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WoLakota Project


“WoLakota” implies balance and coming together. The WoLakota project supports students in high-need schools, pairing trained mentor-teachers with new teachers and providing Courage to Teach circles to tend to the ʻheartsʼ of each. Mentors support the embedding of the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings (OSEU) into practice, complementing standards in any content area. The OSEU address the achievement gap of American Indian students by embracing their identity, and promote cultural understanding among non-native students and teachers. Lakota Elder Dottie LeBeau states, “When we approach teaching with one worldview…we create systems of failure in our schools.” WoLakota closes the circle into a system of understanding and success.

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“Elder Interviews by Tribal Affiliation” Map!


SD Indian Education Director, Mato Standing High on the WoLakota Project

Elder Lydia Whirlwind Soldier on respecting differences in our SD schools
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The WoLakota Project is a partnership between
TIE and the SD Department of Education