St. Joseph’s Indian School Announces Powwow Royalty

St. Joseph’s Indian School is proud to present the 2023 Powwow Royalty. (Pictured left to right): Caden, Clarysia , Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ, Persais and Rylee.

The 47th Annual St. Joseph’s Indian School Wačhípi is September 16. Students have been hard at work practicing dance and drum group since their August 13 return to campus.

As is the tradition, a royalty competition set the event in motion on Wednesday, September 6. The evening opened with prayer led by Chaplain Greg Schill, SCJ, who acknowledged the competing students for their courage to participate. Next, the school’s drum group, Pahá Makȟásaŋ Lowáŋpi – the Chalk Hills Singers – performed the flag song. Three young women competed for Miss St. Joe’s, and nine for Junior Miss St. Joe’s. One young man presented himself for Eagle Staff Bearer. Contestants submitted written interview questions, introduced themselves in Lakota, demonstrated one dance and answered questions from staff judges.

This year’s Miss St. Joe’s is Clarysia, a traditional dancer, with runner-up Rylee, who has been a fancy dancer since the fourth grade. Clarysia is a senior in the school’s High School Program, and Rylee is in the eighth grade. This was Clarysia’s fifth time before the judges.

“I don’t give up on something I want until I get it. I want to be Miss St. Joe’s to show others to never give up on something you want,” she said.

Jr. Miss St. Joe’s goes to Persais, a sixth grader and fancy dancer with impressive footwork, who said, “I am myself when I speak Dakota.” Runner-up is classmate Jamisha, a jingle dancer. Eagle Staff Bearer is Caden, a sixth grader.

The crowd of students, teachers and houseparents enjoyed a moment of humor when Angel, a fourth-grade fancy dancer and competitor for Jr. Miss St. Joe’s, spoke frankly about her aspirations for winning the title. “I want to win first place at all the powwows and get prize money.”

The powwow is free and open to the public with handicap accessibility. For more information and a complete schedule of events, contact St. Joseph’s Indian School at 605-234-3313 or visit

If you cannot attend in person, follow postings and live updates virtually with St. Joseph’s Indian School on Facebook at In case of rain, the powwow moves to the Chamberlain Armory at 202 E Kellam Ave.

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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