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Teachers Institute Shares Indigenous History

May 18, 2024

Calling all pre-K through 12th grade teachers and aspiring teachers in South Dakota! Are you curious about shared Indigenous and settler history? Have you ever wished you could include more Native American resources in your lesson plans? Do you need FREE college credit hours?

South Dakota Humanities Council and Gregory County Historical Society have you covered!

You can earn credit hours and deepen your understanding of the state’s Indigenous people through a five-day Teachers Institute July 22-26.  This field trip style workshop will explore the history and culture of the Lakota people, as well as the impact of white settlement.

The class, EDUC 359/559, “Lakota History and Culture: The Intersection of Indigenous Life and White Settlement,” provides three undergraduate or graduate college credits through Augustana University. Activities take place in rural Gregory County near the Milk’s Camp community, with sessions led by scholars such as Michael L. Lawson, Ronette Rumpca, Geraldine Goes in Center, Brad Tennant, Terry Grey, Mike Marshall, and Emmett Kotrba.

Participants will visit many historical sites, including the Fort Randall chapel, the Whetstone Agency site, and the 1858 Treaty signing site, as well as tribal museums, churches, and a university. The class will travel to the Yankton Sioux and Rosebud reservations and visit the historic churches, cemeteries, and powwow ground at Milk’s Camp, the oldest continuous community in the area.

Along the way, participants will hear speakers, play ancient games, listen to stories in Native voices, and discover resources to use in the classroom. The week will close with a group visit to the Milk’s Camp Powwow on Friday evening. 

Guided by educators Marty Watson and Barb Richardson and the scholars they have gathered, participants will go home with new experiences, a framework for processing Indigenous history, and resources to bring this information to classrooms all over South Dakota.

The Teachers Institute is limited to 25 participants, who will receive one meal a day, field trip transportation, and the cost of the three Augustana University credits. Priority will be given to South Dakota teachers or students in South Dakota colleges or universities preparing to become teachers. The class may also be open to senior high school students in the state. 

Home base for the week of light snacks and deep conversations will be Herrick, South Dakota. Housing is not provided, but rooms are available at nearby lodges and towns.

The class meets from 8:30 am to 6 pm Monday, July 22 through Wednesday, July 24; from 9:30 am to 7 pm Thursday, July 25, and from noon to 9 pm Friday, July 26. 

For more information or to register, contact Barb Richardson at

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