St. Joseph’s Hosts American Indian Catholic Schools Network Summit

The American Indian Catholic Schools Network met at St. Joseph’s Indian School for its Fall Summit.

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children,” instructed Húŋkpapȟa Lakota leader Sitting Bull.

In much the same spirit, the American Indian Catholic Schools Network (AICSN) board gathered for its Fall Summit at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Hosts American Indian Catholic Schools Network Summit”

St. Joseph’s Indian School Remembers Loved Ones on All Souls Day

On All Souls Day, lost loved ones are remembered at St. Joseph’s Indian School with a prayer tie.

The following is a personal reflection by LaRayne, the Native American Studies teacher at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The smell of čhaŋlí pȟaȟtátobacco 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.

I cannot take a photo of what I describe (as it is a sacred process), but I will explain it from my heart in a way that I hope you can see, feel, smell and have a small taste of how we combine our Lakota, Dakota and Catholic traditions together for the good of our students. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Indian School Remembers Loved Ones on All Souls Day”

Visiting Artist and Students Bring Dignity to Life through Artwork

Curriel showed students how to sketch their model, Dignity, using the photograph he took.

When he arrived in town, Hector Curriel went for a walk as he pondered the subject for his artist’s residency with grades 3 through 5 at St. Joseph’s Indian School the following week. Coming upon Dignity, he snapped a photo of her against the turbulent South Dakota sky and knew at once he had met his model for the week’s classes. Continue reading “Visiting Artist and Students Bring Dignity to Life through Artwork”

From the Desk of Fr. Greg: October 2021

October was a busy month at St. Joseph’s Indian School! Let’s dive into what happened.

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.

As I continue to place all of you in my thoughts and in my prayers, I thought I would share with you a few wonderful events that have been happening at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  Continue reading “From the Desk of Fr. Greg: October 2021”

Arriving with Grief, Leaving with Hope: St. Joseph’s Remembers Lost Loved Ones

With hope in their hearts, students remembered lost loved ones with memorial lanterns.

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.

In their hearts, they carried with them loss and sadness. In their hands, they carried memorial lanterns. Continue reading “Arriving with Grief, Leaving with Hope: St. Joseph’s Remembers Lost Loved Ones”

St. Joseph’s Indian School Celebrates Native American Week

Students, grades 1-8, participated in not just one day of celebrating their Native American culture. Instead, St. Joseph’s celebrated all week!

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.

While others observed Native American Day on October 11, St. Joseph’s Indian School was just getting started with what became an entire week of education and fun. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Indian School Celebrates Native American Week”

Two from St. Joseph’s Indian School Win National Honors

LaRayne Woster and Tayeden Seeking Land received National Honors on October 13, 2021.

A sincere sense of self is the character trait shared by two St. Joseph’s Indian School colleagues that made them standouts to win national awards announced at the Coalition on Residential Excellence (CORE) Banquet in Mooseheart, Ill., Wednesday evening, October 13, 2021. Continue reading “Two from St. Joseph’s Indian School Win National Honors”

Animal Blessing: Blessing the Four-Legged Who Bless St. Joseph’s

An Animal Blessing took place at St. Joseph’s to celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Mimicking the movement of the birds circling above Wisdom Circle on October 4, students and staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School did the same below on the dewy morning grass.

At the center of the circle stood Fr. Greg Schill, St. Joseph’s Chaplain. He announced the purpose of the gathering was to celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Continue reading “Animal Blessing: Blessing the Four-Legged Who Bless St. Joseph’s”

St. Joseph’s Students Take a Stand in New Classroom Set-up

Getting students back in the classroom doesn’t mean they’ll be sitting behind a desk.

“Please take your seats” is not a phrase you will hear very often anymore in the computer classroom of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Instead, children are taking a stand … thanks to the classroom’s newest feature: standing desks. Gina, our school’s computer teacher, made the switch to standing desks to modernize her classroom and get kids up and on their feet more throughout the school day. Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Students Take a Stand in New Classroom Set-up”

Regalia by Notable Native American Designer Donated to St. Joseph’s

When Traditional and Jingles dresses were needed, help came just in time.

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”