Good morning from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

The Lakota students at St. Joseph’s take swimming lessons.

All St. Joseph’s students learn to swim so they can have fun and be safe in the water.

A fall crispness is in the air and the trees continue to decorate themselves – it is a great time of year to live in South Dakota!

In addition to football, volleyball and cross country, St. Joseph’s first graders are learning how to swim so they can fully appreciate our pool. During the harsh South Dakota winter, swimming is one of the main activities for the Lakota students – we want to keep them active when it’s not nice enough to play outside.

It is certainly a lot of fun, but it’s important for them to learn how to swim so they can be safe in the water wherever they are.

The Explorers, a community-focused group of junior high students from the Chamberlain area, gathered recently to elect their officers for this year. Two St. Joseph’s students were elected to office — Ben won the race for Secretary and Joe won the Treasurer position.  These young men do a variety of fundraisers to help the community.

They have raised several thousand dollars over the years to aid local citizens who need a helping hand, help with the up-keep of local baseball fields and build the fishing pier at American Creek.

The Lakota students have lots of opportunities to participate in different activities at St. Joseph’s, both on campus and in the community.

St. Joseph’s junior high boys are part of Explorers. Joe and Ben, on the right side of the front row, are Treasurer and Secretary.

There’s also an educational component to the group. Later in the year, they will make a visit to the State Capital in Pierre to see how our government functions.

As the month of September ends, we would again like to thank all those who came to our powwow.  It was an honor to have so many friends visit!  The prayer requests made by those who visited Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel have been passed on to our students and we are praying for your intentions.

May God continue to bless you with good health, much happiness and reward you for your generosity toward the Native American students attending St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s fifth graders recently completed a week-long science class called Starbase Project NOVA. The week culminated with a field trip to the South Dakota Air and Space

Brock, St. Joseph's fifth grade teacher

Brock, St. Joseph’s fifth grade teacher

Museum located next to Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City. Maybe you saw our pictures on the St. Joseph’s Indian School Facebook page?

During the week, the Lakota (Sioux) students learned about science, technology, engineering, and math – all through hands-on activities and experiments. They loved it!

Some of the activities were designing a space shuttle seat for Eggbert, their passenger, to allow him to safely land on his return trip from outer space. In this activity, they also learned about the importance of wearing seat belts while traveling.

The Lakota students conducted experiments that helped them learn about math, science, technology and engineering.

Students programmed a small robot to go through an obstacle course.

They also built miniature rockets made out of straws, pieces of notes cards used for wings, and clay for the nose tip. Their objective was to use a special launcher to try to land their rocket on a specific target. If their first launch wasn’t successful, they were given opportunities to make modifications to their launch to try to reach their desired target.

A chromatography experiment using different black markers asked students to determine which marker was used to write a special note.

St. Joseph’s fifth graders learned about chemical reactions during an experiment called Elephant Toothpaste.

Elephant toothpaste!

They even programmed robots to maneuver through an obstacle course.

A favorite activity of many was creating “elephant toothpaste.” In this experiment, students mixed several ingredients to create a chemical change resulting in the “elephant toothpaste.”

On their field trip, they were able to take a guided tour of the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, make space food (pudding) using powdered ingredients and take a virtual tour of outer space in the GeoDome.

St. Joseph’s 5th graders really enjoyed the week. Some of their comments about Starbase were, “it was awesome,” and “we got to do some really neat experiments.”

Brock, Fifth Grade Teacher

Happy first day of autumn!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

The trees are beginning to change color in South Dakota; the sun is not up as early and is going down earlier each night. Mornings and evenings are much cooler than they have been.

With autumn comes football, and it is homecoming week at Chamberlain High School! Football players are busy preparing for their game on Friday night; tonight Homecoming Royalty will be crowned.  One of our high school students, Shawn, has been nominated for king. Maddy, a candidate for queen, is also part of our St. Joseph’s Indian School family – her father Mike is St. Joseph’s Director. You might remember that last year we were in a similar situation. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated!

St. Joseph’s volleyball teams are working hard to prepare for their upcoming games.

In their first home game, St. Joseph’s volleyball team swept their opponents – Go Braves!

