Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!
We have finally had some time to reflect on our 39th Annual Powwow.
What a wonderful few days we had! The festivities began with a bus trip to the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations. I had a chance to meet with donors taking part in the tour to offer a prayer for safe travel before they hit the road. It seems that they all had a great time!
On Thursday evening, St. Joseph’s Indian School had a Meet & Greet. Several staff members and students met with guests to explain the programs offered at St. Joseph’s and answer any questions our visitors had. We had two of our high school seniors and an alumnae who is currently working at St. Joseph’s share the impact our school has had on their lives.
Friday morning began with the announcement of our powwow royalty–Eagle Staff bearer Treshawn; Junior Miss St. Joseph’s Aurelia; and Miss St. Joseph’s Frederika. As our students headed off to class, our guests enjoyed breakfast and tours of the Nagel Business Office to see how our mailings are prepared and how envelopes with donations are handled.
From there, our donors and friends went to the Rec Center to make their own dreamcatcher and attend a demonstration of Native American children’s games.
On Friday afternoon, guests were able to tour the school with some of our students as their tour guides. A great time was had by all; students really enjoyed getting to talk with people from all over the country.
Over 400 guests and friends attended our Tiyospaye Banquet Friday evening. The highlight of the evening– besides the drawing for a star quilt– was the show of hands as to how many were attending their very first powwow. It seemed that 75-80% of the hands went up! We were so honored that they chose St. Joseph’s as the place to experience their first powwow.
Though Friday was rainy and cool, Saturday dawned clear and pleasant. Early risers had the chance to visit several of the
homes on campus to see where our students live. Prior to the Grand Entry, several of our grass dancers came out to bless the powwow grounds. The Grand Entry began with a presentation of the colors, which all veterans present were invited to take part in. The veterans in attendance were followed by the royalty from other Native American tribes and entities in the area and the many dancers who had come to take part in the powwow.
It is interesting to note that 102 St. Joseph’s students took part in the various dance categories, which enabled them to win some categories and place in others. The weather was wonderful, the colors magnificent and the dance moves intricate. Returning alumni were honored. Guests were invited to take part in tribal dances which are open to anyone in attendance.
We culminated the day with Mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel and a complimentary meal prior to announcing the winners of the dance contests and drum competition. As things wound down, there were many compliments and ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ over what had taken place that afternoon.
We were honored to have so many guests, dancers, drum groups and staff all interacting in an enjoyable manner to make this one of the best powwows yet! If you would like to see some of what happened, you can take a look at the video one of our staff members put together.
We were blessed to have great weather on Saturday and we thank you for your prayers to help make that possible. I’m sure that many of those attending this year are already looking ahead to 2016. As a quick reminder, St. Joseph’s annual powwow always takes place the third weekend in September. We look forward to many powwows in the future and hope you can join us!
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