Our high school Lakota Nation Invitational Knowledge Bowl Team travelled to Rapid City, South Dakota on December 14th to compete in the 40th Anniversary of the Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI).
With the expectation of a snow storm and below zero temperatures, we decided to head to the competition a day early and were able to beat the storm. The next day, the storm worsened and halted travel for our Archery and Hand Games Team, who were still on campus at St. Joseph’s Indian School. This left our Knowledge Bowl Team as the sole representative of St. Joseph’s.
St. Joseph’s team- consisting of Lily, Justin, Danielle, Alyssa and Taelonna- began the competition with a ‘victory’ over Pierre Riggs High School on a forfeit, due to the declining weather conditions and their inability to make it to Rapid City.
Our next match was with Pine Ridge, which we won convincingly. We started out tentative, but in the end won by a score of 9-2.
During mass, we held the Rite of Acceptance for those students preparing for baptism next spring. Even though the prayers are simple, they mean a lot . I find that children are often far more committed to prayer than I am, and they inspire me to do better.
The Dancing Dolls and Dudes program filled the town Armory to capacity and was entertaining. Last year, we experimented by having our 4th and 5th graders participate, since it means juggling our schedule here and getting the students to town to practice each week. But it was so successful and appreciated that this year we opened it up to the primary grades as well.
A good number of families attended to cheer their children on and watch the cleverly choreographed routines. But some of our students don’t have family close by, or have family members unable to come. In the days leading up to today’s big show, at least seven or eight of our students looked at me with big eyes and asked if I could be there. How could I every say no to that kind of request from an eight year old?
The boys inter-city championships filled the rec center all afternoon. Each team had two trophies to give out, one to a St. Joseph’s Indian School student and one to a player from town. Those trophies go to the kids who have the best attitude, play hard and fair and help their teammates. There was also a hard-fought tournament for bragging rights, but all in a spirit of fun and good sportsmanship.
Tonight, our high school academic advisor gathered up the half-dozen students who make up our Knowledge Bowl team. Competition at the Lakota Nations Invitational is this Thursday and Friday, and this was the last chance to practice and review. I dropped in for some moral support and will go with the crew to Rapid City, South Dakota to cheer them on. Read how the St. Joseph’s Indian School team did last year!