Last week St. Joseph’s girls’ volleyball teams got into action. They hosted Todd County’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams and swept all nine games! Everyone was excited about the victory, but the girls know they need to keep working hard as they get ready to play some tough teams in the coming weeks.

The St. Joseph’s Braves seventh and eighth grade football team will have their home opener tomorrow night. Go Braves!

Football season is underway for the St. Joseph’s Braves.

The St. Joseph’s Braves seventh and eighth grade football team will have their home opener tomorrow night.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and take the time to see the beauty of creation all around you as Mother Earth begins to

brighten things up with the changing of leaves and cooler temperatures.

May God continue to bless you for your generosity towards the Lakota children at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  We greatly appreciate your support, prayers and concern!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Once powwow is over, most look to take it easy for a day or two, but St. Joseph’s fifth graders are off and running this week with Starbase!

St. Joseph’s fifth graders participate in the Eggbert experiment.

Space shuttles zip down the line with fragile cargo in the Eggbert experiment.

The program combines science, technology, engineering and math to deal with various problems and challenges.

Monday the students conducted the ‘Eggbert Launch.’ After devising ways to protect an egg strapped into the model space shuttles they were given, the shuttles were launched down a wire into a head-on collision.

The Lakota students came up with some unique ways to protect the eggs as they slid to their fate, but only one survived completely. Taps were played over four of them, two were deemed to have survived but needed a trip to the egg hospital.

Tomorrow, the class will make a trip to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base, get hands-on with space food and view constellations in the dome from the Journey Center.

One egg survived the Eggbert experiment when St. Joseph’s fifth graders participated in Starbase.

Nateela, LaShawn and Barrett devised a way to keep their egg from cracking in a head-on collision as part of the Eggbert experiment!

In all the excitement of powwow on St. Joseph’s campus this weekend, our 2014 seniors are experiencing a whole new kind of excitement: the next chapter!

Mike and his wife April have been houseparents at St. Joseph’s Indian School for six years.

The Sheehy Home, including houseparent Mike, Errol, Cody and Wyatt.

They have taken their next step in their lives, whether to college, technical school or something else.

Mike, one of St. Joseph’s houseparents, had the privilege of taking one of the boys to college:

My wife and I have been houseparent’s at St. Joseph’s for six years now. Our first two years were in the 6th-8th grade community. The last four were in the high school program.

One student, Errol, has been in our homes for all six years. Watching him become the young man he is has been a privilege. He graduated with honors as member of the National Honor Society.

In July I received a call asking if I would be willing to drive him to the University of South Dakota so he could register for his classes and finalize all the paper work. I quickly agreed and counted it as another privilege.

On our way back to his house that day I asked him what his plans were for getting to school in August. He smiled and said, “Well, I was hoping you would take me.”

I was glad to help and we made plans for the move-in day. When August arrived, another one of my graduates, Cody, was playing basketball with my home in the gym. Cody would be leaving for South Dakota State two days later. I told him I was going to pick up Errol and take him to college the next day and asked if he wanted to ride with me. He said sure he would like to go.

The next day, most of the ride they debated which school was better and why the other one should transfer. Once we arrived at Errol’s new home for the next four years, we were happy to see Errol’s roommate, Wyatt, was also moving in. Wyatt is also a graduate from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Errol, Wyatt and Cody lived in the same home during their high school years at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Errol, Wyatt and Cody on move-in day!

Of course they were laughing about how they were going to fit everything into such a small dorm room and they realized their rooms at St. Joseph’s were much bigger, not to mention they had air condition and the dorm room doesn’t. Once settled, in Errol ask if we could drop him off at the Native American Center for his orientation class. We pulled up in front and I was expecting to say our goodbyes, but Errol and Cody both got out and went inside…

I had to circle the block and find a parking spot.

When I went inside the meeting had already started, so I motioned for Cody to come with me and waved bye to Errol. Errol waved back and said thank you.

As Cody and I started out the door towards the car he said “What about Errol?”

“He is staying here,” I answered.

“We are leaving him?” Cody asked.

I said yes.

Cody asked again, very thoughtfully, “We are leaving him here all alone?”

“Yes Cody,” I replied. “We are leaving him here all alone. He’s in college now, buddy.”

After a moment’s thoughtful silence, Cody said “I can’t believe we are leaving him here all alone.”

