The following is a personal reflection by LaRayne, the Native American Studies teacher at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
The smell ofčhaŋlí pȟaȟtá — tobacco offerings — made my heart feel many emotions as I quietly tied the prayers of the St. Joseph’s Indian School students, staff and donors together for the All Souls Day prayer service.
October is the month of the year that his Servant of God, Nicholas Black Elk called the, “Moon of the changing seasons.” As the weather continues to change, one thing that never changes is that I am keeping you all — our benefactors, staff and students — in my prayers.
The sun was not yet awake as a group of high school girls and houseparents from St. Joseph’s Indian School made their way to the Missouri River’s edge. The sky was a dark navy, matching the blue of the waves slapping the pier. As the vehicle’s headlights clicked off, darkness of the early morning surrounded them.
As the sun peaked over the dark eastern horizon, bright shades of red and yellow, fringed by the white edge of a band of stratocumulus clouds spelled out “This is Native American Day,” in the traditional colors of the Lakota people. Thirty minutes after the sun rose, St. Joseph’s Indian School students and staff gathered at the school’s Wisdom Circle to pray the Four Directions Prayer.
When LaRayne looked over the stock of children’s powwow regalia at St. Joseph’s Indian School, she noticed a limited amount of female Traditional and Jingle dresses.
LaRayne, St. Joseph’s Native American Studies teacher, said popularity among the different powwow dances changes year to year. Some years, more girls want to dance Fancy, while other years Jingle or Traditional take the lead. Recently, that has been the case. While St. Joseph’s has a seamstress, Bonnie, to carefully create new dress designs to replace worn out regalia, the demand for Jingle and Traditional dresses has been outpacing her sewing machine. Continue reading “Regalia by Notable Native American Designer Donated to St. Joseph’s”