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Vision 2015: St. Joseph's 5 year plan


John getting ready to graduate from St. Joseph's Indian School.

Beyond graduation, we prepare students to learn for their whole lives and make a positive difference for their family and community.

A mission statement describes why an organization exists, what they do, with and for whom they do it. St. Joseph’s Indian School is pleased to share our updated mission statement, vision for our students and new strategic plan, Vision 2015. Learn more about Vision 2015 by watching this video!

We surveyed staff, students, families, alumni, area businesses, tribal leaders and even benefactors to get an idea of their hopes and dreams for the Lakota children we serve at St. Joseph’s Indian School. From this feedback, we improved and condensed our Mission Statement to the following:

St. Joseph’s Indian School, an apostolate of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, partners with Native American children and families to educate for life — mind, body, heart and spirit.


“What appeals to me is considering the needs of the whole child — mind, body, heart and spirit,” said Fr. Steve, past Director. “Since the students live here, our staff focuses on helping young people become well-rounded in many areas of life, from academics and healthcare to social skills and spirituality. Just as we expect these things from our students, it also calls staff to set a good example and work on their own well-being too.”

The strategic planning process led to lengthy discussions about the vision shared by each department on campus.

High on everyone’s priority list was improving the tragically low high school graduation rate among Native Americans in South Dakota, many years only around 50%. Recent graduates from St. Joseph’s can tell you how important this milestone is.

While a high school diploma is admirable, it still isn’t enough. St. Joseph’s challenge is to help students understand their own gifts and talents and prepare them to learn throughout their lives so they can make a positive difference for their family and community. We believe these young people will make a difference for their tribes and people, and we know what must be done to equip them for this calling.

The resulting Vision Statement became:

Our tiyospaye walks beside every student, ensuring all graduate from high school equipped to fulfill God’s dreams for them and their communities.

Kelly and Meghan in class at St. Joseph's Indian School.

St. Joseph’s provides for the needs of the whole child — mind, body, heart and spirit.

Our mission and vision are rounded out by a series of core values that describe how we operate:

  • Faith
  • Integrity
  • Stewardship
  • Respect
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence

St. Joseph’s Indian School continually strives to make progress in each of these core values.

Vision 2015, along with the updated Mission and Vision Statements will shape our programs and guide where we place our resources for many years to come.

Wopila tankamany thanks — for being part of our tiyospayeextended family. With your help, St. Joseph’s Indian School enables the Lakota students to dream and helps everyone work together so those dreams can be fulfilled.

  • Learn more about St. Joseph’s Indian School on our Frequently Asked Questions page
  • See our goals for the future in Vision 2015
  • Help us reach these goals