Becoming role models

The work is progressing on our Akta Lakota Museum expansion. I spent a lengthy phone conversation reviewing some of the text panels for our displays that will tell the history of St. Joseph Indian School. I thought I knew a lot about our history from the books and journals I’ve read, but as alumni and workers fill in details, I’m learning more all the time.

In the classrooms during study hall, I noticed several 8th graders in the rooms helping younger children. The school has started a mentoring program for those students doing well and caught up. It gives them a chance to give something back and be a role model. It also helps the younger kids feel a sense of connection and a goal to reach for when they see older friends and relatives mastering the material.

I stopped in for supper at the Carola Home (high school boys). Mike, the houseparent had made his famous Texas fried chicken, with spuds and white gravy and sweet tea to wash it down. It’s one of the boys’ favorites, and rather than just eat and run, they sat around the table a bit longer to talk of school, sports, and give a good-natured teasing to one another – a good atmosphere in the house.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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