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St Labre Indian School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

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.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Since 2010, I have donated to several Native American organizations, ones I believe are worthy of, and good stewards of, my financial assistance. But I am sure that some of those organizations have sold my name and address to other groups, such as St. Labre Indian School. While some of those groups may solicit donations once in awhile, St. Labre is relentless in constantly sending me requests, bordering on harassment. Many times I have sent back the request, asking to be removed from their list. But that does not work - I still get the requests. Since March 2016, when I started keeping track, I have received St. Labre mailings on 3/7/16, 6/1/16, 6/21/16, 7/5/16, 10/15/16, 11/15/16, 12/13/16, 2/25/17, 3/15/17, 4/5/17, 5/4/17 and today (5/17/17). I wonder why they waste their donors' money, sending out these constant requests. I have let the school know I have no intention of ever sending them a donation. Maybe they do good work, but all these mailings leave a very bad taste in my mouth. I gave one star, but really, they deserve no stars.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

My wife initially was moved by what appeared to be "thank you" letters on elementary ruled paper and crayola crayon art. We realized these letters are manufactured and the surprise they weren't hand done made me suspicious. I started doing some research, and Give.org by the BBB says this charity has refused it's attempts to verify it's legitimacy. I was puzzled by the obvious amount and quality of the school's advertising dollars and wanted to know we are giving to a cause, not a for profit organization. I feel they should comply with Give.org to validate themselves, before we continue donations. There are MANY charities in need, so I feel due diligence is not unreasonable.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My father had dementia and they were one of many that sent multiple solicitations and he responded with multiple checks. He moved to a memory care facility and they insisted I send a copy of my POA to verify. They were not protecting donors, only their opportunity to solicit the vulnerable elderly with dementia. Every other charity I contacted offered sympathy for my father's dementia and gladly removed him from their list, but not this one. Now I stuff their mailings back in their business reply envelopes with the request to remove him. Let them pay twice for the mailings if they don't want to honor a simple request. Two years have passed, I still get the mailings and now my father is deceased. I made one last attempt to get him off the list so I don't get these reminders in the mail. I fully expect them to ask for a copy of the death certificate now.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have been living here in Ashland for 16 years and I am an immigrant from Philippines. I have seen, how St. Labre cater to the needs of the Cheyenne and Crow kids wonderfully. St. Labre provides good education and provides healthy meals breakfast and lunch and snacks for the students. Besides that, St. Labre provides jobs to the Native Americans. They built a beautiful dormitory for the kids that live so far away from school. They assure that the environment is drug and alcohol free! They have great teachers and staff.

It's not fair to rate or judge this school according to the news you are reading or hearing from someone's sayings/stories. If you like, you need to come here and see it for yourself as the other donors did. I met some donors that came here and my husband and I thanked them for helping St. Labre. Lots of teachers and staff are came from out-of-state. Some said, that they would like to stay or work for the school for just a year or two, but lots of them end up staying for years and bought house close by to continue their mission as teachers/staff for the Native American kids.. The proof to it is my husband, taught here for 17 years and now he is the campus ministry coordinator. He loves teaching/working at St. Labre. In fact, he can go to the big universities/colleges and enjoy big salaries but we chose to live here. We love it here at St. Labre and our kids loving this school. I don't work at St. Labre but this mission school is doing a good job of not wasting your money that you donate for the Native American kids. Thank you so much for your donations. Every dollar that you donate will go towards for shaping the future of the Native American kids. Also, preserving the Cheyenne and Crow heritage/culture/customs/traditions.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating a small amount to St Labre for years and realize that they must raise money to run the school. Education is so important whether it be for Indian children or any other. Our country is currently going to the dogs and we need educated citizens to run our great country. Those children at St Labre may be the ones to get us back on track.

20 Vanessa38

Donor

Rating: 1

My in-laws have been giving to this charity for years, and receiving fleece blankets with 'tribal' prints as thank-you gifts. Do not give to them! They have been sued by the tribe, as only a few Northern Cheyenne children attend the school, and it is marketed as being 100% N. Cheyenne. It's really just a rich private school that solicits donations using false pretenses. Do your homework!

8

Donor

Rating: 5

The major objections I read here, have to do with the expenditure of 50% of their budget for fund-raising. Now, there are a number of schools with similar missions, who serve less people, are constantly financially strapped and consequently can't do the job St. Labre does. Few people have heard of these schools, and fewer still support them. St. Labre may spend a lot of money fund-raising, but it looks to me that they are raising two dollars for every one they spend. Yes, it would be nice if they could spend less, but common sense tells me that if they spent less, they would likely raise less. I am greatly impressed with their success with graduating students, and how many go on for higher learning. So I don't care how much they spend to raise the money to do this. What is important to me is they seem to be succeeding very well in their mission. I am happy to increase my donation now.

27 Michael407

Donor

Rating: 1

I, too, have received numerous solicitations for this outfit. At first, many years ago, I was tugged by the heartstrings to donate because of the charity and what it is doing; however, when someone suggested Charity Navigator as a good site to check with before donating any money to any charity, I did so with these folks. too much wasted money on fundraising and "administrative" money goes out and not nearly enough to the charity itself. If you go to GOOGLE and type in the name - St. Labre Indian School - you'll see that it no longer is rated because it "cannot qualify and prove some information and, it does not (or is not available) IRS forms 900's to verify its activities. Now, I just throw away the wasteful mailing that I know I have repeatedly asked to be taken off the mailing list.
I will not donate to this charity.

44

Donor

Rating: 4

I have read both positive and negative reviews, but my experience has been all good. I donated money and received my blanket...which was never promised to be handmade...right away. Then I received a student-written thank you note for my gift and photos of the children. After that, I received a card which played "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" sung by the children when opened. The response of thank yous impressed me and demonstrates the values taught at the school.

I read a review written by a reporter about how one tribe had sued the Catholic Church and Diocese because they feel the school is exploiting the Cheyenne tribe who are not benefiting enough from the school. I am not donating to a tribe, I am donating to a school who is spreading the values of Catholicism. If a person donates to a school, then he or she needs to realize, unless the donor explicitly states what the money is to be used for, the school can use its own discretion. 700 students are getting a free education and three meals a day. That is what I am donating toward.

53

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been donating to St. Labre since 1985. My parents long before that. We usually go to the school every summer and this last year went to their ranch. What a great place!! We have had some very interesting talks about St Labre's educational opportunities with Curtis and the staff, for students, especially the cultural experiences they receive. I know that the fund raising goes directly to support the school. I'm a little confused as to why the Cheyenne Indian Nation thinks they should share in the monies donated to the school. After all the money is to educate the Cheyenne and Crow students. The educational opportunities are excellent and the resulting statistics surpass ordinary public school high school and college graduation rates for peers. Our family will continue to support this school and other Native Schools.

33

Donor

Rating: 1

In the early 1970s, I donated to St. Labre each month and at the time 90% of the money went to the charity. I just got the first solicitation in years and was going to donate, but not after reading all these reviews.

24 Claudia32

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My mother has dementia and receives loads of solicitations from this charity. Six months ago I placed her name on the "Do Not Mail" list and yet, they are still mailing her. Former reviewers have indicated that they spend half of their revenue on advertising. I believe it.

82

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My father has dementia and is now living in an assisted living facility. While he still lived at home he sent hundreds of dollars to various charities and sweepstakes. I have now assumed responsibility of handling his finances and mail. St Labre is the only charity so far that is unwilling to stop mailing the frequent requests without my providing the copy of my Power of Attorney. Strikes me more as an attempt to protect their ability to bleed seniors dry.

Review from Guidestar

115

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a sad commentary of Native American heritage. 1st no one should give in hopes of receiving anything; and should the school insist in doing so - than how about true Indian art work that is bought and purchased from the tribal peoples. I do have a problem when 50% of contributions are for marketing in any charity - Its about the Children, and I honestly believe that people are willing to give for the sake of giving (everyone wants to make a difference but no one wants to be exploited nor do they want the purpose of their gift exploited). Even an adoptive program for each child with several donors (receiving semi-annual updates on the child's progress while preserving the child's name is worth considering. I hope that all donations are kept local and within the school - none going to the Catholic Church; I do not support religious organization, but do support them when they keep God's mandate :"True religion is the care of the widow and the fatherless child". And this is all charities. It is easy to say that I will not give my donation because 50% will go to jobs in China and obscene gestures of abject poverty to tear jerk a donation. This is proud Nations of Native Americans (the only true Americans without benefit of law). I send my donation that they can be successful in a changing world and maintain their proud traditional heritage at the same time. I will continue to donate at this time and pray God that you change your marketing methods to bring that figure closer to 10% or less. One fully realizes that teachers and staff cost money and should be included in the cost of educating and schooling children as well as bills relating to building maintenance and grounds up keep and that should be that 90% inclusion. It is obscene that 50% of contributions is going into a toilet or Neverland. I'm sorry to hear of the Tribes lawsuit against the school and I hope that some lease agreement can be reached on the lands and/or some involvement with the tribes that they can clearly understand that the future economic benefit that a well ran and highly educating school can provide in the long term for the future of their peoples and especially their children. Educate them to the fact that I already pay taxes into a dead beat public school system. I'd rather donate my money to them through your school. I also donate to ST Joseph Indian School as well. I'm not into "well this Indian tribe is more worthy than that one", tell them to shove that crap. It's about the children and their future, not about past hatreds-divisions-derisions. It's about moving on and forward.

66

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

139

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

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.

67 Harry M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.

73

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

91

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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!

48

Donor

Rating: 5

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