THEY’RE BACK at St. Joseph’s!!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's ChaplainHello from St. Joseph’s Indian School.


This past Sunday, St. Joseph’s Indian School’s student body for the school year of 2016-2017 arrived on campus. The upcoming year, 2017, marks St. Joseph’s Indian School’s 90th Anniversary!

Once a student arrived, they went to their Home to drop off their clothes and personal items.

Next, they walked to the health center, allowing our nurses to measure height, weight and eye sight, as well as a quick check-up to see if there were any medical needs that needed to be addressed. During this visit, our nurses also had the chance to visit with parents or guardians to see if there was any special medications a student might need.

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Families enjoyed playing Hand Games at St. Joseph’s Welcome Back Picnic!

When the medical visit was over, the students and their families came back outside to take part in a “Welcome” picnic. There was a big inflatable they could climb on and a gift table each student could take a prize from.

There was also a face painting station and a photo booth where the student and their family could have a group picture taken. Once the photo was taken, it was printed and put in a frame for the student to keep on campus or their family to take home with them.

Those who were hungry enjoyed hot dogs, chips, cookies and water! As you can see from the photos, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

We are so happy to have our students back on campus!!

We started classes on Monday about an hour late to give students from Lower Brule the chance to make it in, since many of them wanted to wait to check in until after their powwow festivities concluded this past weekend.

This coming weekend, Ft. Thompson will be having their powwow and we may start a bit later next Monday as well to give our students that are checked out by their families for the weekend more time to get back to campus.

Traditionally, we begin the school year with a prayer service with Scripture readings, reflections from Native American sources, and – the crowd favorite – a video of students caught in the act of simply being students here at St. Joseph’s! There are usually a lot of giggles when students see themselves.

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Staff took a minute to welcome our students back to campus!

During the prayer service, we had the 8th graders stand up so the younger students could ‘see’ who the school leaders are in case they ever needed to know who they could go to for help. We also had the new students stand so our veteran students and staff would have an idea of who to be on the lookout for in case the new students get overwhelmed or lost. There was also the chance for staff to shake hands with new and old students to welcome them and wish them a wonderful school year.

Last night, the 7th-8th grade students had a community night. Rules, expectations and privileges were discussed prior to playing  Jeopardy with the following categories: School, Home, Homework, Community and Wild Card. The home with the most points at the end of the game won a free movie night at the Chamberlain theatre. The Mathias Home was this year’s winners! After the game, we all had supper as a community.

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Our first annual 7th-8th community night was a success!

Yesterday, I took part in a meeting to discuss our upcoming 40th Annual Powwow in September. It looks like 320 guests, visitors and friends have already registered! More than 200 are also planning on attending the Meet and Greet Thursday night that gives them the chance to ask staff and students about the programs offered at St. Joseph’s.

On Friday, there will be tours of the school and cultural presentations.

If you feel you are able to join us in celebrating our 40th Annual powwow on September 17, please check out our web site at call 1-800-584-9200 so we can send you some additional information on events taking place and motels in the area for lodging.

I hope all going well with you and yours. We are just finishing up the novena of Masses we offer for our Benefactors each month. Please know this is our way of saying pilamaya thank you – for your generosity.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

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 90 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.

8 thoughts on “THEY’RE BACK at St. Joseph’s!!”

  1. Sure enjoyed your account of the beginnings of the school year. My work commitment for this September prevents me from coming to POW WOW. I want to repeat coming for this event as I did in 2013. Too bad my work is so seasonal (April to mid October) with only short breaks. Perhaps next year. I sometimes travel in the U.S. in my off season and even I get close to your location but by then POW WOW is over. Are there ever events open to your admirers (I am one of those people) during my off time (late October to late March) ? I wish all of the students and staff at St. Joseph’s the best of years. Your school gave me great hope during my recovery (1998–2006), and also after my heart issues in 2011. So thanks for that and keep up the good work. I am a small bit Native American and I feel a kinship with your school and its efforts at teaching and upholding the principals and traditions of the students’ culture. I hope there is a long indefinite future for your school.

    Bill Graff
    San Francisco

    1. Bill, Thank you for your kind words. We hope you enjoyed the 2013 powwow! We would love to have you again someday, as your schedule allows.

      If you are ever in the area, please call us at 1-800-584-9200. We would love to meet up with you, give you a tour of campus and/or direct you to Native American events in the area.

      Blessings to you!

    1. Since 1927, St. Joseph’s Indian School has provided care and education for Native American boys and girls. We provide for the basic welfare of the Lakota children (food, clothing and medical care) with special emphasis on the spiritual, emotional and educational development of each child, while respecting their culture and heritage.

      The majority of the children are from the South Dakota reservations of Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, Rosebud and Pine Ridge. We also serve children from other states. Some children are in tribal or state custody or have been placed at St. Joseph’s by court appointment. The majority of students come to St. Joseph’s by way of a family application.

      Thanks for your question!

  2. Please, tell all the kids “O~si~yo”/Hello…..from Little Feather. I think about them ALL……all the time. I love these kids.

  3. Wishing students and staff a most successful school year. God bless you all and the work you do. Thanks for your prayers

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