ABOUT Oceti Wakan

Our Goals

  • Develop Life Skills curriculum (2nd - 8th grades) so that Lakota children can make healthier choices and have a strong Lakota identity.
  • Develop same Life Skills curriculum that can be used by other Native American tribes.
  • Develop customized Life Skills curriculum specific to another tribe, using their own virtues, values, stories, traditions and images.
  • Develop Teacher’s Manuals to go with the books so that any teacher can teach the classes.
  • Develop a Parent’s Handbook to support what their child is learning in these classes.
  • Develop prevention curriculum for alcohol/drug abuse/suicide based on Lakota culture.
  • Develop Lakota language and cultural materials to get our children speaking Lakota to each other.
  • Campaign to get first language speakers to make a commitment to only speak Lakota to the infants and toddlers in their homes and expect them to only speak Lakota back to them. The goal is to have our children be bi-lingual by the time they reach school age.
  • Raise funds to build a larger Wellness Center so we can better serve more children, youth and parents’ programs.
  • Raise funds for a Sacred Child Center for children who are in need of safe housing and care.
  • Raise funds for Cultural Education Center to enhance the healing of the people.
If you would like to learn more about our culture and language

Our History

In Lakota society, when one introduces ones self, you tell where we come from. Who are our people? The two founders of Oceti Wakan are my father, Pete S Catches Sr. (Petaga Yuha Mani) a 37th generation Lakota medicine man and myself, Peter V. Catches (Zintkala Oyate) a 38th generation. To be a medicine man in Lakota society has to be in the DNA. We are both Oglala Lakota. This is how far that we know back, but our people come from this land if you look at our creation stories for thousands of years. We come from good people; as Lakota, I think we can say, we all do...

Children - Our Wakanyeja - Our Sacred Beings

Help our culture survive

 The word for child in Lakota, wakanyeja, translates to ‘sacred being’. Recognizing children as sacred is one of the three underlying principles in the Lakota belief system. Another principle is the concept of the word, mitakuye oyasin, translating to ‘we are all related.’ Kinship with all creatures above, below, and in the water is a living principle that gives a Lakota a feeling of safety in the world, as well as a feeling of reverence for all life, a sense of purpose for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all, and an abiding love. This concept of life and its relations fill the Lakota with the joy and mystery of life. As Standing Bear (1933) puts it, the Lakota could not despise any creature, because all creatures are of one blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery. And the third  is the word, ‘wolakota’, which is principles the Lakota world view is founded in wolakota, or harmony and balance. The core of Lakota wisdom is to achieve harmony and balance with the creation so that life will be good for each of the seven generations to come. {footnote: words from Patricia Locke, Humpaka Lakota (1990)}                               

All donations are tax deductible!  Oceti Wakan is a 501 (c) 3 non profit.

ABOUT Oceti Wakan

Oceti Wakan is a non profit organization on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.


Oceti Wakan, P O Box 1958  
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
Tel: (605) 867-6045 / (605) 454-1489 cell




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