Folks that cross my path

I had the day off, and walked into town to run some errands. When I’m not in a rush to meet a deadline or get back for a meeting, it’s so pleasant just to take my time and visit with whatever folks cross my path along the way.

I watched a documentary I taped from Current TV called “Rape on the Reservation.” It examined the problems of sexual assault on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, and was both well done, and emotionally disturbing. While the information was not new to me, it can serve as a good teaching tool and discussion starter for dealing with a difficult problem.

On campus, most of our houseparents, a few teachers and other staff were involved in an all day training session – “Love and Logic”. The program is meant to give child care workers the tools they need to build relationships and understand children better. It teaches ways to change behaviors, encourage students to be responsible and still have fun in the process. Those I talked to afterwards appreciated the insights. It also helps to have training toward the beginning of the year when folks still have a good amount of energy and are highly motivated to put skills to work making the year a good one.

Also, the South Dakota School for the Deaf sent out their portable lab and worked with our Speech Therapist to test the hearing of all our new students and a few returning students we have some questions about. Two students were found to have some hearing difficulties. Knowing what their challenges are goes a long way in helping us work with them.

This weekend was the Annual Crow Creek Powwow. I drove up to Fort Thompson in time for the Grand Entry. A good number of our students come from the Crow Creek Reservation and I saw a few that were dancing. Many more were in attendance, walking around the arbor checking out people and activities. As is my custom, I usually check out the new line of Native American themed baseball caps and pick out a couple to wear around campus for the new year. What I love best about powwows, besides the color and ritual and ceremony, is just running into folks and catching up, the way you would do at a family reunion.

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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