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About Us

Maȟpíya Lúta (formerly Red Cloud Indian School, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located on the Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakȟóta (Sioux) Tribe. More than 130 years ago, Chief Maȟpíya Lúta (Red Cloud), one of the most famous leaders of the Oglala Lakȟóta people, recognized that Lakȟóta people were facing irrevocable economic and cultural challenges. His wish was for the Jesuits to be allowed to build a school that would educate Lakȟóta children to “walk in two worlds” so as to survive in a rapidly changing environment, while still sustaining their Lakȟóta identity. He lobbied the U.S. government for over a decade to allow the Jesuits to build a school on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Established in 1888, it was first a school run by Jesuit priests. Today, Maȟpíya Lúta is powered in partnership by Lakȟóta people and Catholic Jesuits. It includes four schools that serve nearly 500 students – two elementary schools, one middle school, and one college-preparatory high school. Maȟpíya Lúta also operates six Catholic churches and pastoral services that serve nearly 800 families in communities throughout the reservation. Under the Maȟpíya Lúta umbrella is also The Heritage Center – a cultural arts center that works with over 250 Native artists annually through a gallery, gift shop and annual Art Show.  Beyond its educational and cultural endeavors, Maȟpíya Lúta hosts transformative programs such as Truth and Healing, Food Sovereignty, Alumni and Graduate Support, and the Lakȟóta Language Center, reflecting a commitment to holistic community development rooted in the intersection of tradition and progress.