We envision that our children will stand with all that is Lakota, and 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. Wakanyeja Tokeyahci does this by focusing on Lakota Language Fluency, Academic Preparedness, Holistic Health, and Grounding in Lakota Identity. 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.
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.
Founder and Director
Sage D. Fast Dog Sr. is Sicangu (Burnt Thigh) under the Titunwan Oyate (Prairie Dwellers People) of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires). He was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, home of the Burnt Thigh people, also where he attended elementary school, secondary school, and graduate school. He is a graduate
Founder and Director
Sage D. Fast Dog Sr. is Sicangu (Burnt Thigh) under the Titunwan Oyate (Prairie Dwellers People) of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires). He was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, home of the Burnt Thigh people, also where he attended elementary school, secondary school, and graduate school. He is a graduate of St. Francis Indian School and completed undergraduate and graduate school at Sinte Gleska University, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and Lakota Studies, alongside a master’s degree in Education. He taught Lakota Studies at Todd County Middle School for 11 years, prior to applying for a fellowship with NISN in 2016. He successfully completed 13 years as an educator for Todd County School District and left the district in 2019 to become the first ever Director and Head of School for the Wakanyeja Ki Tokeyaci Lakota Immersion Elementary School Program, located on the Rosebud Reservation, and opening its doors in Fall of 2020. This school has always been a dream of his-- to be able to share the richness of the Lakota language, history and culture today with you; he is beyond excited! He is very active in the community and has most recently been elected by the people into a leadership role on the TCSD school board. Sage is a traditional dancer on the powwow trail and takes part in Lakota spiritual way of life along with his 4 children. He proudly shares his home with his wife in Mission, S.D.
Hello, my name is Shanice Nez. I am the Kindergarten Educator for the Wakanyeja Ki Tokeyahci School. I went to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska for four years for Biological Science. I am continuing my education at Sinte Gleska University. As I found opportunities to volunteer with Indigenous youth in the Omaha area, I fo
Hello, my name is Shanice Nez. I am the Kindergarten Educator for the Wakanyeja Ki Tokeyahci School. I went to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska for four years for Biological Science. I am continuing my education at Sinte Gleska University. As I found opportunities to volunteer with Indigenous youth in the Omaha area, I found a passion in teaching and mentorship. I have been teaching in Early Childhood Education for three years now. I have loved every year, even more as I’ve grown into my role as a teacher. My teaching philosophy is to create an excellent learning environment by fostering positivity, creating a safe and inclusive space, fostering identity and culture, and allowing students to explore their creativity in fun and engaging activities.
As a fun activity, Wakanyeja Tokeyahci kinders created their own Wagleksuŋ for their fridge at home.
Here is how we are encouraging the students to show wóohitike in school by counting on their own!
An introductory video from our new staff member, Jackie!
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.
Wakanyeja Tokeyahci prioritizes the health of our students and staff. We will be monitoring the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for re-opening as well at those put forth by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Click below to visit the CDC's site, and stay updated on procedures through our Facebook and blog.