DC Trip for Standing Rock Students

"It's not enough for just some of us to prosper," said then-Senator Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. "For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people."

Spend time on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, and it can be easy to forget this. In the not-too-distant past, hostility has defined the relationship between the Lakota and the United States. In 1890, Sitting Bull was killed by federal agents along the Grand River. In 2016, Lakota protesters faced attack dogs, tear gas, and water cannons while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline along the Missouri River. 

The five 8th graders at Rock Creek Grant School in Bullhead, South Dakota, named for the policeman who fired the bullet into Sitting Bull just 120 years ago (ten years after the Brooklyn Bridge opened to traffic), are familiar with these stories. What they are less familiar with, however, is the expansive country of which, despite a tumultuous history, they remain an integral part.

Our Proposal

I am currently the 8th grade teacher at the Rock Creek Grant School. This spring, I hope to bring my students to Washington, D.C. But to make it happen, I need your help.

Growing up in New England, it was relatively common for students to take a class trip to Washington, D.C. at some point during their education. The prevailing view was that, in addition to exposure to new kinds of people, food, and ideas, we would also walk away with a greater sense of our responsibilities to our country and an understanding of how to advocate for our local communities on a national level. 

As young leaders, the 8th grade students of Rock Creek Grant School are equally deserving, if not more so, of such an opportunity.  Therefore, we aim to provide for a trip to the nation's capital for the five students. They will have the opportunity to make discoveries at the Smithsonian Museums, advocate for the interests of their communities with members of Congress, and reflect on what it means to be Lakota and American at the National Museum of the American Indian. Additionally, they will learn about future educational opportunities through visiting colleges and universities in the DC area. They will gain exposure to new foods, new technologies, new kinds of people, and new ideas. 

How You Can Help

Donations of all sizes are helpful. Please give what you can to fund:

$50 - Student Souvenir Stipend
$50 - Daily meals for one student
$50 - 5-day Metro pass for one student
$100 - Shirts for the group
$200 - Dinner for the group
$500 - Round trip airfare for one student
$1000 - One hotel room for the trip
$3000 - Group lodging for the trip

Additionally, please contact me directly (by clicking the blue envelope to the right of my name) if you would like to help in one of the following ways:

- Donating airline miles or hotel points
- Connecting me with anyone in the DC area who might be interested in making this a memorable and positive experience for our students


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  • Trish Simonton 
    • $20 
    • 41 mos
  • A Z 
    • $12 
    • 41 mos
  • A Z 
    • $18 
    • 42 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • A Z 
    • $20 
    • 42 mos
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Henry Burbank 
Bullhead, SD
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