Hi everyone. My name is Kory and I serve as the Executive Director of Development at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to work for such a wonderful organization. The passion of our staff is only matched by the generosity of our friends and donors – I enjoy my work immensely!
Very soon you will be receiving your annual Gift Receipt in the mail. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your support, let you know to watch for this document, and tell you a little about myself. Continue reading “A note from Kory…”
We pause for a moment of silence—the splashing fountain at the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center has been covered. For St. Joseph’s staff and students, this is the real indication that the seasons are changing and it reminds us that winter is coming.
Fall has arrived with brisk mornings and nice afternoons. The leaves are starting to change, but seem to be taking their time. I envy those living on the East coast who are currently enjoying the changing of the leaves’ colors!
The school year is off to a flying start now that everyone is back. The high school students began their classes on Wednesday, but students going out for sports have been on campus for a week or so practicing.
I am so pleased to share that we have recently added a part time seamstress to our staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School!
Bonnie began mending and creating with her talent in October.
We have many outfits that aren’t complete—they might be missing a cape, drops, shawl, or a matching skirt and leggings.
Bonnie puts her talented, magic hands to work and creates full outfits and pieces that make the regalia highly sought after for our powwow dancers! She has been beautifying our outfits for both the boys and the girls.
One of the outfits Bonnie blessed with her talents was a jingle dress that was donated by one of our students, LaShawn, and her grandma. This type of dress includes ornamentation with multiple rows of metal cones that create a jingling sound as the dancer moves.
LaShawn’s grandma made the dress for her when she was a young dancer. Having outgrown it, LaShawn wanted to donate it to our regalia collection so that another energetic girl could continue making music with the dress.
The dress was missing matching leggings, so Bonnie showed LaShawn the steps in making a set to match. LaShawn was amazed at the work that went into a pair of leggings!
Now that the outfit is complete, a young St. Joseph’s Indian School student will be able to dance as her ancestors have done for years.
We look forward to seeing Bonnie’s amazing work showcased at our 40th Annual Powwow on September 17, 2016.
Fall is in the air at St. Joseph’s. Leaves are changing and the students are enjoying the fall days as the football season comes to an end.
On Monday, when most of the country was celebrating Columbus Day, the State of South Dakota celebrated Native American Day. There was a large powwow in Rapid City on October 10 and a good number of our students participated in the event. They were wonderful representatives of St. Joseph’s!
Monday also saw the start of the school’s second quarter. We started the day with a Prayer Service enhanced by Native American activities at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. The service began with the entrance of our powwow royalty accompanied by the Chalk Hill Singers’ drum group. Several students led us in the Four Direction prayer. There were also readings from the Gospel of Luke and Joseph Marshall III, a member of the Sicangu Lakota Tribe.
Our artist in residence, V.R. Janis, made presentations in the classroom during the rest of the day. Our students learned a lot!
This past Saturday was the 16th Annual River City Band Festival in downtown Chamberlain. Our 4th, 5th and 6th grade students helped carry banners in the parade. After the parade, the bands gathered at the local athletic field to perform their field shows. St. Joseph’s drum group, the Chalk Hill Singers presented the Lakota Flag Song after the National Anthem to begin the afternoon festivities. I believe this is their first public performance outside of a powwow setting — they did a fantastic job!
The local members of the Chamberlain Middle School Explorers elected their officers for the year recently and one of St. Joseph’s eighth graders, Kyle, was elected secretary. The Explorers are a service club for sixth thru eighth grade boys that meet every Thursday at 7:30 AM at Chamberlain Elementary School. This year seven St. Joseph’s students are taking part and four of them are new members.
The Explorers raise money through a variety of projects during the year and then donate the money for someone in need or to the Chamberlain community to help fund various projects. Last year, they contributed to the new Chamberlain swimming pool complex. They also focus on civics and various lessons called ‘man stuff.’
The group also travels to Pierre to visit the State Capital and meet the Governor. The year ends with a trip to a major league baseball game.
Two of St. Joseph’s students, Ramez and Tayeden, had a great time meeting donors at the luncheons in the Dallas, TX area. After the luncheons, they had the chance to visit the Texas State Fair and take a VIP tour of AT&T stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. They even had the chance to visit the Cowboys’ locker room and have their pictures taken in front of the locker of their favorite player, Dez Bryant.
Last week saw the end of the golf season. Chamberlain High School’s team won multiple invitationals and had all members qualify for the state tournament. Out of the 16 teams that took part, the Cubs came in 8th. Danny, one of St. Joseph’s students, placed in the top 25 as a junior. We are excited to support him next year!
Thank you for your generosity. YOU make everything we do possible.
“We no longer hunt buffalo with a bow or live in tipis, but our roots of honor and goodwill remain. While fire purifies and allows new life to begin, water is cleansing and brings us nourishment. Coming from all directions, the wind provides movement.
The powwow also has a purpose. Today we live in a culture of distraction. A place must be kept that pushes back against the distractions. A place that understands the culture because it embraces its individuals…”
St. Joseph’s 39th annual wacipi — powwow — was a success! People from across the country gathered on our campus to help hundreds of Lakota (Sioux) children celebrate their Native American culture and heritage. As we look to future celebrations, we thank you for sharing in our work and helping Lakota children in need reach for a brighter future!
“The day comes to a close. Many thoughts run through my mind. I think the highest form of thought is gratitude. But silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone… so thank you to those who share this vision.”
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!