The Rosebud Elementary kindergarten class is pictured with their teacher Oyate Burnette (holding the sign). (Photos courtesy Rosebud Sioux Tribe)

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Kindergarten Class Donates $50 Toward Purchase of Pe’ Sla

Vincent Schilling

On November 16 Rosebud Sioux Tribal Chairman Cyril “Whitey” Scott received what he calls the best contribution the tribal council and the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council fires of the Great Sioux Nation, has received toward the purchase of Pe’ Sla, the sacred site in the Black Hills.

On that Friday, during a tribal council meeting, Oyate Burnette’s kindergarten class from Rosebud Elementary in Rosebud, South Dakota dropped off $50 in change they had collected over the course of two weeks.

Scott said the children’s visit was the greatest source of joy throughout the entire Pe’ Sla fundraising process because they worked so hard.

“These kids are the greatest that raised $50 in pennies and change to help secure Pe’ Sla,” he said. “It makes me proud to see that our young people as far down as kindergarten understand the sacredness of this land. Our babes have raised $50 cash money which will never be forgotten. I thank them and I thank their teachers for doing this.”

Burnette, the kid’s teacher, said the fundraiser took two weeks. The children dropped whatever change they could collect or earn into the “Pe’ Sla Piggy Bank.” Starting with just 14 cents, the children eventually raised $50.

Burnette started the effort in her classroom to teach the children to be independent, to step forward and to do things themselves. “I think it’s important for a child to grow up and look back and say that they were a part of that and to see their name listed as a contributor to the sacred Pe’ Sla.”

After collecting the money, the students made a special trip to a tribal council meeting and presented their donation in person. In a gesture of appreciation, chairman Scott and the other councilmen shook every hand of each child that visited that day in honor of their donation.

“It gives me a happy heart to speak on the issue of our youth that raised $50,” said Scott. “In the whole fundraising issue for Pe' Sla, this is the best part of everything.”

Currently, Scott, spokesperson for the Great Sioux Nation says the Oceti Sakowin are not yet able to disclose any details on the purchase of Pe ’Sla. The deadline for the purchase is November 30.


Some of the Rosebud Elementary students with the donation for Pe' Sla including, from left, Michael Rogers, Jasmine Kelly, Trevor Clairmont, and George Gurue.


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