Our Ethnographic Field School is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Students are placed in one of three different communities on the reservation for a total length of six weeks, usually beginning in mid-July. Students camp in pastures or near badlands buttes on the reservation or depending on their assignment, may be housed with families on the reservation.
Summer projects may include identifying native plants for cataloging, participating in ethnobotanical excursions, mending buffalo fence for the Buffalo Caretaker’s Cooperative, grant writing, and report writing, to name a few. Our field schools are meant to give our students hand- on experience in community development while also immersing our students in new cultures. If we’re lucky, we might be invited to participate in a powwow, community feed, the preparing of a meal or maybe even a healing ceremonies.
Our time on the reservation is a rich experience that cannot be captured in words.