Dec 19

Pine Ridge Cultural Immersion and Mission Trip – Deadline Extended to January 21, 2019

Pine Ridge Cultural Immersion and Mission Trip
South Dakota
June 7-23, 2019

Application Deadline: January 21, 2019

Karen Beck, Program Director(Spanish teacher – World Languages Department)
Brebeuf Chaperone(s) – TBD
Michael Dwyer, Japanese teacher, North Central High School (Spouse of Shihling Chui-Dwyer, Brebeuf Jesuit Chinese teacher.  Michael chaperoned Pine Ridge 2017).

Spiritual Advisors:
Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J., Brebeuf Jesuit President
Fr. Chris Johnson, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Jesuit Identity
Fr. Ron Seminara, S.J. (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation)

Cost of the program:
$1,950.00 – Cost includes transportation, lodging and camping, all food, fees


Campgrounds:  KOA campgrounds (TBD); Horse Thief Lake campground in the Black Hills, Bear Butte State Park campground.  On the reservation, students and chaperones will stay together at the Jesuit house in Kyle, a small town on the western edge of the reservation.

Each summer, Brebeuf students are invited to experience a unique cultural immersion and mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the southwest corner of South Dakota. This cultural immersion experience reflects the Brebeuf Mission Statement in that this type of experience fosters a culture of understanding and dialogue with people of diverse religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Native American reservations in the United States are among the most impoverished areas, and students are immersed in the realities of “third world countries” within our own. Pine Ridge Reservation is the second-largest reservation in the United States (approximately 2.1 million acres).  The median household income is $26,721 per year, and the unemployment rate is approximately 80-90%.  About 97% of the population lives below federal poverty levels.  Tribal Government records show 46,855 enrolled members living on Pine Ridge Reservation.

Pine Ridge Reservation was originally part of the Great Sioux Reservation which was created by treaty with the U.S. Government in 1868. The Great Sioux Reservation included the whole of South Dakota west of the Missouri River.  During the years in the 1800’s several treaties were entered into between the Sioux and the U.S. Government. With each new treaty the Sioux lost more land until finally, in 1889 the Great Sioux Reservation was reduced to five separate reservations, one was the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is part of the Great Sioux Nation whose land base is in accordance with the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. The Great Sioux Nation extended from the Big Horn Mountains in the west to the eastern Wisconsin. The territory extended from Canada in the north to the Republican River in Kansas in the south. The Great Sioux Nation was reduced in the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty from the Big Horn Mountains in the west to the east side of the Missouri River, the Heart River in North Dakota in the north and the Platte River in Nebraska to the south. This includes the entire western half of South Dakota. The Black Hills are located in the center the Great Sioux Nation. The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota/ Dakota people and today considered an important part of their spiritual lives. Despite all the adversity encountered by the Oglala they remain a people of vitality, hopefulness, and with their cultural identity intact.


Click here for the application and more information