Lakota Waldorf School in the Heart of the Pine Ridge Reservation
In 1993 the Lakota Waldorf School was founded by Lakota parents in the Pine Ridge Reservation in the southern part of South Dakota They were inspired to bring an education to their children that imbued the values and wisdom and spirit of the Lakota people. They felt that Waldorf education accepts and integrates the spirit part of the human being as well as the spiritual life of the earth and all living beings.
This spring I had the great opportunity to go to the Lakota school and offer support and mentoring to the Lakota kindergarten teacher. It was a very moving experience for me to be on the reservation with its stark landscape and the black hills far off in the distance I was struck by the children’s tender innocence and openness. Indeed when I shared my special puppet “Poppy”, they were delighted and endeared. They were filled with wonder and surprise and joy with the songs and finger plays and crafts. There was a humbleness and gratitude in these children that deeply touched my heart.
The children are transported by bus each day. They receive two nutritious hot meals and a snack each day. They experience a rhythmical day interwoven with the Lakota language and values as well as Lakota stories that have been handed down for generations. They celebrate Lakota festivals inviting the family and extended family to share in their devotion and connection to Mother Earth.
The Lakota school operates purely upon donations as there is not any tuition for a child to become a part of this program. Pine Ridge Reservation is part of the poorest county in the United States. It has been a huge undertaking to develop and sustain this school in the grasslands of South Dakota. This is such a great opportunity to help this school thrive and support the Lakota people and their culture and heritage in our country, for they are a tribe of the original ancestors of America.
Please consider sending a donation to this endeavor. Your contribution will support these children being able to experience an education that embraces their language and culture and spiritual life. Please feel free to visit their website at Lakota Waldorf School.
To send correspondence to the Lakota Waldorf School, or to make a contribution, please contact them at
Lakota Waldorf School
Three Mile Creek
Kyle, South Dakota, 57752.
Lin Welch is a Waldorf-trained Kindergarten teacher who has taught in Waldorf schools for 20 years. She has an MA in transpersonal counseling and education and is the founder of Larksong Preschool. Lin resides in Boulder County, Colorado.