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St Labre Indian School

Rating: 3.31 stars   16 reviews 7,370

Nonprofit Issues:

Children & Youth, Education

Address:

PO Box 216 Ashland MT 59003 USA

Mission:

St. Labre Indian School, founded in 1884, was one of the first efforts to care for Native Americans who had been displaced as a result of homesteading. Today, St. Labre Indian School offers kindergarten through high school education for Crow and Northern Cheyenne children on three campuses. There is no tuition charged for any student to attend. The combined enrollment of all three campuses totals over 700 children.

Children who live more than 40 miles from our school stay in dormitories during the week. More than 1,000 meals are prepared each day including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We combine education, spirituality and Native American culture to educate the whole child.

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http://www.stlabre.org

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Reviews for St Labre Indian School

Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Don't believe everything you read on the internet, and don't jump to conclusions. These people appear to be doing significant work, of considerable social value. That's a guess; when I can, I would like to visit the place, and get some sense of the whole situation. What I think, on no hard evidence, is that a dysfunctional tribal group is trying to get their hands on as much money as possible. It seems fashionable to sue the Catholics these days, but I don't see anything actionable in what St. Labre is doing. The Northern Cheyenne are on a fishing expedition, seems like. They have little to lose, and plenty to gain.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

22 people found this review helpful

Yesterday I received a solicitation for donation from this organization. Having never heard of it I decided to investigate on Guidestar. No 990's have been filed so I reviewed their annual reports for 2012 and 2011. They spend approximately 50% of annual revenue on fundraising so 50 cents of every dollar one donates goes towards printing,paper,postage and gifts. After other expenses only a small % goes to help the 700 or so students! Stated another way fundraising costs over $35,000 per student. I'll send my money elsewhere.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

There is a lot of jealously among Native American tribes and internally with their members. A close relative taught on the Rez in NM, loved the kids and what she did, but hated the parental and tribal council infighting. She left after a couple years for the local public schools.

In the case of St. Labre, don't believe everything you read on the internet and remember anyone can sue anyone for anything. St. Labre did a better job of marketing their good works than some other tribes.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

This charity seems to do good work by all accounts. People seemed miffed at the gifts, but I am not sure why anyone would require a blanket or any other gift to donate to a charity anyway. Use SouthwestIndian.com if you just want stuff to order and still get a tax writeoff. The lawsuit by the tribe sounds absurd. If the tribe cared so much and did even 1/2 the job the school does to take care of these kids, there would never have been a need for this school, but they didn't, they don't, and as far as I can tell, they never will.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

INVESTIGATE this charity by using the great tool of the Internet...you may discover, it is a ruse and NOT a charity that benefits the Native American Indians it claims to help....but it DOES enrich the church and the people who are on salary at the "Charity." The tribes in question has SUED this charity AND the church, for reasons of using the Native People to make money...CHECK IT OUT!!! By the way...those "trade blankets" that are sent as promos to donors are made in china out of poly fleece...commissioned in factories in China by this "dubious charity." CHECK! INVESTIGATE!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

INVESTIGATE better options to insure that the Native People ARE benefiting from all the money donated by honest and charitable people who are being duped into giving to a dubious cause.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

My wife and I have never had a problem receiving gifts from this charity. Most of the time, we tell them not to send anything to us. No organization is perfect and things can "fall through the cracks". If a gift was not received, the person should have informed the charity before complaining about it.

We support this organization and believe in the work they are doing.

Mike & Ann Mills
Clearwater, FL

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

My mother gave a gift a few months ago. Her reward was to be a handcrafted blanket. She still checks the mail each weekday waiting for her "Gift". That seems a cruel joke to me. My family is of Irish and Cherokee descent. We donate to a cause we believed worthy and were jilted by those that should understand broken promises better than most!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Carefully mind my promises to donors.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

It's just about money for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. They've done little for themselves while St. Labre Indian School has educated their children and provided numerous employment opportunities over the last 50 years. They see an organization that's been successful and feel they are required to "give us" what we haven't earned ourselves.

Lawsuits are for the liberals, those that want what others have earned and to suck from their success due to their own failures. St. Labre and the Catholic Church owe nothing additional, in my opinion, to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe than what they've provided for years and continue to give.

You want something better? Go earn it!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is not my position to tell St. Labre Indian School how to run their organization. They seem to be doing one heck of a job - collecting money, educating Indian children and providing a solid base for further educational opportunities.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

27 people found this review helpful

I gave last year without much quesiton due to the Catholic connection --- But, just did some research today after receiving more solicitation.

With surprise I found:

March 12, 2005
Church, school sued by tribe
By JAN FALSTAD
Of The Gazette Staff

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe filed a lawsuit in Billings Friday against the Roman Catholic Church and the St. Labre Indian School Educational Association alleging that the school has used the tribe's "plight" and "financial need" to operate one of the most successful fund-raising enterprises in American history.

Today only a small percentage of students at St. Labre Mission are Northern Cheyenne, the lawsuit said, yet the school continues to raise money by marketing the tribe's poverty.

Northern Cheyenne President Eugene Little Coyote and the tribal council, which voted unanimously to authorize the lawsuit, allege that the school had "reaped enormous financial revenue and benefit" during the past 50 years.

"We're trying to make sure there is a more equitable distribution of the funds raised on the Northern Cheyenne reservation," Little Coyote said.

In just two of the past four years, St. Labre has reaped $57 million while poverty is rampant throughout the reservation, the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit filed in Yellowstone District Court was first considered in 1998.

Billings attorney Cliff Edwards and his law firm are representing the Northern Cheyenne. St. Labre officials could not be reached for comment late Friday.

"It is not known to the Northern Cheyenne where these tens - probably hundreds - of millions of dollars have gone," the lawsuit stated.

The tribe is demanding that St. Labre open its books for the past half century through "forensic accounting" and pay all compensatory and punitive damages due under Montana law.

Other charges against St. Labre and the Catholic Church include:

Trespassing on tribal lands

Not compensating the tribe for the school's "impressive buildings and facilities" just outside Ashland

Imposing church values and religion on the tribe

Using without permission "the faces, stories and symbols of the Northern Cheyenne"

St. Labre Mission School was started on the reservation in 1884 to educate and to help the Northern Cheyenne. The small mission school has grown into a 100-acre modern campus.

The school raised money through mass marketing. It built a factory at Ashland in the early 1960s where tribal members made plastic items, including Indian dolls and costume jewelry, which were sent to donors.

The lawsuit names The Roman Catholic Church, the Dioceses of Great Falls/Billings, St. Labre Indian School Educational Association and St. Labre Home for Indian Children and Youth.

Jan Falstad can be contacted at (406) 657-1306 or at jfalstad@billingsgazette.com

Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 2 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

we made a $20.00 gift to the school & in the mail a blanket not made by students but made in china 100% polyester?

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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