The Crow Creek Tribal Council, Bureau of Indian Affairs and NPS representatives listen to a Sioux tribal song prior to the ribbon cutting.
On August 22, 2012 a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony was held in Stephan, South Dakota for the opening of the Crow Creek Tribal School campus, which includes a K-12 School building, a 100-bed dormitory, five faculty housing units, new athletic fields, and a bus storage and facility maintenance building. Many distinguished guests attended the ceremony including representatives from the Crow Creek Tribal Council, Indian Education Services, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In addition, staff members representing Senator Tim Johnson and the National Park Service were in attendance.
The dedication ceremony began with tribal members singing a Sioux tribal song followed by the official ribbon cutting in front of the entire student body and faculty. The large group subsequently moved inside into the gymnasium where each representative gave speeches followed by a tribal prayer and another beautiful Sioux tribal song. Finally, an expression of gratitude by the entire student body and teaching staff occurred when they came down from the stands and shook all the distinguished guests’ hands. Student classes officially began the next day.
“This project is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through interagency cooperation. The Crow Creek Tribal School will serve as beacon of educational achievement for generations to come,” said Sam Whittington, Denver Service Center Director.
This $36 million project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, became an interagency project between the National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs in August 2009. The 83,434-square-foot Crow Creek Tribal School is expected to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.