Dominican Sister Joins STAC Trip to Oglala Lakota Nation

students posing in front of sign

Sister Peggy Scarano, OP, member of the St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Board of Trustees, accompanied a group of STAC students on a service-learning trip to the Oglala Lakota Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota from May 28 to June 3, 2022. The trip was in collaboration with Re-Member, a local nonprofit on the reservation whose mission seeks to improve the quality of life for those who live on the reservation and to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities to groups from throughout our country. Re-Member has a 25-year history of serving the Lakota Nation.

Along with volunteers from Boston, California and Nebraska, the group’s service experiences included:

  • Building bunk beds for children who do not have a bed to sleep in
  • Constructing outhouses (and installing them) for those without functional plumbing
  • ‘Skirting’ trailers to protect families from the extreme and unpredictable weather conditions
  • Weeding and planting in community gardens @Feather II so that fresh produce can be distributed at harvest time
  • Contributing to building the economy through support of native-owned businesses, especially those of local artisans

While engaging in direct service, the volunteers also learned through “wisdom sharing” and presentations by Native residents of Pine Ridge.  The Pine Ridge Reservation is often referred to as one of the poorest areas in our country.

The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill founded St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1952, and their close association with STAC continues through membership on the Board of Trustees and creative and fruitful collaborative experiences such as this.

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