Day two of our 35th annual powwow

Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center's ground breaking ceremony.
Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center's ground breaking ceremony.

This morning we broke ground for our Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center’s expansion that will include an alumni center, historical displays, medicine wheel garden of healing, and museum storage space. We had alumni representing everyone from a new first grader to Casmir LeBeau, who is in his 90’s and was in the first group of American Indian children to arrive at St. Joseph Indian School when it opened its doors in 1927!

Four of our homes were open for tours, so guests could glimpse what our homes and their routines are all about. Besides classroom learning – since our students live here – we have to make sure to teach them a lot about life as well.

I have so many memories from the powwow – wonderful turnout, people and dancers. I’m so grateful to our staff for making all this happen. If you have 6 minutes, take some time to watch the video from our 35th annual powwow that one of our staff produced. Pictures speak far more than my words can say.

One event that did move me a lot was when 4th grader Richard’s family asked for a special dance to honor him. He had some serious foot surgery on his growth plate last year, but is courageously pushing ahead with his dancing. Earlier during one of the rounds he fell, but got right up and kept going.

My family often makes the trip out for this special even this year. I was pleased to have Uncle Mickey and Aunt Betty join us.

We were graced with the presence of seven fine drum groups.

The Lakota (Sioux) dancers were great at our powwow!
The American Indian dancers were great at our powwow!

When the powwow was completed, we ate a feast of beef and buffalo stew prepared by our kitchen staff. Then it came time for awards. While not every dancer won a prize, everyone who danced was a winner in my eyes.

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.

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