Native American Career Day at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Native American youth listen to local nurse.
The kids learned so much at the Native American Career Day!

This afternoon the school hosted a Native American Career Day. Six different guests set up tables where a small group of students had time to ask questions and learn about their life and career. Two of the presenters were St. Joseph alumni. Nancy is the manager of the Subway restaurant here in town. Paul works at the Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. It’s important for our Native American students to see those who have been in their shoes going off and taking on responsibilities like that.  They also met a nurse from Indian Health Services on the nearby Crow Creek Indian Reservation, the director of the technical school in the Sisseton, South Dakota area, and a tribal drug and alcohol prevention coordinator. The ambulance crew was also scheduled to present but, just before the day got started, they got called out for an emergency.

After school the whole student body and staff gathered in the Rec Center for our end of the year farewells to Child Service Staff who won’t be returning next year.

  • Kim taught here for 4 years, and will be moving to a different school.
  • Christine has been a houseparent for 5 years, and will be going home to New York to spend more time with her children and grandchildren.
  • After 10 years of houseparenting and teaching Religion, Richard will be retiring.
  • Chris has been a houseparent for 22 years, and will be going back to his native Oklahoma to continue his career in residential child care. He got up and reflected on his years here. “ Working with you kids here at St. Joseph’s all these years taught me how to be a good father to my own children.”

After 35 years in the school, Vaye Jean is retiring. She definitely enjoys being with our young people and will be back to sub frequently. But she does look forward to the freedom that comes with not having to come in to work every day when there are other family things you would like to do.

All of our honorees were given fitting presents. For their longevity, Chris and Vaye jean were honored by being given star quilts which were draped around their shoulders. There were few dry eyes in the gym when all was said and done. Every year we say goodbye to some great people. Every year we also have some new folks who join us with new ideas and energy.