Historical Holy Rosary Mission Boarding School PhotoWorking Toward Justice: Truth & Healing

As COVID continues to impact our community, we’re reminded of the need for healing on many fronts—including addressing the tragic injustices in Red Cloud’s own history. From its founding in 1888 until 1980, Red Cloud was an Indian boarding school—one of over 350 institutions established in the nineteenth century created to eliminate Indigenous cultures, languages, and spiritual traditions through the assimilation of Native children. To openly and humbly grapple with that reality, Red Cloud has begun a truth and healing process led by graduate Makȟa Black Elk ‘05, who has served as an educator and leader at Red Cloud for the past seven years. The first step in this journey as an ally is to learn more about this history and this movement by viewing our website here.



Latest Stories and News

Lakota Language Camp

New Video: Answering an Urgent Call for Language Revitalization

January 2021
We are working even hard to support a new generation of fluent Lakȟóta speakers through dual-language education—an effort led by the Red Cloud alumni you’ll meet in this new video! Watch Video

Headdress Art Show

Bringing Native Art to the Forefront

January 2021
At Red Cloud, through the work of The Heritage Center, we honor and support artists as culture bearers—creating and expanding opportunities for them to express their own stories in their own voices. Learn more about our work in this new video! Watch Video

Lakota Illustration

Revitalizing Endangered Language Through Dual-Language Learning

December 2020
After launching the nation’s first comprehensive K-12 Lakȟóta language curriculum over a decade ago, Red Cloud has taken another momentous step in its language revitalization work. By shifting to a dual-language education model, our teachers are now using the Lakȟóta language as the medium of education. This change will transform educational experiences for our students, and directly support broader efforts across our community to empower a new generation of fluent Lakȟóta speakers. Read More

December E-News Image 2

Red Cloud Students Honor Lakȟóta Heritage

December 2020
In November, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, Red Cloud High School’s Student Council came together to create this beautiful video celebrating their Lakȟóta Heritage! Watch Video

December E-News Image 3

Celebrating the Advent Season

December 2020
The Oglala Lakȟóta Catholic Community, made up of Red Cloud’s six churches, has come together to create a series of new videos illustrating the Christmas story over the course of this time of Advent. The first, presented by Sacred Heart Church, shares the story of the Annunciation. Follow along through the rest of this season! Watch Video

Tyler Star Comes Out2

Student Leaders for Food Sovereignty

October 2020
Last year, Red Cloud launched its Farm-to-School Initiative to build our students' knowledge of how food can create a healthier community. In this reflection by Katie Chustak, our Farm-to-School Coordinator, she shares how Red Cloud’s new farmer’s market is helping to promote a community-based food system that cares for community members and our common home: Uŋčí Makȟá, or Grandmother Earth. Read More

Monica and Tashina

Indigenous Women Rising

October 2020
Indigenous women have always been leaders of their nations. But today, Indigenous women are finally being recognized as leaders outside their tribal communities, even in the halls of the U.S. Congress. Their voices and wisdom are critical to the wellbeing not only of their Indigenous nations but of our whole global community. Meet two of Red Cloud’s newest Lakȟóta women leaders, who are forging a path for the next generation and shaping the organization’s mission for the better. Read More

Marlee Kelly '16

Introducing the Future Dr. Marlee Kelly '16

September 2020
With the strong foundation of a Red Cloud education, alumna Marlee Kelly ‘16 forged her own path at Yale University, earning her degree in English last spring during the escalation of the global pandemic. We’re thrilled she’s back at Red Cloud this year serving as an AmeriCorps member—drawing on her incredible knowledge of literature as our Elementary School Librarian—while she plans the next step in her journey: pursuing a PhD and teaching the next generation. Read More

Farmer's Market

Growing Strong Roots: Red Cloud's New Farmer's Market

September 2020
Last year, Red Cloud launched its Farm-to-School Initiative to build our students' knowledge of how food can create a healthier community. In this reflection by Katie Chustak, our Farm-to-School Coordinator, she shares how Red Cloud’s new farmer’s market is helping to promote a community-based food system that cares for community members and our common home: Uŋčí Makȟá, or Grandmother Earth. Read More

