Students to Live on Reservation for a Week

Students to Live on Reservation for a Week

July 13, 2007

A group of nine students from Sioux Falls Seminary will travel to Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation to live among the residents and learn more about the context and culture in which they live. Dr. Jay Moon, Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies at Sioux Falls Seminary, and Richard Twiss, Rosebud Lakota/Sioux South Dakota native and Ph.D. candidate, will lead this one-week immersion experience on July 16-20.

Moon, Twiss, the nine Sioux Falls Seminary students, some church members from Central Baptist Church, and a handful of Native American elders and Native Christians will eat local food, participate in a sweat lodge, visit historical sites, learn about the Lakota culture and history, and meet with tribal elders and residents.

This immersion experience is one of the first steps in a 10-year commitment by Sioux Falls Seminary to become more engaged, more interested, and more committed to the ministry of the church in the Native American context. During the experience, the group will present gifts to the native elders, symbolizing the seminary's commitment to become more involved in the life of the church on the reservation.

"We want to immerse ourselves in day-to-day life on the reservation in order to be more empathetic and better understanding of the Lakota culture" said Moon. "The reason for this commitment is so that we can invest time in the reservation and wrestle with the question of how the Gospel can be good news in this context. We are particularly blessed to have the quality leadership of Richard and other Lakota elders to help guide us in this partnership."

In addition, Sioux Falls Seminary is hosting the 2007 North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies Symposium on November 29-December 1. The event will attract the leading Native American Christian theologians from Canada and the United States who are helping wrestle with the same question. According to Moon, "we are at a time in history when we have quality Native Christian leadership to help guide us."