Getting ready for Thanksgiving

Dear Benefactors,

From all the students and staff here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, best wishes to you and yours for a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Each of us has so much to be grateful for. May you have the chance to share the day with family and friends!

The Native American children at St. Joseph’s celebration Family Night every year.
The Lakota boys and girls made “trees of thanksgiving” to take home to their families.

St. Joseph’s students are getting in the Thanksgiving spirit as they took part in the National Family Week project this past Wednesday.  They joined with siblings and cousins to make decorations to take home for their families on Thanksgiving.  You can see our photos on Facebook!

They created a “tree of thanksgiving,” with leaves the students wrote messages on, expressing what they are grateful for.  Thanks to a grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota, each family receives a gift card for their local grocery store to help provide food for the Thanksgiving meal.  In the past, students took food boxes home with them, but the new system works wonderfully.

Three of our Lakota (Sioux) students had the chance to visit Washington, D.C. last week. Their family was honored by the United States for the role their great-grandfather played as a code-talker during World War II. As you might know, during that time Native American radio operators spoke in their native tongues so that German or Japanese troops listening would not understand what military information was being passed from one unit to another.

While these students were in Washington, D.C., another group of our students and staff were in the Houston, Texas, area to take part in a donor luncheon this past weekend.  Kayla and Hope, two of our eighth graders, made the trip to share the impact St. Joseph’s has had on their lives.  Our next two luncheons are January 18-19 in Los Angeles, California and February 22-23 in Cocoa Beach, Florida. If you would like to attend, you can register here.

I attended an ecumenical Thanksgiving prayer service held at St. James Catholic Church in downtown Chamberlain.  It was nice to gather with others and be thankful.  On Thanksgiving Day, the parish will host a Thanksgiving meal for anyone in the Chamberlain area who wishes to attend.

On Friday night, the day after Thanksgiving, there will be a presentation on Thanksgiving from a Native American viewpoint. The presenter will be Deacon Bud Jetty’s son, who is an educator from Montana. Deacon Bud serves on St. Joseph’s Board of Directors, and he and his wife are long-time friends of the school.

Last week we received word that 129 visitor-related businesses in South Dakota had been awarded the Great Service Star.  The program is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Tourism to recognize South Dakota businesses that show exceptional customer service to guests, customers or visitors.  I am happy to inform you that St. Joseph’s Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center received the award.  Visit their Facebook page to congratulate them!

Have a great Thanksgiving! May the holidays bring many blessings to you and your loved ones!

Fr. J. 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.

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