First Grade Teacher Sierra

Welcome Back to School—from our Lakȟóta Immersion Teachers

August 2020
Despite the continued adjustments due to the pandemic, things are always moving behind the scenes. One of those things is the expansion of our Lakȟóta Language Immersion program. We now have more Lakȟóta Language teachers, which means more students are learning the language! In honor of this different start to the school year, our Lakȟóta Language teachers made a short video welcoming back the students. Watch Video

Badlands Road

Building a Spiritual Community—Across the Miles

August 2020
Did you know that, if you drove a loop around Red Cloud’s six churches across the reservation, you’d drive almost 250 miles? From Oglala to Porcupine to Wamblee, Red Cloud’s parish staff cross those long distances to serve hundreds of parishioners, their families, and the surrounding communities. Check out this video to see some of the spaces where our spiritual communities are growing! Watch the Video

Paul High Horse Painting

Standing With Community Artists

August 2020
Although our art gallery remains closed as a result of the pandemic, we’re still working hard to make a difference for community artists. That’s why we’re so thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts selected us to receive a $50,000 CARES Act grant to take our work with artists into the virtual space. As our director said, "We're just raising the voices of this very creative community. There's no Lakȟóta word for art, but it's essential to the culture." Learn More

Red Cloud Campus

Visit Us (Virtually!) at Red Cloud

July 2020
Usually, during the month of July, we joyfully welcome hundreds of visitors to tour our campus and experience indigneous art at The Heritage Center. This summer, the pandemic has forced us to close our doors, and we’re missing seeing so many new faces. Please join us for a virtual tour of two extraordinary sites on our campus: Holy Rosary Church and the historic cemetery where Chief Red Cloud was laid to rest. And we look forward to welcoming you in person as soon as we’re able! Learn More

Circle Image July Enews

Celebrating Red Cloud's Athletes—Past and Present

July 2020
For many Red Cloud students, being an athlete becomes a powerful source of confidence, growth, and community. In this interview series, alum and Athletic Director Christian McGhee connects a current Red Cloud athlete with an alum who has gone on to compete in collegiate athletics. Listen in on these generations of Red Cloud athletes talk together about sports, studies, and what it takes to pursue your dreams. Watch the Series

Graduation Picture

Celebrating Red Cloud's 2020 Graduation

June 2020
Every graduating class at Red Cloud is special—but the class of 2020 has truly achieved the extraordinary. Despite the obstacles that faced them, from transitioning almost instantly to distance learning to being separated from their teachers and friends, they overcame it all. Through this series of videos—including our feather blessing ceremony, speeches by our valedictorians and salutatorian, and a special graduation parade—share in our celebration of their strength, resilience, and success. Watch the Videos

Red Cloud Grad Paisley Grad

Senior Profile: Paisley Sierra

June 2020
A Red Cloud student from pre-kindergarten through graduation—14 years! What she loved most about school is that she never felt misplaced at Red Cloud, and always thought of it as a second home. She had some of her best experiences in high school—from being surrounded by people who held the same beliefs and values to having a strong support system via her friends and teachers. Read More

Class in the Greenhouse

Farm-to-School Program Launch

June 2020
Access to nourishing foods is essential to sustaining a healthy community. And knowledge of traditional, indigneous methods of food production supports a deeper understanding of culture. That’s why Red Cloud has launched the first Farm to School program on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Learn More

Beaded Graduation Cap

Meet Red Cloud's Class of 2020

May 2020
May 16 was scheduled as graduation day for Red Cloud’s class of 2020—and while the pandemic forced us to cancel our celebration, it hasn’t stopped our staff from celebrating our seniors! Watch this wonderful new video to meet our extraordinary new graduates. Watch Video

Black Elk

New Documentary Explores Nicholas Black Elk’s Journey to Sainthood

May 2020
Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950), a revered holy man among the Oglala Lakota, was a spiritual leader right here at Red Cloud. He served as part of the parish community that continues to celebrate his memory and keep his voice alive as the process for his canonization continues. A new documentary, “Walking the Good Red Road: Nicholas Black Elk’s Journey to Sainthood” tells this story, and even features many of our own staff! Read More

Art Show Painting of Buffalo

A Quick Lakȟóta Lesson!

