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.
The Sicangu Education Initiative is working to revitalize these principles of Lakota education within a modern context.
Our first project - Wakanyeja Tokeyahci Wounspe Tipi (Children First Learning Center) - is a language immersion Sicangu Lakota school opening doors in August of 2020.
Students will gain fluency in the Lakota language, while learning through principles and philosophies of Indigenous education. We believe that youth, and specifically SIcangu Lakota children living on the Rosebud Reservation, deserve a school created with their identities and success in mind.
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.