Tree recycling & service projects

Sunday, September 11, 2010

 After Mass I had brunch in the Speyer Home (6th-8th grade boys). The real Speyer home is being remodeled, and the guys are spending the year in the David Home, which was designed for 1st – 3rd grade girls. The quarters are smaller, but they’re adjusting OK. They’ll have far more memories about the activities that go on in the home than how the living space is arranged anyway.

Mark, one of the houseparent’s, is working with our drum group. He’s had a lot of enthusiastic newcomers turning out to learn Lakota drum songs. Such learning provides a good and strong connection to the students’ culture. 

 Some of our older Cottonwood trees in Wisdom Circle have become too big for our students’ safety and will have to be cut down. Mark and a group of the boys want to find the right sized trunk to build their own drum by hand. While we hate to see any tree on the Prairie come down, I admire how they’re making the most of the opportunity.
Each of our homes is required to do service projects during the year. Many homes do outreach to the elderly in town or nearby reservations. The Speyer Home is going to help build a new sweat lodge (inipi) and improve the grounds where the inipi is held, so that students can make use of it for many years to come.

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.

4 thoughts on “Tree recycling & service projects”

  1. dear Fr. Steve,

    It’s sad to hear about such a beautiful tree being cut down, but, at least it will still be a major part of the school grounds.

    So glad that the Tree will be used to keep the Lakota ways still alive. That drum will sound beautiful as the new inipi is being built and used.

    Good luck keeping the ways and the legends of the Lakota alive and well, way into the far future.

    Have fun with the new projects hope you take pictures and post them to the page. Can’t wait for that.

    God Bless you, the staff, the school and most of all the kids,

    Nancy & Kenny

  2. Kids are resilient, and learning to keep that is a good idea. Everything changes. Trees turn into drums with a little help ! It really sounds like those kids already have the idea.
    St. Josephs is not merely a school. It’s a living organism. It breathes and empowers. And it follows the road of Truth.
    As long as it does that, it will “live long and prosper”..’s “little trees” will reach out to the world and beyond ..with all of their beauty..
    Thank you, Father Steve, for believing.
    Mia and Bob

  3. What a beautiful image: a felled tree becoming a tribal drum, thus continuing the cultural heritage of the Lakota! Maybe some of the trees that have to come down can also be incorporated into the inipi.

    I love too Mia’s observation that St. Joseph’s is a living organism that breathes and empowers. Those finding love, shelter, nourishment and education there will branch out into the world and the ripples will spread far and wide. St. Joseph’s will bless the world far beyond Chamberlain, SD!

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