April 2020
Although they are attending class from home, every Red Cloud student, from kindergarten through senior year, are continuing to learn the Lakȟóta language! Our language teachers use everything from written text to videos to teach the language. Check out this video and listen to a Lakȟóta describe how to speak about your family! Watch Video

Donald Montileaux Painting

Inside the Artist's Studio

April 2020
In The Heritage Center, our team is finding new ways to highlight our incredible local artists. As part of a new video series, our museum educator had a chance to connect with legendary ledger artist and author Donald Montieaux (Oglala Lakota) for an inside look at his studio in Rapid City, South Dakota and at how he creates his extraordinary images. Watch Video

Nick Preston's Class

Making the News: Red Cloud Becomes First in the State to Move to Distance Learning

April 2020
When Red Cloud’s school buildings had to close in order to keep students safe, our administrators and teachers worked together to create a comprehensive distance learning program within the span of just a few days. Read More

Isaac Teaching

To Keep Students Safe, Red Cloud Turns to Distance Learning

March 2020
When South Dakota announced its first cases of COVID-19, Red Cloud's teachers and administrators took action. They started developing a plan to teach students everything from biology and social studies to Lakȟóta language without ever stepping onto campus, and even set up a system for using our bus routes to provide students with nourishing breakfasts and lunches. Read More

Vday Stories Page

Red Cloud Valentine's Day

February 2020
On Valentine's Day, we asked our community of supporters to send a Red Cloud student a Valentine's Day card with a message of support. The number of cards received was outstanding! We wanted to showcase these messages to our students, so we printed them out and hung them on the announcement boards in the schools...Read More

Danielle Hudspeth Stories Page

Hówašte Artist: Danielle Hudspeth

February 2020
Artist Danielle Hudsepth is an artist of many talents. In addition to drawing, painting, and sculpting, she has begun focusing her creative energy on beadwork. Now she’s combining this traditional art form with her love of cutting-edge video games and modern films...Read More

Greenhouse Stories Page

Maȟpíya Lúta Owáyawa Wóžuthi - Red Cloud’s Farm to School Initiative

January 2020
Access to nourishing foods is essential to sustaining a healthy community. And knowledge of traditional, indigenous methods of food production supports a deeper understanding of culture. That’s why Red Cloud has launched the first Farm to School program on the Pine Ridge Reservation...Read More

Girls Basketball Stories Page

Competition, Community & Culture: Why LNI Matters

January 2020
Why does the Lakȟóta Nation Invitational hold such significance for Red Cloud students, families, and staff? It’s more than just the competition. It’s the way LNI brings the community together to honor the accomplishments of Native youth—in athletics, the arts, knowledge of culture and language, and so much more...Read More

AICSN Stories Page

Engaging in Audacious Hope: New Video!

January 2020
Red Cloud has partnered with the American Indian Catholic Schools Network for nearly a decade to create transformational educational experiences for students here on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Check out this new video and learn how this partnership has made a difference on our campus...Read More

DeAndra Stories Page

Meet Alum DeAndra McLaughlin '11

December 2019
It’s no surprise that DeAndra McLaughlin ‘11 developed strong bonds with her English teachers during her time as a student at Red Cloud. As an exceptional writer with an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a masters degree from South Dakota State University, today she serves as Red Cloud’s Digital Marketing Specialist...Read More

Buffalo Harvest

Red Cloud Buffalo Harvest

December 2019
On December 6, 2019, Red Cloud held their annual Buffalo Harvest - a cultural tradition, and an integral part of our Lakȟóta spirituality here at Red Cloud. The buffalo harvest is a time when our entire school community comes together to celebrate the buffalo and partake in distributing the buffalo amongst our community. Along with the buffalo harvest, various other activities take place, including: prayer, social dances, handgame tournaments, and ribbon skirt making! Take a peek at the eventful day!...Read More