I reached up and put my hand on Cody’s 6’4’’ 290lb. back, and reminded him that in two days his mother would drive him to South Dakota State University and watch as he moved in to his dorm room.

“Then,” I said with a quiet voice, “she will then leave you there. And you’ll be in college too.”

We rode in silence for a few miles, not entirely sure where the most sniffles were coming from. After a few minutes, Cody broke the silence.

“We will always have St. Joseph’s.”

Mike F

Sheehy Home houseparent

Greetings from South Dakota and happy powwow week!

The Lakota boys and girls waited a month, but St. Joseph’s new playground is finally done!

Shouts of joy erupted from the playground when the Lakota students finally got to play on the new equipment!

The BIG news today is the blessing of the new playground equipment! Students and staff came out during their first period yesterday morning so we could offer a prayer and express our gratitude to our tiyospayeextended family – who made it all possible. There was a lot of excitement and glee as they slid, climbed, swung and checked out everything.

As one staffer put it:

The kids finally got to play on our new playground! They have been waiting for a month and were incredibly patient. Today it was awesome to witness them experience it for the first time. Yep, all 164 kids at once – priceless!!!!!! If only everyone could have heard the joy that erupted from St. Joseph’s this morning…we are truly blessed!!!!!!!

Pilamaya thank you – for your generosity!

And in the midst of this excitement, powwow week is upon us!

Last week we began the process to determine our royalty for the powwow.  The students taking part had to write a short essay about why they wanted to be Miss St. Joseph’s, Jr. Miss St. Joseph’s or the Eagle Staff Bearer.  They were also asked to demonstrate their dancing skills and answered questions from our panel of judges. The results will be announced Friday afternoon, September 12, at the cultural presentation in the Rec Center.

Even the big kids wanted to check out every corner of the new playground.

All the Lakota students – big and little – checked out every corner of the new playground.

Powwow guests are already arriving at St. Joseph’s Indian School! Our first visitor so excited he came a week early. He knocked on our door Saturday morning wondering where everyone was. Activities officially begin Thursday morning with a bus tour of nearby Indian Reservations (pre-registration required). In the meantime, guests can visit the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and take in the sites in and around Chamberlain. Check out the full powwow schedule!

You can learn more about powwow, including the definition of the event and various dance styles, at

I hope each of you has a wonderful week.  Please keep us in prayer that we’ll have good weather and a successful event for our Lakota (Sioux) students, their families and all our guests!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

The Lakota children say pilamaya – thank you!

Wopila tanka – many thanks – for your generosity!


Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!  We were honored to have a lot of guests visit the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center as they were passing through on their travels. I love driving through the parking lot to look at the license plates and see where everyone is from. I hope you may have the chance to visit us one day!

It was a busy week here on campus. One of our high school boys’ homes hosted the Chamberlain High School Varsity football team for dinner Thursday night. It is a way to strengthen team unity and help give the local players and coaches a chance to see how the St. Joseph’s students live. We have several St. Joseph’s boys on the team.

St. Joseph’s powwow will be September 12-13; the Lakota children are ready!

The Lakota boys and girls are practicing their dance steps for powwow!

Sadly, the team lost their season opener Friday night against a team ranked at the state level. However, the Cubs will have the chance to rebound with their home opener this Friday.

In volleyball news, the varsity season opens tonight with the Lady Cubs hosting Stanley County.  Just like the football team, we have several students on both the Varsity and JV teams.

Go Cubs!

The high school students had Friday off as well as Monday. One of our homes took advantage of the time off and offered a car wash on campus. Their goal was to raise money to attend the LifeLight Music Festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is a three-day Christian music event. The car wash was a hit and they had a great time at the festival!

Here on campus over the long weekend, the younger Lakota students took in a movie – Guardians of the Galaxy – at our local theater. A picnic was planned afterwards, but they had to avoid some rain drops! They also had the chance to enjoy being outside, swim and just take it easy – it was a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

With the holiday weekend behind us, all the focus now shifts to St. Joseph’s powwow September 12-13.  We are praying for good weather! The students are busy preparing regalia and practicing their dance steps. We hope you can join us!

We hope you will all have a great week! May God’s blessings and guidance will be with you.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



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