Natural Villages

Lakota School

The Cultural Heritage School
A Lakota Designed Treatment Program For Lakota youth

This school has been operated in the past by volunteer staff. Impressed with their results and dedication, Tom and Christine Steuer offered to donate their land as a permanent school location. In addition to matching the Steuers’ grant, Natural Villages is committed to helping the school secure the funds to run on a permanent basis.

Permanent Staff (proposed) and their areas of expertise:

Daynetta Bald-Eagle: women’s roles and community positions; preparation of traditional foods; traditional ways of Lakota women

“Growing up in a world that did not accept me because of my skin color was devastating and destroyed my self-esteem. Learning about the Lakota culture and spirituality in my twenties from Chris Ravenshead restored me. Because of this I was able to teach my children to be proud of who they are. My daughters live the teachings, they are very Lakota, and know so much more about who they are than I did. This is what I want to teach to other Lakota youth, especially the kinship system and the rules of respect which is sorely lacking in teens today. We will help make a better tomorrow for them and their tiospayes.”

Charlene Hollow Horn Bear: Same responsibilities as Daynetta Bald Eagle

Jay Red Hawk: Men’s role in Lakota culture; warrior society members; horse-back archery skills

Jim Delucas: archery and bowmanship; flint knapping

“The Lakota youth need to be exposed to their culture in a real everyday life context, to be able to implement it into their lives. That is what we hope to accomplish here, to give back their culture and identity to a whole generation of Lakota youth-a more positive outlook.”

Dakota Hollow Horn Bear: men’s roles and responsibilities; hide tanning; Lakota history

Eric Petryzyn: Lakota art, history and music

Chris Ravenshead: Lakota art, music and history

“I see this project as a stepping stone and a hope for the younger generation of Lakota youth. A way to instill in them pride and self-esteem that conventional teaching has robbed them of,so they can realize the worthiness and the beauty of their own culture.And face the modern world with pride and honor,as a Lakota person,not as a youth at risk.”

Karen Swan: Lakota artist, teaching art and women’s roles

“To pass down the knowledge by experiencing it, not by a book, living lakota way and learning it, will last a lifetime.”

Vinnie Alessi-Narr: Cultural Heritage School Treasurer

“I know kids who are full-blood lakota who know nothing about their culture, language, and identity. We do not want to see this happening to other kids.”

Philippe Franquelin: Teacher at St. Labre, Montana

“This type of traditional camp setting would expose the youth to the knowledge and understanding of their culture. The experience in our camp would give them back the self esteem which is the key to determined their lifestyle in and out of the reservation.”

For a detailed financial budget, please Contact Us.

It is the school’s ultimate goal to obtain an additional 1,000 acres so that the school could maintain a herd of buffalo. This would also allow them to provide housing for their staff.

Project governance
The project will be managed by Chris Ravenshead and Nita Bald Eagle with the oversight of their board.