Hoping to find a Woolly Mammoth

Now that school at St. Joseph’s Indian School is back in session, that means more meetings to work on various projects. This morning, I had a meeting with auditors, who are going through our books right now. They will present a report to the audit committee and Board of Directors later and needed to ask me questions about any of my observations or concerns. We try to be good stewards of the donations people give us and work to be very accurate with our financial records. Besides the yearly audit, we also post our financial statements on our website. I’m always grateful that the donations we receive allow us to run so many great programs and projects here on St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus.

Later, I met with the pastoral care department to plan the upcoming liturgies for this weekend and our opening of school mass. We’re waiting until next week for our “All School Mass” because our high school students won’t all be back until then. We also are looking at ways to instruct students (and staff) about the translations of the mass prayers that will be implemented beginning in Advent. We also brainstormed about ways to foster more active participation in all our prayer times.

I spent a good deal of time in the office. Phone calls, letters, answering emails, checking in with staff who drop by the office for 5 or 10 minute questions – I can’t point to any major accomplishments, but tried to take care of the daily business that keeps everything going.

I finished the day by joining Summerlee (4th-5th grade girls) for supper. There are 4 new girls in the home and they’re still getting to know one another, but already they’ve developed a good group spirit. One fifth grade girl did say she was a little homesick, especially missing her 10-year-old best friend who was killed in a car accident two weeks ago. We have to be very aware of the heartaches the students carry with them and work on healing and wholeness.

Daniel, a houseparent with some archeological training, is working on a “dig” around the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center before we start doing more construction there. Many of the girls are interesting in helping see what they can find out about the history that artifacts can tell about St. Joseph’s and the area’s indigenous people. One of the girls said she hoped we found a Woolly Mammoth!

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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