Our Lakota (Sioux) youth had so much fun making this cross with their hands.

Lakota (Sioux) students at
St. Joseph's Indian School.

Lakota (Sioux) children fill our school's 20 homes. Unfortunately, over 100 other American Indian youth are on our waiting list.

To be admitted, children must be of Native American heritage, and be in grades one through 12.

A typical new child in need has the following characteristics:

  • 22% come from the Lower Brule Reservation, 20% from Rosebud Indian Reservation and 15% from both Crow Creek Indian Reservation and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
  • American Indian children at St. Joseph's Indian School come from very poor families. The median family income on the Crow Creek Reservation is $13,750 and $20,449 on Pine Ridge.
  • 48% of St. Joseph's children are Catholic and 24% are Episcopal.
  • Suicide is an epidemic for Native American youth. In fact, Native Americans are committing suicide at a rate three times the national average for their age group.
  • Native American children's exposure to drug and alcohol abuse and gang activity is increasing. These and other problems are permeating the reservation, destroying homes and draining funds for needed programs.

Diane Sawyer and ABC's 2020 completed a year-long report on reservation living. The program shed some light on the everyday challenges our Lakota boys and girls experience. Watch the video, Hidden America — Children of the Plains now.

But there is hope ... since 1927, St. Joseph’s Indian School has been working with the youngest Native American victims to bring them loving care, a well-rounded education and the hope they need to break free from the misery surrounding them.