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Red Cloud Indian School

Contact Information

100 Mission Drive
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

(605) 867-5888

Focus Areas

  • Education & Youth

The mission of Red Cloud Indian School, a Catholic Institution administered by the Jesuits and the Lakota people, is to develop and grow as a vibrant Church, through an education of the mind and spirit that promotes Lakota and Catholic values.

  • About Us
    RCIS includes two elementary schools, a high school, The Heritage Center, and ten
    churches on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. By
    integrating both Lakota culture and heritage with spiritual beliefs and practices from
    the Lakota and Catholic traditions, RCIS aims to educate both the mind and the heart
    of its students, parishioners, and staff, creating leaders of tomorrow with competence,
    conscience, and compassion.
  • Our Impact
    Red Cloud is committed to the education of Lakota youth, serving nearly 600 students on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As a Lakota Catholic Jesuit school, Red Cloud promotes Lakota language and culture and fosters dialogue between the Lakota and Catholic traditions.

    More than 125 years ago, Red Cloud's very first students—around 100 Lakota children from grades one through eight—began their classes at what was then called Holy Rosary Mission School. Founded at the request of Chief Red Cloud himself, a group of Jesuits, Franciscan sisters and Lakota people worked together to construct the school's first building. At the time, Chief Red Cloud recognized the Lakota were facing irrevocable economic and cultural loss. His wish was for the Jesuits to educate Lakota children to "walk in two worlds" so as to survive in a rapidly changing environment, while still sustaining their Lakota identity.

    Still today, we honor that wish.

    Through an innovative curriculum that combines cultural, spiritual, physical and emotional grounding with academic excellence, Red Cloud Indian School continues to graduate Lakota youth who are poised to become—and are becoming—tomorrow's leaders, both on and off the reservation.

    Red Cloud graduates are studying at top institutions across the nation. They serve in our nonprofits and military. They teach, lead, mentor and strengthen communities around the country and right here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. And as Red Cloud Indian School continues to change the face of Native education, so, too, are our alumni changing the world.

    125 year after our founding, our institution embodies a true and dynamic partnership between Jesuit and Lakota values, including education, the arts, culture and social justice.

Positions at Red Cloud Indian School

Red Cloud Indian School Programs

Red Cloud Volunteer Program

Red Cloud Volunteers work for and stand with the Oglala Lakȟóta people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Pine Ridge is located in Oglala Lakota County, one of the three poorest counties in the country (based on per capita income), but it is also one of the richest and most beautiful communities in terms of culture, spirituality, hospitality, and landscape. Volunteers serve nearly 600 Lakȟóta students in a K-12 Catholic School System, which is jointly administered by the Jesuits and the Lakȟóta people. Volunteers are typically recent college graduates or young adults with a background in education or who desire to engage more deeply in the field of education. During the ten-month term of service, which can be renewed for up to three school years, Volunteers work as classroom teachers or support staff. Volunteers also assist with bus driving, coaching, and after-school activities. Most of our volunteers are also half-time AmeriCorps members through the Oyate Tȟeča Wauŋspekiya AmeriCorps Program, which supports their bus driving, academic interventions, and after-school service, as well as provides professional development support. If you have a desire to work within a challenging cross-cultural and inter-religious environment, commit to living simply in intentional communities with fellow volunteers, grow spiritually, work for justice in education, and become more socially conscious, then this program may be a good fit for you. We'd love to hear from you!