RCAS launching a new Lakota Immersion Program

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rapid City Area Schools are launching a kindergarten lesson on Lakota culture.

The inaugural class taking part of the Lakota Immersion Program was invited to Canyon Lake Elementary Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the new curriculum.

Tribal members imprinted their flags and enjoyed a traditional Lakota meal to celebrate the occasion. The event also provided a chance for parents to visit with teachers and staff about the new lesson plan.

The class will be taught entirely in Lakota with an emphasis on culture, heritage, and values.

“I think that for a long time our system has really been setup to minimize the identity of a lot of our students and to be able to provide education like this that puts their identity at the forefront is one of the most important things we can do,” said Dr. David Swank, principal of Canyon Lake Elementary.

Dr. Swank says he feels Canyon Lake Elementary was an ideal choice for the new class, being that the school sits on former boarding school land.

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