Lakota Rosebud Mission

Lakota Church

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In June 2018, Emmanuel marked its fourth consecutive year of sending out a mission team to the Rosebud Lakota Reservation in South Dakota.

The ministry has been an intergenerational endeavor, open to senior high students (grades 9 and up) as well as adults.

All Ages

Rosebud, located in south-central South Dakota, has a population of about 20,000 persons. Most are Native Americans of the Lakota Sioux tribe.

Unemployment on the reservation approaches 80 percent, and alcoholism and diabetes are rampant. The life expectancy of the average male is 47 years. Suicide and teen pregnancy are common, and healthcare is spotty. Sixty percent of the housing is substandard.

Among the work projects in which Emmanuel missioners have engaged are the cutting, splitting, and stacking of firewood; rehabilitation of residential trailers; repairs on rural churches; and construction of an arbor at a group home for abused women and their children.

Since 2016, native labor has been hired to assist with these projects. In addition to enabling natives to earn much-needed cash, this approach has also helped foster the development of personal relationships.

Participation typically costs about $1,000 per person. Funding combines earnest money from participants, subsidies from the Gilliat-Mengebier Scholarship Fund, diocesan grants, the proceeds from church fundraisers, and generous individual gifts.

Group Photo
Mount Rushmore

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