St. Joseph's Indian School

Rating: 2.43 stars   30 reviews


1301 N. Main St PO Box 89 Chamberlain SD 57325 USA


St. Joseph's Indian School partners with Native American children and families to educate for life - mind, body, heart and spirit.

Target demographics:

Native American children and families

Direct beneficiaries per year:

220 Native American children

Geographic areas served:

South Dakota


Residential Care including Food and Clothing, Education, Counseling, Medical Care, College Scholarships

Write a Review
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info


Filter Reviews by Role

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on

Reviews for St. Joseph's Indian School

Rating: 3 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I am a recent donor to St. Joseph's Indian School, and plan to continue. has the information I need to feel comfortable about financially supporting the charity. If you spend a few minutes on the website, you will find the Annual Report, Strategic Plan, Donor Bill of Rights and Communication Preferences, where you can adjust how often you are contacted. It's always a good idea to research a charity before giving, no matter how heart-tugging the appeal may be. As it stands now, St. Joseph's Indian School meets my qualifications.

Flag review
Rating: 1 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

I visited the reservation's list of schools and couldn't find St. Joseph's Indian school. I also noticed that like the reservation in Fort Hall, Idaho, the Indians on the reservation have built a $20 million dollar casino recently. Because of the casino at Fort Hall, the Indians here have raised themselves out of poverty.
They also have raised their self images and can't begin to say how much difference that has made in their self esteem. They have also been able to build a great infrastructure on the reservation including new good schools. More and more of the same Indians are now persuing college degrees and some have become lawyers. The lawyers are now able to help the Indians at the reservation.
They no longer need to send their children off the reservation to schools. Therefore, I don't think we need to donate any money to St. Joseph's Indian School. Also, not being able to find out exactly what St. Joseph's is doing with the money sends up a HUGE reda flag.

Flag review
(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

St. Joseph's Indian School is located in Chamberlain, South Dakota. Our community is just south of both the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Reservations, but not within the borders of either reservation. All our students are Native American. You can review our financial information at

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I donate to this organization because these people so often get overlooked and they deserve every opportunity to succeed in life.

Flag review
Rating: 1 stars  

54 people found this review helpful

I was giving to this charity for several years then looked up it's financials.. I was giving so they could heat the school of 200 kids in the cold winter.. Then I looked at the financial statement.. They raise $67M a year and have $145M in the bank for 200 kids.. And they have Catholic priests run the place. God save them. THe foodbank that feeds everyone in my state doesn't have as much money. They are shameful.


Flag review
Rating: 1 stars  

47 people found this review helpful

this place is a huge scam. they do not care one bit about the money you send. my mother in law used to send these people money until we got ahold of her finances. i told them to stop sending me their ridculous info after seeing the expose about their kickbacks from the company that makes the crap they send. they told me they will keep me in their system for 3 months, even though i will not send them a dime. they know this and will not even try to stop this stuff from coming to me. if they do, they do not get their kickback
a complete joke of a charity
now they sold my info to another scam of a charity and they are sending me stuff!!! like i said, they care nothing about the school or kids, only the kickbacks for the crap they send.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

I've donated here for many years and while never a visitor there, I have asked friends to stop in and check them out. Universal praise for the children and persons they met there and the apparent good work they try to do. A skeptic as well, I've looked into these many "gifts" and courtesy phone calls. Apparently some organizations donate the gifts as their contribution in lieu of cash; other cover mailing and phone fees. Clearly from the School's follow-up activities, this is a very well-managed organization...far better than most others I've donated to. I wish they'd better conform to rated organizations (Charity Navigator's screens for example) but for my money, theirs is a worthwhile exempt charity to donate to.

Flag review
Rating: 3 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

I also have been receiving the "free gifts" asking for a donation - I have donated for several years but an skeptical. Seems as though I'm not the only one as I was thinking I was - not sure what to do - I don't need the gifts - save the money on printing all this stuff.

Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

58 people found this review helpful

I have been a donor to this organization for 15 years. It came to my attention when I visited the Akta Lakota Museum at the same location, passing through the school grounds on my way. I have made numerous visits since then. What I see on these visits are bright, healthy, happy children, learning in a safe and positive environment. It is clear to me that the school is doing a wonderful job.

Regarding some of the criticisms I see here, I'd like to make these comments:

1) I agree that they send way too many mailings. I wish they'd cut back.
2) Having said that, I think their overall expenditures are appropriate. I spent the largest part of my career (34 years) as a budget analyst and accountant for an educational institution. St. Joseph's expenses are well in line with what I'd expect to see.
3) One person remarked on the "threatening" tone of one solicitation. Having grown up next to a Reservation (Onandaga) in upstate New York, and having seen the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations myself, I can attest to poverty which must indeed have led to difficult circumstances for some of these students.
4) One post suggested that positive reviews must be concocted by people associated with the charity. I have no association other than being a donor, and never have had any association other than being a donor and a visitor.

All in all, I'm delighted to continue to support this fine organization.

Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

24 people found this review helpful

I have donated to this charity for years. Just yesterday, I received a very nice telephone call from the school thanking me for all the years I've supported them. I have never received and "gifts" or other such items from them. I believe they are an honest, worthwhile charity. They are helping children who would otherwise be left behind.

Flag review
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 2 stars  

46 people found this review helpful

Last year was the first year I received a letter with several 'free gifts" requesting a donation to the school. Having just been hospitalized, I was particularly cognizant of my resources. Our family gives alternate gifts: there a wheelchairs made from bicycles in India and Africa; students in this country in Youth Build getting a new start: completing a HS diploma or GED plus training apprenticeships in trades, nursing; Doctors Without Boarders and Heifer Project-each given in honor of a family member. I seriously considered St. Joseph's since I've been adopted into a Lakota Sioux family and am now Winyan Wasaka [strong woman], that is until a received a second letter from the chaplain which I sensed
to be unusually threatening because I had not responded to the initial letter. Further research revealed
what other persons about their accounting practices. I've chosen to give me limited resources to another Native American project this year.

Flag review