ROSEBUD, S.D. - The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has charted the He Sapa Leadership
Academy, a college preparatory school to be located in the Black Hills,
that will serve American Indian students in grades eight to 12.
Wizipan Garriott, president of the board of directors for the newly formed
school, said that July 19 was a historic day for the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux
Nation) and other nations. "The leadership shown by the Rosebud Sioux
Tribal Council in chartering the academy shows their commitment to the
well-being of Indian children, as well as their foresight. He Sapa
Leadership Academy will not only set the benchmark for tribal schools, but
for educational programs at large."
Garriott also said that this is only the first of many steps in a long
journey toward completing the school.
Through rigorous academic study and cultural learning programs, students
will be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to enter into the
colleges of their choice, gain outside world experience and return home
ready to serve their communities. Students will receive education in their
tribal culture and history along with high-quality instruction in standard
subjects such as reading, writing, math and science.
The academy's charter is the result of more than 20 years of hard work on
the part of tribal educators and elders. Garriott, born and raised on the
on Rosebud reservation, is a Yale graduate and former Capitol Hill staffer
and tribal lobbyist. He was selected to lead the academy because of his
unique background and passion for improving Indian education. In addition,
Garriott is the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association's official
delegate for the academy.
Chairman of the Rosebud Tribal Council's Education Committee Rodney
Bordeaux led the effort to charter the school with the tribe. "The academy
fulfills the ideals and goals of what true Indian education should be. I
was proud to have had a hand in its formation."
Charlie Colombe, president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said that creation
of the academy marks a major shift in the way tribal peoples view
education: "No longer are we willing to sit by and let our Indian children
fall by the wayside." Colombe also said he is confident that the school
will be a major success - not only for the tribes of the Great Plains, but
for all tribal nations.
He Sapa Leadership Academy is in its beginning stages of development. The
academy will be funded by tribes, nonprofits, corporate giving and