Two St. Joseph’s Employees Receive National Honors

Brock, pictured teaching his fifth grade class, was awarded the prestigious honor of Catherine Hershey’s “Educator of the Year” award.

A listening heart, respect, community outreach and involvement, volunteerism, engagement, innovation, leadership – these are the attributes shared by two longtime St. Joseph’s Indian School employees that made them standouts to receive national awards at the Council on Residential Excellence Banquet in Little Rock, Ark. Continue reading “Two St. Joseph’s Employees Receive National Honors”

Departed Loved Ones Honored with Prayer Ties

Students hung prayer ties on St. Joseph’s outdoor prayer tree earlier in October.

When you lose someone you love, sometimes the simplest of things will make you think of them – the rustling of the leaves, the melody of a certain song or the smell of freshly baked bread. These small details spark a pleasant memory.

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we take great care in remembering the souls who have gone before us. When the loved ones of alumni, students or staff pass away, one of the ways they are remembered is with a special Lakota tradition. Continue reading “Departed Loved Ones Honored with Prayer Ties”

Staff Reflection: Lessons from Grandma

St. Joseph’s staff members and students played a scrimmage game to top off the middle school volleyball season!

The following reflection was written by Frank, our 7-8th grade Residential Coordinator.

Being part of the community was important to my grandmother, Emerald. In her late 60s early 70s, she would help deliver cookies to the “old people and shut-ins” around the rural area where she lived. One of the clubs she belonged to would get together, do a cookie exchange and then make plates to deliver. Continue reading “Staff Reflection: Lessons from Grandma”

How Horses are Helping St. Joseph’s Students Heal

To the Lakota, a šúŋkawakȟánhorse — is a relative. A four-legged friend and companion that provided transportation, friendship and pride. The horse is revered for its grace and bravery.

Today, many Lakota people still look to the horse to provide healing from trauma, anxiety, and mental and emotional distress, among others. Continue reading “How Horses are Helping St. Joseph’s Students Heal”

Former Students Return to Bless St. Joseph’s in a Big Way

St. Joseph’s President Mike Tyrell addressed the football game crowd during a sign dedication on Oct. 1.

Nobody knew that when Kim, Mike and Jim Iron Heart graduated from St. Joseph’s Indian School in the late 1980s and early 1990s that the siblings would be back decades later to make an impact for future graduates.

But that’s exactly what happened. Continue reading “Former Students Return to Bless St. Joseph’s in a Big Way”

St. Joseph’s Makes Sure ‘Children Count’ with Mentorship Program

The Children Count Mentorship group met for an evening of smores and fun at a nearby beach this Fall.

The St. Joseph’s Indian School campus is located in Chamberlain, S.D. Although near the Crow Creek and Lower Brule reservations – each within approximately 20 miles — the remaining seven South Dakota reservations are located much farther away.

Just how far is far? Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Makes Sure ‘Children Count’ with Mentorship Program”

Keeping the Heartbeat of the Drum Beating

St. Joseph’s Indian School’s drum group, the Chalk Hills Singers, honor their ancestors with song.

The St. Joseph’s Indian School gym is typically one of the last places described as quiet. It is home to bouncing basketballs, cheering crowds and blaring buzzers. But early on Saturday mornings, when the balls are put away, the cheering crowds have gone home and the buzzers cease, there is a stillness – a quiet. Continue reading “Keeping the Heartbeat of the Drum Beating”

Meet St. Joseph’s 2019 Powwow Royalty

Eagle Staff Bearer Andre, Miss St. Joseph’s Jordin and Jr. Miss St. Joseph’s Makaia were crowned as part of the 2019 powwow royalty on Friday, Sept. 20.

After a dance competition and a Q&A with judges, St. Joseph’s Indian School has crowned three students as the 2019 royalty for the 43rd Annual Powwow. Learn more about Jordin, Makaia and Andre!
Continue reading “Meet St. Joseph’s 2019 Powwow Royalty”

Cultural Spin on New Program has Students Falling in Love with Reading

Students read for fun 15 minutes every school day, as part of a new school program.

“What’s going to happen next?!” squealed a young girl to Danielle, who was reading a book out loud about a frog learning to play T-ball.

“I’m not sure,” said the St. Joseph’s Indian School staff member. “Let’s turn the page and find out!”

This scene from the first grade class is a glimpse into the new school reading program, launched last fall. The program is called Yawa, the Lakota word for Read. Continue reading “Cultural Spin on New Program has Students Falling in Love with Reading”

Students practice the cultural ritual of harvesting sage

St. Joseph’s Indian School students got out of the classroom to pick sage.

For every plant there is a purpose. Sage is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants, used by many Native American tribes as an incense and purifying herb.

Because of its popularity, sage can also become costly to get your hands on, which is why St. Joseph’s Indian School takes pride in growing sage right here on campus. From a seedling to adult plant, students can witness the lifespan of sage and take part in another ritual: the harvesting of sage. Continue reading “Students practice the cultural ritual of harvesting sage”