Pine Ridge Cultural Immersion and Mission Trip
Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation
South Dakota
June 15 – July 1, 2021


Chaperones

Karen Beck, Program Director (Spanish teacher – World Languages Department)
Brebeuf Chaperone(s) – Cory Watkins, Brebeuf Jesuit Head Wrestling Coach
Michael Dwyer, Japanese teacher, North Central High School (Spouse of Shihling Chui-Dwyer, Brebeuf Jesuit Chinese teacher.  Michael chaperoned Pine Ridge 2017, 2018, 2019)
Matthew Tippel, Director of Choirs/General Music Teacher

Spiritual Advisors

Fr. Chris Johnson, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Jesuit Identity
Fr. Ron Seminara, S.J., Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Red Cloud School, South Dakota

Cost of the program:
$1,950.00 – Cost includes all transportation, lodging and camping, all meals and snacks, tours, guides, fees, service goods and mission work contributions.    


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. The total land area of the Reservation is 2.1 million acres, with 1.7 million acres held in trust by the United States government. By land area, the reservation is the seventh largest in the country. The median household income is $26,721 per year, and the unemployment rate is approximately 80-90%.  The officially reported poverty rate for American Indians living on Pine Ridge is 53.75%. The United States average is 15.6%. Pine Ridge Reservation has the lowest per capita income ($8,768) in the country, and ranks as the “poorest” county in the nation. The South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations reports a total tribal enrollment of 38,332, with 19,639 living on the reservation.


COVID-19 UPDATE

Applicants and families:  As you may know, last year’s annual trip was cancelled due to the pandemic. We are very hopeful that this summer, Brebeuf students will once again be able to travel to South Dakota in service to the Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  A great deal depends upon the vaccination progress here and in South Dakota, especially on the reservation, and some new protocols may be in place for the safety of all.  In addition, this year’s trip participants over the age of 16 may be asked to provide proof of vaccination prior to travel.  Many unknowns at this time; however, as we move in the right direction over the next few months, we feel confident in going forward with the initial plans for a summer 2021 return to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Travel Scholarship Information

The link to apply for scholarships may be found here.


 


Apply Online

Students looking to apply online can complete the form below.

Considerations before submitting your application:

  • The application requires a student essay and parent recommendation. Students are encouraged to have these completed before filling out the online form below so they can be attached at the time of submission.
  • Teacher recommendation forms are required as well. These forms can be downloaded above.  Please return these completed forms to Sra. Beck.

Pine Ridge Cultural Immersion and Mission Trip Application

  • Student Information

  • VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS. FOR THOSE 16-18 YEARS OF AGE, PLEASE HAVE PARENTS CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX IN THE PARENT SECTION BELOW. FOR PARTICIPANTS 18 AND OLDER: WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO BE VACCINATED, AS THAT MAY BE A REQUIREMENT FOR PARTIPCIATION IN THIS YEAR’S TRIP?
  • School Information

  • Student Essay

  • Write an essay (minimum 500 words) that explains your reasons for applying to the Pine Ridge Reservation Cultural Immersion and Mission Trip 2021. In this essay, you must clearly address the following:

    • Describe your personality, addressing both strengths and weaknesses.

    • Is this your first trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation or are you returning?

    • Briefly describe your reason for applying to this trip. What do you know about (or, in the case of returnees, what have you learned about) the Native American tribes of north America?

    • Briefly explain why an exchange trip to a Native American reservation is of interest to you.

    • In what ways do you think that this experience might challenge you or change you?

    • How do you view your role in helping to create intercultural bridges and friendships?

    • How will your participation in this immersion experience move you to be more (a) open to growth; (b) intellectually competent; (c) religious; (d) loving; (e) committed to promoting justice?

  • Max. file size: 128 MB.
  • Parent Recommendation

  • WOULD YOU ALLOW YOUR STUDENT, (AGES 16-18) TO BE VACCINATED, AS THAT MAY BE A REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN THIS YEAR’S TRIP?
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) are asked to write a short essay including the following information:

    • Why have you agreed to allow your son/daughter to apply to participate in this cultural immersion and mission program?

    • What do you hope s/he will learn from this experience?

    • What strengths will s/he add to the group?

    • Are there any concerns of which you feel the chaperones should be aware?

  • Max. file size: 128 MB.