Indianapolis students spend week on campus for student exchange

posted on March 21, 2012

Thirteen students from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, IN recently spent five days on campus, experiencing academic and social life from the perspective of their Red Cloud counterparts. The Brebeuf students had been in correspondence with thirteen Red Cloud High School students representing various grades, and had learned through these exchanges about the similarities and differences in their daily lives.

Student Activities Coordinator Carla Jasso facilitated the arrangement on the Red Cloud side, reading over the applications that the Brebeuf students sent, and matching them up with Red Cloud students whom she felt would be particularly good matches. The students who were selected for the exchange were members of the Red Cloud High School Student Council and Student Ambassadors. (The latter group was created a few years ago, and is generally responsible for representing the school in the event that the members of Student Council are already occupied with other projects.)

The students from Indianapolis – none of whom had ever been to a South Dakota Indian reservation before – began the week with a welcome and introduction to the high school. They spent the next five school days shadowing their partner students; attending all classes and any after-school programs or sports that their correspondents participated in. The week further featured an opening dinner on Monday night to which the parents of their partner students were also invited, a school dance on Thursday night, and a sweatlodge ceremony on Friday night, run by Lakota Studies teacher Roger White Eyes ’79.

Junior Bryan Pipe On Head said that his favorite part of the week was when he and some friends took their partner students on a hike on the land surrounding Red Cloud, including across the creek and to the nearby cave. He also reported that during the meal following the Friday night sweat, the Brebeuf visitors invited the Red Cloud students to reciprocate the visit, and travel to Indiana sometime. The details of such a trip have not been worked out as of yet, but Pipe On Head and other students are very excited at the prospect. In the meantime, they will continue to correspond with their newfound friends, and it is hoped that the bond formed between the two Jesuit schools will continue to grow.