Struggles and dreams

I traveled to Lower Brule to join my fellow SCJs for lunch. I wanted to meet the two Sisters of Christian Charity, Anne Theresa and Marie Pauline, who just joined the pastoral team. Both have a lot of teaching and school administration experience. They are looking forward to a new ministry of focusing on the pastoral needs of the people on the Reservation.

Having done Indian reservation work myself for many years, I offered them two pieces of advice.

  1. Be patient (with yourself and others)
  2. Go visit (in people’s homes and in the community, so you understand both the struggles and the dreams)

Before I came home, I stopped at the Tribal Hall, and at the local convenience store/gas station. I ran into lots of St. Joseph’s alumni and families and caught up about how life is going now. When you live in a small town, a trip to the post office or store can take a couple of hours as you simply stop and pay attention to the people you know and meet along the way.

I was lazy, and had the high school students wash my car, but it was for a good cause. They had no classes today, and decided to have a fundraiser for trip next month to the Sioux Falls Arts Festival. They took lots of dirt, grime and bugs off many vehicles and raised $260.

When there are free days from school, our transition specialist will often invite groups on to campus to speak to our students about future plans. The National Guard came to our campus and spoke to five of our students who are considering become part of that service after they finish high school.

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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