Lakota Language and Culture

And the Waldorf Pedagogy


Lakota language and culture are central to our work. It is the teachers and parents hope that the children will feel deeply connected to their Lakota Culture, deriving honor, strength and self/esteem from it.

The Lakota language is of the greatest significance. It is the culture and the spirit of the people. In many ways the Waldorf curriculum parallels traditional Lakota wisdom and teaching. It shows many similarities to the ways the Lakota parents and grandparents raised and taught their children. Like the Lakota culture the Waldorf method respects the sacredness and individuality of each child and teaches through experience and through pictorial thinking rather than through concepts. The Waldorf education accepts and integrates the spiritual part of the human being as well as the spiritual life of the earth and all living beings.

This part of Lakota spirituality must become part of the daily life again, to carry on the richness of the Lakota culture, and its wisdom and knowledge into the future. To realize this Waldorf pedagogy could be a great contribution. It is the goal of the Lakota Waldorf School to get the students to realize that they can change their future! When the children see a chance in their education to improve their living situation, an important goal of the schooling is achieved.

We have also joined together with the Waldorf education because we feel that it agrees with the true Lakota teaching methods. We were taught that when our children were educated through all five of their senses their sixth sense also opens their hearts. We feel that the Waldorf method of education is in harmony with our own traditional holistic approach. The Waldorf motto - receive the child in reverence, educate him in love, send him forth in freedom - reflects closely Lakota values and the respect for each child's sacred mission on Earth.

The Lakota Waldorf School has partnered together with the Lakota Woglaka Wounspe (Lakota First School), of the Oglala Lakota College, sharing students, staff, facilities and resources from Kindergarten into elementary school.

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