Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa
Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa, The Defenders of the Water School, was located in the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Camp at Standing Rock. We began as a resource school providing support for parents who choose to supervise their children’s home education. We served the families in the water protectors camp community while they were temporarily camping here. We offered lessons in Lakota language and tradition, as well as traditions and stories from the tribes in the camp. We also offered resources and educators for core subjects and those required under North Dakota homeschool law. We helped families from other states understand the paper work and requirements for their resident state.
The school was founded by Alayna Eagle Shield, language specialist at the Lakota Language and Culture Institute at Standing Rock. We are run by volunteers and funded completely by donations. Workshops are often offered by elders, students, artists, and others who wish to share their knowledge with the young water protectors. From our start as a school serving the children of many tribes in the camp community we are transitioning to a permanent indigenous project based school. In addition to the school we will be offering week to two week camps and a virtual learning environment. Our goal is to share traditional knowledge and language with children and we will continue to fight to protect water and land. We are an affiliate of Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous People and all donations are tax deductible. Please follow us as our story continues to unfold.