Red Cloud School / Maȟpíya Lúta Owáyawa

Goal of Program

Maȟpíya Lúta Volunteers work for and stand with the Oglala Lakȟóta people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Pine Ridge is located in Oglala Lakota County, one of the three poorest counties in the country (based on per capita income), but it is also one of the richest and most beautiful communities in terms of culture, spirituality, hospitality, and landscape. Volunteers serve nearly 500 Lakȟóta students in a K-12 Catholic School System, which is jointly administered by the Jesuits and the Lakȟóta people. During the ten-month term of service, which can be renewed for multiple school years, volunteers work as classroom teachers or support staff. Volunteers also assist with bus driving, coaching, and after-school activities. If you have a desire to work within a challenging cross-cultural and inter-religious environment, live simply, grow spiritually, work for justice in education, and become more socially conscious, then this program may be a good fit for you. We'd love to hear from you!

Type of Placement

Elementary, Middle School, and High School Teachers (all grade levels and subject areas); Elementary School Librarian; Substitute Teachers; High School Student Activities Director; School Counselors; and Bus Drivers.

Service Area

Pine Ridge, South Dakota and Porcupine, South Dakota

Service Length

10-month school year, renewable for multiple years

Program Size

10-15 volunteers


Bachelor degree or higher; competent to fulfill one's job duties as a teacher and/or support staff; desire to enter into Lakȟóta culture with an open and receptive spirit; desire to serve the Lakȟóta/Catholic/Jesuit mission of Red Cloud Indian School; desire to grow spiritually and to encourage students and colleagues in this; and desire to live in volunteer community and to mutually support/challenge each other.

Financial Arrangements

Volunteer housing (living in intentional community); monthly food stipend ($125); monthly personal stipend; orientation, retreats, and community events; professional development (e.g. taking a class at Oglala Lakota College); shared use of a volunteer car; medical, dental, and vision insurance. Stipends increase for each year of service. Volunteers might also be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (

Living Arrangements

Maȟpíya Lúta has two volunteer communities with six to ten volunteers in each house.


Volunteers receive a comprehensive orientation before classes begin. The orientation program includes an orientation to Lakȟóta culture, reservation life, and the Jesuit identity of Red Cloud, as well as community-building, a volunteer retreat, teacher training (e.g. classroom management skills, lesson planning, etc.), and all of the necessary training so that volunteers are able to obtain a commercial driver's license (volunteers assist with driving the school buses).

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted throughout the year, and admission into the volunteer program occurs on a rolling basis. Typically applications are submitted between November and March. We encourage interested persons to apply as early as possible, as matching can begin as soon as February 1. We usually offer agreements to volunteer applicants between February and May. Some volunteer positions may remain open as late as June or July, so please feel free to inquire at any time to see if there are available volunteer positions. To begin the application process, send a cover letter and resume to the Volunteer Coordinator at!

Start Date

Mid-July each year

Contact Name:

Jonathon Wojtkowiak


100 Mission Drive
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
Phone: 605.867.5888 ext. 2236



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