgettable experience.
  • Georgia Baker-Bearsheart- I'm going to college at Northern State University, in my second semester at NSU. Haven't decided on a major. I'm working on my generals until I figure out what major I want to go with. Tossing around accounting or something with government or history. Now days I'm just going to college and taking care of my little family.
  • Carly Randall - Since the 2010 summer program I have transferred from UND to Oglala Lakota College to achieve an AA degree in Lakota Studies & Lakota Language. Both if which I will achieve in May 2015! Then I will continue in either Social Work or Tribal Business & Lakota Leadership (BS). I did take a one year long break from 2011-2012 to raise my son & start my family off in a good way! I'm glad I came home to a place where I have family & my Lakota ways are strong. I know that I want to help the Lakota oyate. They need me to get this education & help out any way I can!
  • Alexis Estes - I have done two years at University of South Dakota, a summer and a semester at Sinte Gleska University and now in my 3rd semester at Institute of American Indian Arts. I plan on getting my Bachelors in Indigenous Liberal Studies and minor in Studio Art. I have worked at Oscar Howe Art Gallery in Vermillion, Soldier Woman Gift Shop in Mission, and since I've been in New Mexico I've worked at Buffalo Wild Wings for 9 months while attending school and having my firstborn daughter.
  • Jarrette Werk - To be a part of the Indian University of North America is like becoming part of a whole new family; you meet other scholars that have the same motivation and goals you have, which is great. My summer at Indian University is an experience that I will never forget, not only because of the amazing time I had, but mainly because of all the awesome people who I was able to meet and create memories with . . . memories and faces that I will cherish in my heart forever.
  • Rose Steinmeyer - I have been working on receiving my bachelors of Science at SD State in Hospitality and Hotel Management. I am currently on the track to graduate December of 2015 (one year from now). For the past 3 years I have been working for Residential Life on Campus, this past year I started at Aramark Catering. Last summer (2014) I worked at Governors Inn in Pierre SD as a manager in training. I am currently looking into Graduate Programs for Archeology. I am going to Ireland next summer for an internship and a study abroad program.
  • Chesney Garnos - The summer I spent at Crazy Horse was definitely challenging. This experience helped me grow as an individual and allowed me to create memories that I will never forget. I am thankful to have been given this opportunity.
  • Kristen Keeler- Leroy - Since 2010 I have attended SDSU, USD, Southeast Tech, and now Sinte Gleska. While I was at Crazy Horse I had a goal of obtaining my Bachelor's Degree in Business, but after working at Andes Central School District I decided to get a teaching degree. I worked as their Cultural Resource Coordinator, JOM Program Coordinator, Home/School Coordinator, and Native American Club Advisor for two years. I am now working towards my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education & working full-time as their Speech Therapist Aid.
  • Ashley Ambriz - It is hard to explain how amazing of an experience Crazy Horse was . . . I learned critical skills for succeeding in college, as well as making memories and meeting people I will never forget. This experience changed my life completely and I wish I could go back and do it all over again.
  • Alysha O'Connell - The Indian University of North America summer program and internship provided me with the knowledge, work experience, leadership skills, and the drive to have a successful future. I will never forget this once in a life time experience, and the people I've met along the way. I now know who I am and what I want to do with my future.
  • Destanie Wilt-Hoffman - I have a BA in human resource management with a minor in political science, along with an AA in accounting. Joined the South Dakota Army National Guard in 2012, as a Human Resource Specialist. Worked full time with the Guard in Recruiting & Retention up until I had my daughter in April, and I now have my own in-home business and also am still a part of the South Dakota Army National Guard.
  • John Sully - I went to South Dakota state for two years for a major in microbiology. During that time I worked for Southwestern Advantage going door to door selling educational books. After that I decided to quit school and become a wild land firefighter for two years and during that time I became a squad boss and a B Faller. I just recently quit my job to try out for the U. S. Navy SEALs.
  • Courtnye Neice - The summer I spent in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a student at the Indian University of North America was hands down the absolute best experience I have had in my life. The staff and faculty showed they truly cared for your well-being and success. When many others were home during the summer doing nothing, there were thirty of us working towards beating a common stereotype of Native Americans, and I would say the Class of 2013 did an excellent job.
  • Mahto Smith - The Indian University of North America altered my life in a very positive way. The skills I learned while attending the program are priceless and will definitely be of use to me in the future. The memories that I acquired and the people that I met, will forever be a part of who I am.
  • “No one is ever wrong who desires to do that which is not required of them to do — and that which is of a noble purpose. The purpose of Crazy Horse is noble.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes also.”
    Chief Henry Standing Bear
  • “When the legends die, the dreams end. When the dreams end, there is no more greatness.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “The Important thing is that we never stop. That’s the main thing. And if you looked at it as strictly a view of being finished, you could get awfully distracted waiting for that day to come. This way, you’re pleased with every little step of progress that you make.”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.”
    Crazy Horse
  • “By carving Crazy Horse, if I can give back to the Indian some of his pride and create a means to keep alive his culture and heritage, my life will have been worthwile.”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor
  • “He left everything so we can carry on his work, and that’s just what we’re going to do. We’re dedicated to that. His whole life would be wasted if the mountain carving and the humanitarian goals are not completed.”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”
    Crazy Horse
  • “If it weren’t for each and every one you, whether your gift was small or large monetarily, whether it was friendship and encouragement, without you we wouldn’t be here…”
    Ruth Ziolkowski / Sculptor's Wife
  • “Standing Bear explained that the Indian has a concept of honoring their great heroes that’s totally different from the white man’s. It was difficult for me to understand at first…The Indian uses the direct approach. He says: that man was my ancestor, and he was a great man, so we should honor him-I would not lie or cheat because I am his blood”
    Korczak Ziolkowski / Sculptor

Crazy Horse Memorial
12151 Avenue of the Chiefs
Crazy Horse, SD 57730-8900

(605) 673-4681


Upcoming Events

  • Memorial Weekend
    May 25-28

    Memorial Weekend <br />May 26-29,<br /> 2017
    Native American’s across this great nation have served and sacrificed in the United States Military, join us to honor all fallen heroes who fought and protected our freedom. American Indian artists will be featured throughout the Welcome Center. Admission to the Memorial will be waived with 3 cans of food per person.
  • Legends in Light
    May 25-Sep 30

    Legends in Light<br /> May 26-Oct 1<br />
    This spectacular light show tells the story of the Memorial in laser lights projected onto the Mountain. You will be treated to the story of Chief Henry Standing Bear’s invitation to Korczak, Ruth’s contributions and special features of many Native American heroes. This must see show is featured nightly at dark, for sun down times click here:
  • Native Americans’Day
    Oct 8

    Native Americans’ Day  Oct 10, 2016
    Governor George S. Mickelson and the SD legislature declared 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation”, the day formerly known as Columbus Day became Native American Day. Native American Day at Crazy Horse Memorial is celebrated by planned activities for kids, program and performers, Educator of the Year is awarded and (weather permitting) a mountain blast. Admission is waved to the Memorial with 3 cans of food per person.