Sister and student

Red Cloud Christmas Craft Night

December 2019
On December 5, 2019, Red Cloud held their annual Christmas craft night! Our elementary students gathered with their parents, siblings, classmates, and teachers to create beautiful Christmas art! Gingerbread men were built, Christmas bags were decorated, tiny houses were painted, and snowflakes were made!...Read More

Student Council

Studen Council Serves Community Thanksgiving

November 2019
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Red Cloud Student Council served a lunch open to any and all community members. They served 181 people on November 20, 2019, in Sacred Heart Church in Pine Ridge. They served 7 hams, 48 cans of green beans, 20 cans of corn, 7 boxes of stuffing, over 200 rolls and much more. The students cooked, served, and cleaned up....Read More

RC Alum Genriel Ribitsch

Meet Red Cloud Alumna Genriel Ribitsch

November 2019
Like many Red Cloud graduates - Genriel Ribitsch fought to find her place when she left home to start her college journey. But she soon became a leader on her college campus, serving as president of the Native American student group, and working with other young advocates to fight racism and discrimination on campus. Now, with one undergraduate degree completed and another nearly finished, she is applying to graduate school to follow her passion for science, and her dream of serving her community as a doctor. Here, she shares thoughts on her journey so far, and her hopes for the future....Read More

Lakota Thipi

Red Cloud's Lakȟóta Language Revitalization Work

November 2019
On September 20, Red Cloud’s Executive Vice President Robert Brave Heart, Sr. spoke at the Ecology of Indigenous Languages Conference, held at the University of Helsinki in Finland. The following are excerpts from Robert’s presentation, which addressed how Red Cloud has worked to integrate the Lakȟóta language into daily life on campus, and to support and encourage a new generation of Lakȟóta speakers....Read More


What's Growing at Red Cloud?

October 2019
When volunteer Katie Chustak arrived at Red Cloud three years ago, there wasn’t much growing in Red Cloud’s greenhouse or garden. During her years at Red Cloud, Katie has worked side-by-side with her own students—from kindergarten through high school—to create what is quickly becoming the Pine Ridge Reservation’s first farm-to-school program....Read More

Tashina Banks Rama

"A Sacred Place for Learning"

October 2019
Tashina Banks Rama (Oglala Lakȟóta) has made her home―both personally and professionally―at Red Cloud. And after ten years of helping to direct Red Cloud’s development efforts, she has just taken on the role of Vice President of Advancement. In this essay, she shares how Red Cloud has shaped her own life experience, and why she is so dedicated to shaping the institution’s future....Read More

Norma Blacksmith

Legacy of Quiltmaking

October 2019
Norma Blacksmith was 12 years old and living in Oglala, SD on the Pine Ridge Reservation when her mother taught her how to make star quilts. Now, at the age of 79, Norma continues to create these quilted works of art, and carries on the legacy of her family by teaching others....Read More

Red Cloud students

A New School Year Begins!

September 2019
Wayáwa Khípi! Our students are back at school! It’s a wonderful time at Red Cloud, and we invite you to be a part of it. Join us through this beautiful array of images from our first week back!....Read More

Red Cloud students

Black Elk's Journey to Sainthood

September 2019
Almost two years ago, Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950), the famous Oglala Lakota holy man who spent decades at Red Cloud serving as a religious teacher, was nominated for sainthood. This June, a Mass and community gathering was held at St. Agnes, the very parish where Black Elk served, to celebrate the successful conclusion of the local phase of his canonization....Read More

Red Cloud students

Red Cloud Graduate Leads New BBC Radio Documentary

July 2019
Documentary on the challenges faced by Native American young people....Read More

Red Cloud students

Celebrating Fr. George!

