Becoming Our Best

A Glimpse at Life on the Rosebud Sioux
Indian Reservation

Recently I had the privilege of again working with my friend, Fr. John, at St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Indian Reservation in central South Dakota. The landscape is much the same as it was before the White Man came to this area. Rolling, grassy plains, with creeks and small rivers winding down through the pine-covered hillsides. And, of course, many horses. The Lakota people love horses.

St. Francis Mission was founded in the late 1800’s after one of the Sioux chiefs asked that the “Blackrobes” (the name given the Jesuit priests by the tribes of NE United States and SE Canada in the 1700’s) be sent to help his people. Since then, St. Francis Mission has helped the Lakota people in many ways, but problems still exist: Sadly high
rates of addiction, unemployment, suicides and more. The Sioux people have not thrived as part of the U.S. Government Reservation system, though it was thought the best approach in the 1800’s.

Here are the programs Fr. John and staff have established:

Drug and alcohol addiction recovery.
A new grade school with maximum parental involvement.
Improved area coverage by the KINI radio station.
Suicide prevention for youngsters, and others.

These programs are the result of over 10 years of concentrated effort. It is a powerful reminder to us and our teams that having a vision, enlisting the right people as staff, and never giving up can produce excellent results.

St. Francis Mission is making a difference in the lives of the Lakota people. You can make a difference wherever you are, no matter how slim the probability of success. Remember, keep trying! Don’t give up! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.

Author: Bruce Johnsen Management Consultant:
824 Munras Ave Suite G
Monterey, CA 93940

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