Active campus

Thursday, September 16, 2010

 Before my family headed west to see Mount Rushmore, I gave them a campus tour. Upon seeing many buildings and learning of our many different programs my Uncle Mick asked what went through my mind when I was asked to consider the director’s job. There is a lot that goes into understanding the different departments and coordinating staff so they work together to achieve common goals. While it can get complicated, the staff here is each good in their areas. I don’t know much about plumbing, accounting, or even teaching. But we have plenty of people who do. What I try to provide is leadership and inspiration. As I look back over the past 6 years, I have learned a lot.

I went to the museum and people were already coming in to register. In the first few minutes my arms were full with a jar of homemade jam, a Red Sox shirt from two feisty donors who know I’m a White Sox fan, pictures, and a couple of books on surviving cancer.

My cousin Fiona and husband Larry were the next wave of relatives to arrive. Word has spread around family that people have a great time during the powwow and it’s become a fun time for me to see different relatives. We had supper at Cyr home and they got a tour from two lively 5th grade boys.

After the girls volleyball game we had a dance troupe presentation. Delwin Fiddler, one of our alumni, and his wife has been working with our students all week teaching dance moves and hoop dancing. We got a demonstration from him, and then many of our kids got out on the gym floor and showed off moves they’ve learned this week. It was real treat.

 Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Every four months we pull together all the efforts in achieving the goals for our Vision 2012 Strategic Plan. Since the last update in May, I haven’t been able to contribute so much, but everyone else has. Working at our goals slowly and surely, when you look back at all that’s been done, there is good progress.

I had supper tonight in the Dennis Home (1st-3rd grade girls). For tonight’s enrichment lesson the girls were learning social skills – how to answer questions and have a conversation when they meet new people. I got to be their practice partner, and pretend not to know them at all. (It also helped me reinforce the names of the new students, since I still don’t have all of the names matched with the right children). Some are shy and can only give one word answers. Some are chatty and a question serves to let them tell you all kinds of things. The homes frequently work on social skills that our children need to give them self confidence and be able to make their way in the world.

 After a 12 hour drive mom and dad, Uncle Mick and Aunt Betty arrived for the powwow. The car was all loaded up with items they were donating, so we stopped and Central Receiving and unloaded. When they got to the winter coats, they reconsidered. With the unseasonably cool and wet weather they thought they might need the coats themselves. When they leave in a few days, they’ll return them “gently used”.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

 Our meetings today were more updates than any decisions. Everyone on campus is working towards a successful powwow weekend and we’re mostly making sure things are on track.

Tonight was our first Football game of the season. After a defensive struggle and scoreless first half, the Braves got three touchdowns against Crow Creek and won 18 – 0. I usually stand on the sidelines with the team. My foot was hurting, so I sat in the bleachers instead. I enjoyed talking to families who live close enough to come and see their sons on the field. Two of our former students were playing for Crow Creek, so I made sure to say hi to them.

 The team celebrated their win in picnic style after the game with houseparent’s grilled hamburgers and hot dogs in the pavilion.

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.

2 thoughts on “Active campus”

  1. Father Steve..Did I hear you say that you are NOT a teacher..? Don’t you know it’s a sin to tell a lie.? Teachers are BORN not made..!Actually, you sound a LOT like John Bosco…! Don’t you know that? Someone Holy hounds you. John Bosco ? Junipero Serra ? Elizabeth Seton ? The Holy Spirit ? I don’t know..but you have “it”…
    I wish we could be there for the Powwow..but God Bless all who are there..
    We are thinking of you.
    And praying for greast success..!
    Mia and Bob

  2. This was our second visit to your wonderful school, and it was so terrific, I have no real words to express it. We loved every minute we were there. Even the cold did not dampen our pleasure. God Bless you and the work you do there.

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