On the windy plains of South Dakota, in the middle of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, stands a shining example of theosophical education. Combining Waldorf educational methods (founded by theosophist/anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner) and traditional Lakota values, this school transforms its students’ lives, and transformation is the very essence of a theosophical school. Let us count just a few of the ways:
- Situated in an area known for some of the lowest per-capita incomes in the country, this school is tuition free! It runs entirely on grants and donations.
- In a community overwhelmed by chronic health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, the students grow their own organic produce, then use it to prepare nutritious meals. The school’s eco-code is “Earth Day Every Day,” which means recycling, using eco-friendly cleaning supplies, avoiding the use of plastic materials, and more. Healthy planet, healthy little bodies.
- At a time when the Lakota language is in danger of extinction (less than 5% of Oglala Lakota Tribe Members are fluent in the traditional Lakota language which is integral to Lakota spirituality), students learn the Lakota language, then use it to put on plays and other dramatic activities.
- Basic academic subjects are integrated with Lakota cultural activities such as Lakota storytelling and myths, drumming and dancing, and native crafts such as beadwork, leather work, and quill work.
We’re honored to help support the Lakota Waldorf School in its mission to transform its students’ lives and positively impact its community. After all, the Lakota virtue of Wówauŋšila (woh wah ooŋ shee lah), which means “compassion, kindness” is what the TOS is all about!