For generations, Lakota people had a strong education system that effectively conveyed practical skills and knowledge, shared cultural values, and instilled a sense of self-worth and identity. The Sicangu Education Initiative is working to revitalize these principles of Lakota education within a modern context.
Wakanyeja kin lakol inajin heca nake nula waun welo.
Our vision is that our children will stand with everything Lakota, and will be prepared to take on anything.
As Lakota, we believe we are all related and it is our duty to make the world better for future generations.
By contextualizing education through a Sicangu Lakota lens and utilizing project based learning techniques and individualized plans, we will create an educational system that works for our students and our community.
Wakanyeja Tokeyahci does this by focusing on Lakota Language Fluency, Academic Preparedness, Holistic Health, and Grounding in Lakota Identity.
-- Individualized Student Learning
-- Project based learning in a cultural context
-- Emphasis on critical thinking & problem solving
-- Whole family engagement & support
We center these four parts together around wot̄akuye, the Lak̇ot̄a concept of kinship and interrelatedness. By bringing these parts together, we provide our students a transformative educational experience.
They stand for everything Lak̇ot̄a.
They will be academically prepared to succeed in school, career and life.
They will be healthy and know how to lead.
They will be fluent in the ways and language of the Lak̇ot̄a people.
They will be secure in their identity.
They will be the future builders of a prosperous Lak̇ot̄a nation.
Student experience alone, however, is not enough to achieve our vision. We see ourselves serving a whole school community. Not just students, but also relatives and staff at all levels of implementation will engage in a learning and growth process drawing on these four areas as well as regularly contributing to the evaluation of our school’s progress. By successfully involving our whole community, our students, families and staff will learn to be healthy community leaders with the potential for self-actualization.
Wakanyeja Tokeyahci Wounspe Tipi (Children First Learning Center) launched in August of 2020.
Rosebud Sioux Tribe's Childcare program mapped the Rosebud Sioux reservation's fluent speakers. They identified 500 speakers at the age of 70 and above, 2 under the age of 30, and 0 under the age of 18. If younger generations do not preserve the Lakota language, it will be extinct within 10 years. Schools such as Wakanyeja Tokeyahci are instrumental in preserving our Lakota language.
Wakanyeja Tokeyahci has entered a two year space sharing agreement with the Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud to use their Mission, SD facility. WT will have access to a large classroom space, a certified commercial grade kitchen, a large gym, a multimedia space and a library room.
By co-locating with the Boys and Girls Club, students of WT will have access to excellent and affordable after-school programming, right in the same facility.
When fully implemented, our school will serve 72 students from kindergarten to the fifth grade, beginning in fall 2020 with our first kindergarten class and growing one grade per year until 2025.
Kindergarten Educator Shanice Nez gives us some quick tips on how to practice reading in Lakota.
Head of School, Sage Fast Dog, leads Wakanyeja Tokeyahci kindergarteners in a Lakota language read-aloud about different parts of cars.
Kindergarten Educator Shanice Nez tells us about how the second week of classes is going.