July 2019
For the last 14 years—six as a board member and nine as president—Fr. George Winzenburg, S.J. has served Red Cloud with energy, compassion, and grace, working tirelessly to create new opportunities for our students....Read More

Red Cloud students

A Pastoral Journey

July 2019
Father Brad Held’s first experience on the Pine Ridge Reservation, as a teacher at Red Cloud Indian School, opened his heart to serving the Lakota people. When he was called back to serve as the Pastor of Holy Rosary Mission just five years later, his initial surprise was overwhelmed by a sense that the time was right to engage with the Lakota Catholic community in a new way....Read More

Red Cloud students

Award Winners at the 51st Red Cloud Indian Art Show

July 2019
The Oyate Award, a Community Choice award, voting will start during the Special Preview reception and run the length of the show, June 1 -August 11, 2019. The winning work will be announced at the end of the show, August 12, 2019....Read More

Red Cloud students

Meet Our Seniors!

June 2019
In this collection of interviews, six of our seniors‐Tierra, Nevra, Emonee, Griffey, Dorian, and Morgan—share how Red Cloud shaped their lives, their plans for the future, and the advice they’d share with the next generation....Read More

Emonee Pourier '19 and Nevra Murdock '19

Red Cloud’s Class of 2019 Looks Toward the Future

June 2019
In the weeks leading up to graduation, Red Cloud senior Emonee Pourier ‘19 reflected on her years at Red Cloud, and thought about what she’d miss the most....Read More

Red Cloud Indian Art Show

Open Now! The 51st Red Cloud Indian Art Show

June 2019
Over the last five decades, the Red Cloud Indian Art Show has celebrated the continuum of Native art—and honored the artists who create it....Read More

Red Cloud student

Elementary Education at Red Cloud: Building a Community of Belief

April 12, 2019
What makes a Red Cloud education effective for its youngest students? Ann-Marie Amiotte, Red Cloud’s elementary school principal, does not hesitate to answer....Read More

Red Cloud students

Honoring Academic Achievement

April 12, 2019
Recognizing our students’ achievements, both inside and outside the classroom, is a part of every day at Red Cloud. But twice a year, our high school students and faculty gather for an official celebration of academic success....Read More

Sierra Concha

Leading with Language

February 26, 2019
Today there is a growing wave of young people—including many Red Cloud students and alumni—who are sparking the rebirth of their indigenous language. They are not just learning to speak the language themselves, but also sharing their knowledge with the next generation—serving as teachers and mentors for the youngest Lakota students....Read More

Adrianne Brave Heart

Building the Future: New Homes on Campus

February 26, 2019
The lack of affordable and safe housing on the reservation often presents an insurmountable barrier for those who want to live and work here. That reality has a particularly powerful impact on education. To change the narrative, Red Cloud began focusing on investing in new on-campus housing—as a means for retaining committed teachers and staff members who want to make their careers at Red Cloud.....Read More

SB 126

Honoring Indigenous Languages: In Support of SB126

February 26, 2019
Red Cloud is proud to support SB126, a new bill being considered by South Dakota’s legislature that would make Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota the official indigenous languages of the state. Learn more about the bill and its importance in this letter by Red Cloud’s Executive Vice President Robert Brave Heart Sr.....Read More

LNI Art Show

Honoring Native Artists at the Red Cloud Indian Art Show

January 18, 2019
Over 40 years ago, when the first Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI) took place, many non-reservation high schools would not host or play Native American teams. Today this incredible four-day event engages teams from nearly 40 high schools from three states....Read More

THC 43rd Awards

The Heritage Center To Receive Major Award in the Arts

January 18, 2019
In recognition of its longstanding advocacy, next month The Heritage Center will receive the South Dakota Governor’s Award in the Arts for Outstanding Support of the Arts by an Organization or Business........Read More

Paulina Fast Wolf

ALUM | Paulina Fast Wolf, 2007

January 18, 2019
Paulina Fast Wolf connected deeply with her culture as a student at Red Cloud, and has become a strong advocate for tribal colleges. Today she is focusing her career on helping Lakota students find their way through the college experience........Read More

Ralph Nadolny

Red Cloud Indian School Names Raymond Nadolny New President

January 15, 2019
Former college president brings extensive experience and commitment to innovative education models.

Red Cloud Indian School’s Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Raymond Nadolny, Ph.D., the former president of North Dakota’s Williston State College, as its new president....Read More