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Maȟpíya Lúta School secures $13 million in funding

Red Cloud School.
Courtesy Red Cloud Indian School
Red Cloud School.

A $13 million investment is set to benefit Red Cloud Indian School, also known as Maȟpíya Lúta, as the school undertakes major infrastructure projects.

The Maȟpíya Lúta school on the Pine Ridge Reservation received the money in the form of tax credits from BlueHub Capital, a community financing nonprofit.

Monica Macek is the vice president of facilities at the school.

“That investment goes towards the Heritage Center and our water system improvements, which includes a new 225,000-gallon water tower and mainlines, wells, and a pumphouse,” Macek said.

Macek said this comes after four years of work.

“In the meantime, Red Cloud had started the capital campaign – a generations campaign – and it includes projects on our master plan, but additional projects they were fundraising for," Macek said. "I provided that information to our consultants, so we put together the Heritage Center and the water system improvement projects together and came up with a bundle.”

The Heritage Center, a hub for cultural resources at the school, is designed with the community and student body in mind.

“For the students, we specifically going through the design process located the building near the front of campus and also near the schools so that it’s part of campus," Macek said. "Students will have more access to the Heritage Center services. I know they take classes for research, art education, they also do programs with students, they bring in visiting artists.”

The stated goal of the school following this investment is to help Indigenous students celebrate their culture, embrace food sovereignty, and battle systemic cultural suppression.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture