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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Special Education

Mission: 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

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

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been following and donating to the Saint Joseph Indian School for many years. In an imperfect world, I have come to admire the work they do. A couple of years ago I was able to make the long trip out to the annual Pow Wow and that solidified my belief in Saint Josephs. Seeing the children and their families in a traditional environment was an amazing experience for me, but that is not the important thing. What I found most amazing was the link between the application of what IS today's world, with that of the Lakota history and spirituality. It made my heart feel good to witness it. The downside is that, to me, the Lakota seeme like a People that are both here and gone t the same time. They live in a world that IS because they must physically, but at the same time they are not present, but are in a remote spiritual world that is no more.....And we, collectively must bear the responsibility for that.
As to the campus, it was wonderful, modern and clean. The dormitories are designed as little mini Lakota villages and the children have enough room to do their work and still have some privacy. The school buildings, gym and fields are all excellent too. The best part of the campus though are the lakota structures. There is a medicine Wheel , a ring of giant oak tree, a sweat lodge and a magnificently designed Chapel of Our lady of the Sioux, including all carved wood statues, crucifix etc in a warm welcoming setting. Again, and not to go on and on, but I feel like I got more than I gave in my Saint Josephs experience. I will return again some day and hopefully be ablee to give of my time. The Lakota deserve at least that.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a program that works within the community that it respects and serves. I am very confident that my support is used to actually improve the lives of the children and to provide them the opportunity to succeed, grow and become all that they can be. The smiles on the faces and the stories the children share let me know that they are doing well. My mom was a semi orphan raised in an Irish convent school in the early part of the last century. She would have been so happy to have the love and care that this program provides.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 05/19/2017

Wopila tanka - many thanks - for your support! Appreciation of the children's cultural heritage is infused in our daily routine both at school and in the homes. St. Joseph’s Native American Studies classes focus on Lakota language, culture and traditions. We have cultural experts on staff and also regularly invite Lakota (Sioux) elders and advisors to assist with ceremonies like Inipi, a purification rite, on campus. St. Joseph's also operates outreach programs on three reservations. We have a shelter for battered women, provide counseling services, run soup kitchens, maintain and run thrift stores and other service programs to help the Native American people.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

as a person with mixed blood (my mothers people are Iriquois) it is VERY IMPORTANT not to let heritage die. the priests and teachers at the school are for the children and their families. and KEEPING the way of life for all to remember through heritage. i wish we had someone to care about our heritage as eastern indians like the lakota have. keep up the good work. elizabeth

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 05/17/2017

Preserving and sharing the Lakota (Sioux) culture is a core part of our mission at St. Joseph's Indian School. Thank you for your comments and support!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have not been able to visit St. Joseph's School but donate an amount of my small funds to this mission because of what I view as excellent organization, a well-trained and dedicated staff, and the unfeigned happy, shining, healthy faces of the children in the regular pictures sent to me. when I think of the difficult circumstances of the Native American lives in our country, especially on the arid lands of the reservations where they were forced to live so long ago, I want to do my part, no matter how small, to help this mission move forward. I am grateful to the Director and staff of St. Joseph's who work so lovingly to change the present and future of such beautiful, precious children!

Comments ( 2 )

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stjo1927 05/17/2017

Thank you for your wonderful words and support! You truly do make a difference in the lives of the Lakota Sioux boys and girls. Please visit our website for pictures and updates as well! http://www.stjo.org

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stjo1927 05/18/2017

The Lakota (Sioux) children are blessed by your friendship. Your gift makes a positive difference in the lives of Native American youth and families because of you, we can provide boys and girls with vital services for future growth and success. Your help ensure we can continue caring for the American Indian children in need.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

It is an honour and privilege - in a very small way - to be a part of St. Joseph's Indian School these past years. Both in my study and on my refrigerator, are some very lovely drawings that I receive and pictures, especially of graduations, which are placed alongside those of my grandchildren. God bless all at St. Joseph's, the cared-for and the caregivers. Peace and Blessings.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 05/16/2017

Thank you for your kind words and support. We are truly grateful for the blessings you share with the Lakota children. Donors like you are so important to the work we do at St. Joseph's.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The monies donated to St. Joseph's Indian School give the Native American Children an Education, Food, Clothing and Shelter, in a POSITIVE Environment. These young Lakota (Sioux) young people are taught their heritage, language, respect to their Elders and the Teachers, and they graduate to be wonderful citizens within this Country and within the Reservations. What a wonderful experience to meet such wonderful young people and their teachers and the administrative staff. St. Joseph's Indian School do more for the betterment of these young people, than what the politicians and bureaucrats of Washington, D.C. do for this country.
Skennenkowa (Mohawk Language: May You Have Great Peace)
Rev. Dr. Ronald L. "Chief Grey Eagle" Sims
Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Christ Jesus and Holy Man Chief.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I carefully choose a charity "of the year " to support based on our interests and the way funds are put to use (majority going to those in need ). After careful research we felt St. Joseph's fit the bill perfectly!

Native Americans, especially children, are a largely ignored group and St. Joseph's provides a wide array of services such as food, clothing, housing, schooling,etc. and has been doing so for many years. We will continue to support their work and encourage others to do so as well.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

St. Joseph's Indian School is providing much needed services for the children in their care. I have not visited the school (I live in Florida) but believe in its mission. A friend of mine who is 1/2 American Indian pointed me to this charity. I have been a monthly donor since then.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I have many, many years of expertise working with non-profit entities. Sadly, there are so many, with so little money to go round. Still, those who seek help need it, and where else can they go for it? These children are being given a chance, truly, to learn how to succeed and survive in life. Each donation helps keep them on a path of success. They need the help of teachers, counselors, volunteers, whatever it takes to give them the will, to accept the challenge, with support, every step of the way, until total success is achieved. These are children, the future leaders. If they are up for the rigorous challenges that face them, willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the benefits of all the services, how can we not help? Believe me, they will grow up with a sense of pride that they will carry on throughout their adult lives and will pass it on to others. This is a wonderful legacy to each other in life. I give what I can, for it is not the amount that matters, it is the fact that I do so, knowing the powerful outcome it will make.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Give a child a chance to have every opportunity to have a fair chance in life by contributing to this fine school.