Helping Lakota students celebrate their culture is a main goal at St. Joseph's Indian School.
In addition to our annual powwow and Native American Studies classes for all students, murals depicting tribal flags have been created and are mounted on the walls of St. Joseph’s Dining Hall.
“The project began with the idea of providing students with visual connections to their tribal identity,” said John, who worked with a team of student volunteers to design and paint the murals.
“The tipi is a common symbol that identifies the Tetonwan, or People of the Plains. The new artwork is a great compliment to the eagle mural on the north wall, painted by Brother Cletus in the late 1970’s.”
The flag designs were adapted to a large tipi shape and include the seven tribes St. Joseph’s students belong to. In addition, an eighth flag depicts the St. Joseph's Indian School logo.
In Lakota traditions, the birds, or winged-ones, have always served as messengers.
The wanbli - eagle - is considered a sacred messenger that carries prayers to and brings blessings from the Creator. As a result, the eagle has become the traditional symbol of the Great Spirit.
Together, the eagle and tipi murals represent the presence of the Great Spirit among the people of the Plains and St. Joseph's Indian School.