Lakota Word Wednesday: Tókša akhé — see you later!

Today is a special day because it’s Lakota Word Wednesday! In this week’s edition, we will be featuring a phrase that you can incorporate into your everyday conversations: Tókša akhé, which means “see you later” in Lakota. St. Joseph’s Indian School, an organization that works closely with Native American children and families to provide education and support for all aspects of their lives, brings us this enlightening video.

Through the partnership between St. Joseph’s Indian School and the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, they aim to educate not just the mind, but also the body, heart, and spirit. So, join us on this journey of discovery as we delve into the beauty and significance of the Lakota language in everyday life. Get ready to expand your cultural horizons and embrace the phrase Tókša akhé as you bid farewell to loved ones in Lakota-style!

Lakota Word Wednesday: Tókša akhé — see you later!


Welcome to this comprehensive article on St. Joseph’s Indian School and its mission to provide education and support to Native American children. This article will delve into the Lakota Word Wednesday segment, the meaning and significance behind it, as well as some of the weekly phrases. We will also explore the concept of “Tókša akhé” and its definition, usage, and pronunciation. Additionally, we will take a closer look at St. Joseph’s Indian School, its background, mission, and partnerships. Lastly, we will touch on The Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and their apostolate, as well as the holistic approach and focus on Native American children in Education for Life.

Lakota Word Wednesday


Lakota Word Wednesday is an initiative implemented by St. Joseph’s Indian School to promote the preservation and learning of the Lakota language. Each week, they feature a new Lakota word, providing its pronunciation and meaning. This segment aims to enhance understanding and appreciation of Native American culture. By highlighting the Lakota language, St. Joseph’s Indian School fosters a sense of pride and connection among both Native American and non-Native American individuals.


The significance of Lakota Word Wednesday cannot be understated. Language is an integral part of culture, connecting individuals with their identity and heritage. By actively engaging in the preservation and promotion of the Lakota language, St. Joseph’s Indian School contributes to the revitalization of Native American cultures. It helps to preserve a language that has faced significant challenges and encourages Native American children and their families to embrace and take pride in their linguistic heritage.

Weekly Phrases

In addition to the featured Lakota word, St. Joseph’s Indian School also provides weekly phrases that incorporate the word. These phrases offer a practical application of the featured word and assist learners in expanding their vocabulary. By providing contextual examples, individuals are better able to understand how the word is used in everyday conversations. This approach not only enriches language acquisition but also promotes cultural understanding and appreciation.

Tókša akhé


Tókša akhé is a phrase in the Lakota language that translates to “We are all related.” This phrase encapsulates the core belief of interconnectedness that is deeply rooted in Native American cultures. It serves as a reminder that every individual, regardless of their background or origins, is connected to one another and the world around them. This concept emphasizes the importance of unity, compassion, and respect for all living beings.


Tókša akhé is used in various settings and contexts, ranging from personal relationships to community gatherings. It is often spoken at the beginning or end of ceremonies, prayers, or discussions as a way to acknowledge the shared bond between all participants. Additionally, tókša akhé is used as a guiding principle in decision-making processes, encouraging individuals to consider the impact of their actions on the collective. By incorporating this phrase into daily interactions, Native American communities aim to foster a sense of harmony and mutual support.


Pronouncing tókša akhé correctly is essential for effectively communicating its meaning. While written words provide a general guide, audio resources are recommended to fully grasp the phonetics. The pronunciation of tókša akhé is typically written as “toh-sha ah-khay,” though it is important to note that spoken languages can have nuances and variations that may not be fully captured in writing. To develop an accurate pronunciation, it is beneficial to listen to fluent speakers and engage with language-learning resources that offer audio components.

St. Joseph’s Indian School


St. Joseph’s Indian School, located in Chamberlain, South Dakota, has a rich and storied history dating back to its founding in 1927. The school was established by the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious order, in response to the urgent need for education and support among Native American communities. Over the years, St. Joseph’s Indian School has grown and evolved, adapting its programs and services to meet the changing needs of Native American children and their families.


The mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where Native American children can flourish academically, culturally, and spiritually. The school is committed to empowering students with knowledge, skills, and a strong sense of identity, enabling them to become leaders and positive contributors to their communities. By embracing the principles of respect, compassion, and perseverance, St. Joseph’s Indian School strives to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of Native American children.


To fulfill its mission, St. Joseph’s Indian School actively engages in partnerships with various organizations and individuals who share their vision and values. These partnerships enable the school to broaden its reach and access resources that enhance the quality of education and support provided to Native American children. By collaborating with like-minded entities, St. Joseph’s Indian School can offer comprehensive programs that address not only academic needs but also emotional, cultural, and physical well-being.

The Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart


The Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, commonly known as the Dehonians, is the Catholic religious order that established St. Joseph’s Indian School. Founded in 1878, this international religious community is dedicated to serving God and humanity through acts of love and devotion. The Dehonians strive to live out their apostolate by engaging in various ministries and initiatives that promote justice, peace, and reconciliation.


The apostolate of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart encompasses a wide range of activities, including education, pastoral care, social services, and spirituality. The order seeks to address societal injustices and provide support to marginalized populations, with a particular focus on the needs and challenges faced by Native American communities. Through their apostolate, the Dehonians support St. Joseph’s Indian School in its mission to uplift Native American children and empower them to overcome adversity.

Education for Life

Holistic Approach

Education for Life is the guiding principle in St. Joseph’s Indian School’s approach to education. This holistic approach recognizes that educational success is not solely determined by academic achievements but also by the overall well-being of students. St. Joseph’s Indian School strives to support students emotionally, socially, culturally, and spiritually, ensuring that their education encompasses all aspects of their lives. By addressing the diverse needs of students, the school equips them with the skills and resilience necessary to thrive in all areas of life.

Focus on Native American Children

St. Joseph’s Indian School places a special emphasis on Native American children, recognizing the unique challenges they face in today’s society. Through culturally relevant curricula, language preservation efforts, and connection to their heritage, the school seeks to strengthen the students’ sense of identity and pride in their Native American heritage. By providing a supportive and inclusive environment, St. Joseph’s Indian School empowers Native American children to overcome obstacles and embrace their potential as future leaders and advocates for their communities.


St. Joseph’s Indian School is making a significant impact on Native American children’s lives by providing education, support, and opportunities for growth. Through initiatives like Lakota Word Wednesday and the embrace of the phrase “Tókša akhé,” the school promotes cultural preservation and connection. With a rich history and a strong mission, St. Joseph’s Indian School is working alongside partners and the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart to transform education for Native American children. This holistic approach addresses the unique needs of Native American children, empowering them to overcome challenges and become leaders in their communities. St. Joseph’s Indian School is a beacon of hope, fostering unity and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Native American traditions.

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