Six high school students made up our St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Knowledge Bowl team, and traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota for the Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament (LNI). The competition was double elimination, and our team won three games before losing our second in overtime. All but one game was decided by 3 points or less – those back and forth games kept me tense and on the edge of my seat the whole time. I wanted so badly answer some of the questions myself. What young people often lack is the breadth of knowledge and countries, cultures and history that come from reading, travel and a few more years of life experience. In one game, I was pleased that Erin earned our winning points by completing one of my favorite phrases, “It’s better to light a candle that curse the DARKNESS”. Our Lakota (Sioux) students represented the school and themselves well.
Besides two seasoned seniors, we had a junior, two sophomores and a freshman on the team. The newcomers intend to study harder, hungry to return next year.
The LNI is a combination basketball tournament, knowledge bowl, art show, wrestling tournament, Lakota language competition and much more. It’s like a huge family reunion for so many of the tribal people in the great state of South Dakota. I ran into folks from all three of the Indian reservations I’ve worked on and several former St. Joseph’s students. The Rapid City Civic Center was filled to capacity with so many people and activities.
Several students entered pieces in the juried art show. In the category of “Traditional Native Arts”, Merrill, one of our 8th graders, took home first place. Merrill painted and decorated a deer skull, which also included a handmade dreamcatcher. He earned a coveted ceramic plate trophy from Sioux Pottery. Congratulations Merrill!