Second Wičhóni Wašte Day Builds Connections for Students at St. Joseph’s

Kim, St. Joseph’s Religion Studies teacher, sets the stage for the day of reflection as freshmen and sophomores look on.

This October provided the opportunity for 19 freshmen and sophomore students at St. Joseph’s Indian School to explore life’s peaks and valleys through critical reflection on their purpose in life on the undulating terrain of the Badlands. The goal of the Wičhóni Wašte (Good Life) Retreat, now in its second year, was a day of community, culture and relationship building.

Joe, Mission Integration Director, and Kim, Religious Studies teacher, accompanied the group.

On arrival, freshman Mario Bernie said, “This is such a beautiful view.” Asked what he saw looking toward the Badlands, classmate Paul Luedke commented, “I see the history of my people.”

Sophomore Earl DeNoyer noted, “I never got these opportunities at my old school. This is awesome that we can get this experience.”

After consulting with Mount Marty University and the University of Notre Dame regarding similar experiences those schools provide, St. Joseph’s developed the retreat a year ago in response to student feedback. The first semester of a high school year can be difficult, and the day is meant to provide perspective.

To learn more about the Lakota culture and how it is incorporated into life at St. Joseph’s Indian School, visit

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.

One thought on “Second Wičhóni Wašte Day Builds Connections for Students at St. Joseph’s”

  1. It is quite remarkable and refreshing what is going on up there at St joseph’s. It would be wonderful if the rest of the country were run like this. We most definitely would not be in the mess we are in now in this country. You are definitely on the right path, keeping the children immersed in their heritage, a healthy lifestyle and staying connected with their spiritual and ethnic roots.

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