Helping Native American Families Since 1927

About our Organization

St. Joseph's is a Native American school dedicated to improving the quality of life for Lakota (Sioux) children and families. As an apostolate of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s mission is to educate Native American children and their families for life — mind, body, heart and spirit. This mission drives our organization to educate and provide housing for over 200 Lakota (Sioux) children each year.

Child poverty and abuse are serious issues on Indian reservations. By supporting St. Joseph's Indian School, you are helping Native American children in need reestablish pride in their culture by learning the Lakota language, studying Native American culture and healing the broken family circle from which they come.

Our organization provides an opportunity for Lakota (Sioux) children to escape extreme poverty and abuse when they attend St. Joseph's Indian School.

All services and programs provided to students are possible because of charitable contributions from generous supporters. Tax-deductible donations keep our doors open and provide over 200 Native American children safety, an education and love.

There are many ways to support our cause and help Lakota (Sioux) children in need! Tax-deductible gifts help Native American children in need receive:

  • A safe, stable home away from reservation hardships
  • Individual counseling and guidance
  • Carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota (Sioux) culture and individual student needs
  • Tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem, improve cultural awareness
  • All of this and more to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future

If you have any questions about our organization, please check out our FAQ page.

St. Joseph’s Vision 2025 — More than Possible

St. Joseph’s Indian School has recently embarked on our new strategic plan — Vision 2025- More than Possible.

“The phrase More than Possible is a challenge to look beyond the present realities of the Native American youth and families we serve. It seeks a mindset that, with the right opportunities, our students can attain their hopes and dreams. It also invites staff and supporters to be part of this growth and accomplishment through their contributions to our mission.”

More than Possible lays out long and mid-range outcomes that serve as our measuring stick to gauge success in four distinct categories we have identified as focal points: High School and Beyond, Wellness, Family and Organizational Integration and Future Planning.

High School and Beyond

Simply stated, this focal point works to prepare our students for the future. We want St. Joseph’s students to take ownership of their futures and plan for their own successes. Students often have bright dreams for themselves when they leave St. Joseph’s Indian School, but can experience difficulty turning those dreams into reality. We will focus on teaching students how to break down the process of setting and reaching a goal in order to instill the skills of internal motivation and perseverance. We will also strive to offer broader career exposure and work with each student to identify their personal talents.


With the knowledge that health risk factors for Native American youth are higher than the general population in South Dakota, “wellness” is the idea of teaching our students good eating habits and encouraging regular exercise. Our education efforts will focus on healthy eating, healthy food preparation and the merits of physical activity.

Family and Organizational Integration

Student success in St. Joseph’s residential setting includes supporting stronger relationships with families. Our efforts to strengthen family integration will include going out and listening to the families we work with, while taking a fresh family-focused look at everything we do. Our staff will take special care to engage families through yearly visits, effective listening, needs identification and strategizing ways to meet needs by connecting families to available resources at St. Joseph’s and in their local communities.

Future Planning

There are a number of initiatives already in place that will need further attention in this new strategic planning cycle. These initiatives, regarded as important in serving our Mission, are laid out in specific goals. Some of the focal areas in this section are updating and enhancing the school library, refining the plan for pet therapy across campus and assessing our cultural and spiritual efforts throughout St. Joseph’s Indian School.

We have grown tremendously the past 90 years and we look forward to 90 more. Thank you for your support of St. Joseph’s Indian School. Without you — our thiyóšpayeextended family — none of this would be possible!