We heard today from a woman who came across St. Joseph’s Christmas cards in an unusual way. Her friends get together regularly to play cards – a women’s poker night. They don’t gamble for money, but this month everyone brought extra Christmas cards to share. She had a hot hand and her winnings included several Christmas cards from St. Joseph’s. She liked them so much that called in to find out more about our school, and decided to become a donor.
- Any unique stories about how you came in contact with St. Joseph’s Indian School?
Today we held our staff open house at Akta Lakota Museum. We had discounts up to 40% to encourage staff to do some Christmas shopping on campus. They are proud when they wear St. Joseph’s Indian School shirts. Folks also appreciate the intricate and traditional hand crafted items, or enjoy picking up the latest books on Plains Indian Culture.
Our Tokéya uŋkí nájiŋpi Historical Center is making great strides this week. Workers are installing the displays and hanging artifacts on the walls. Every day I make it a point to visit to see the latest progress. One of the rooms shows the transition from dormitory life, when we had 70 children sleeping in one big room, to our Family Living Units, with 10-12 children in a home setting.
Sandi, who has taught at St. Joseph’s for 35 years walked through the open house with Matt, one of our new teachers. When she saw the pictures and artifacts, it brought back so many memories, and she told Matt about some of the history and changes she’s seen. One of my hopes is that the displays tell a story, evoke memories and help us pass traditions on to future generations. We also know the history of Indian Boarding Schools has a negative side, and we hope for alumni whose experience of school include painful memories, this can be a place of healing.