Council backs two schools for Wookiye project

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre map locator South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Crow Creek Tribal School at Stephan on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in central South Dakota and Mobridge-Pollock High School in Walworth County received recommendations Monday from the state Indian Education Advisory Council to join an effort to promote more and better understanding of Native American culture..

The final decision on the latest members for the Wookiye Project will come from state Indian education director Fred Osborn and David Flute, the governor’s secretary of tribal relations. Teachers receive two days of training in August and monthly meetings with Osborn’s office.

Three schools — Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre, Timber Lake School on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in western South Dakota and Wakpala/Smee School on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in north-western South Dakota — were the first members during the 2020-21 school year.

One of the project’s goals is developing ways to teach students Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings about American Indian life. One of the advisory council’s legal responsibilities is to coordinate with the state Department of Education.

The Crow Creek application came from Mike Scares Hawk. the middle-school Lakota language teacher, and superintendent Kelly Bilbrey, with support from tribal chairman Peter Lengkeek.

The Mobridge school is on the east side of the Missouri River across from Standing Rock and Cheyenne River reservations.

“Wo’-o-ki-ye’ is a word for peace or help. “We were hoping we would receive a public school to apply and they did,” Osborn said.

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