Tribal college students network at AIHEC

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More than 1,200 students are attending the 36th Annual American Indian Higher Education Consortium with day 2 kicking off on Sunday.

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim gives us a glimpse on some of the conference's events.

The Best Western Ramkota Hotel was filled with students competing in academic contests, browsing through booths, and attending social dances.

Branden Bowstring is a sophomore at Leech Lake Tribal College in Minnesota.

He says he's back at AIHEC for the second time because he loves networking and meeting business-minded people.

Branden Bowstring says, "The friends we meet here, they're friends for life. They're going on to different degrees. I'm going into, my degree at my college is early childhood education. Then I'm going to go onto education. So if I need to get a hold of someone for something like science, I can call them."

Bowstring says he's also competing in the Knowledge Bowl and running for Student Congress President.

Coordinator Billi Hornbeck says students had to study a movie and six books based on Native American culture for the Knowledge Bowl.

Billi Hornbeck says, "In order to be competitive, the students need to study and read the books probably for three or four months ahead of time. As soon as the books are ready and come out then I would say they'd have to start reading the books and then making their own questions."

Bowstring strongly encourages his fellow Native Americans to pursue higher education.

Branden Bowstring says, "If you're Native American, get back into school. Education is the most important thing that our people can do right now - is educate themselves and better our lives."

On Monday the conference is hosting an archery competition, a chess tournament, and an art exhibit.

Katrina Lim, Black Hills FOX News.