Rosebud Rez Immersion Experience

Welcome: July 8-14, 2017 will be the 11th year of a cross-cultural immersion learning experience on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. Our experience is conducted in a good way in friendship and partnership with the Sicangu Lakota people. It is deeply enriching learning experience for those who participate. The group is limited to the first twenty-five people who register. We will arrive as learners to be educated by Sicangu Lakota leaders/people, history and the ways of the people.  

Cross-cultural Immersion Learning Experience;
Rosebud Sioux Reservation

July 8-14, 2017,

Sioux Falls Seminary, in partnership with Wiconi and Indigenous Pathways, is offering an experiential course in cross cultural immersion.  July 8-14, 2017 will be our eleventh year offering this course on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. Our experience is conducted in a good way in friendship and partnership with the Sicangu Lakota people. It is a deeply enriching learning experience for those who participate. The group is limited to the first twenty-five people who register. Join us as learners by immersing in the local culture and in dialogue with a team of instructors and local Sicangu Lakota leaders.

Doug Anderson, PsyD, Sioux Falls Seminary – Dr. Anderson is a Licensed Psychologist and the Director of Clinical Services at Sioux Falls Psychological Services.  He is also an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Sioux Falls Seminary.  He has been involved with this immersion course since 2010, and he and his wife commonly find their way to the Rosebud throughout the year.  For more info, see and
Casey Church, DMis, Wiconi (an arm of Indigenous Pathways) – Dr. Church is a Potawatomi Pipe Carrier and the Director of Wiconi.  He has many years of personal and professional investment in contextual ministry and worship.  For more info, see and
Jack Alexander, DMis (retired minister and professor, musician) – Dr. Alexander has 26 years of pastoral ministry in his background, and for the past 12 or 13 years he has invested his time and energy in Native American issues related to worship, education, and service.

To register, please contact Sioux Falls Seminary at 605-336-6588 and ask for student enrollment.
For information about the course contact Dr. Anderson at or call Sioux Falls Seminary at 605.336.6588 to speak to someone in student enrollment.

There are certain aspects of ourselves, our own culture and faith, that we can only learn by deeply engaging in another culture. This immersion experience will expose and challenge you to a wider appreciation of Creator's creative wonder as you contemplate being fully human and fully a follower of Jesus.
You can participate in two ways. First, you can take this course for graduate level credit.  In that case you would complete all course requirements and your work would be graded with graduate-level expectations.  If you want to take this graduate level course for credit as an undergraduate, you will need to work out an agreement with the accrediting institution.  There will be corresponding tuition costs for anyone taking this course for credit, and you will need registration agreement/approval as well.
Second, you can audit the course and simply attend and participate in all activities at the same level as those attending for seminary or university credit without any assignments and without the full cost of credits.  There is an administrative fee of $150 payable to Sioux Falls Seminary for those auditing this course.  Everyone who attends will pay a fee of $450 to Sioux Falls Seminary to cover food and lodging for the week, and assist with expenses for speakers and other activities of the week.

Course Description: A one-week immersion experience in intercultural studies. The location is the Rosebud Reservation in south central South Dakota.  During this immersion experience, you will learn from various regional speakers, interact with community members, and participate in some traditional ceremonies.  We will discuss critical aspects of what contextualization is, and we will explore what it might look like if applied on the Rosebud.  The implications of contextualization for any cultural setting will become readily apparent.  We will learn about the history of missions directed at the Lakota people on the Rosebud.  We will consider how colonization and Christian mission developed in this part of the world, and we will critique this history while considering other options.  We will consider how we might engage in a reorientation of the gospel of Jesus as story.  We will strive to listen to the culture we experience around us and allow that experience to inform our thinking and our dialogue throughout the week.

Depart from Sioux Falls, South Dakota from the Sioux Falls Seminary parking lot at 8 AM on Saturday, July 8. Arrive at Sicangu Owayawa Oti (Todd County High School Dorms) in Mission SD late afternoon.  If you are flying, and you want assistance with ground transportation to Rosebud, you will need to fly in to Sioux Falls.  Contact Doug Anderson ( for help with ground transportation.  For those driving or flying in to Sioux Falls on July 7, we may arrange to meet somewhere that evening to get acquainted prior to our departure in the morning.
Some attending the class may be driving in from various parts of the country.  You may wish to meet us in Sioux Falls and drive out together, or you may be driving up from the South or from out West or up North.  You are free to meet us in Mission, South Dakota on the 8th if you so desire.
During the week we will have several different speakers join us, and we will engage in a mix of formal class time and a good deal of group dialogue.  A postmodern pedagogy drives this course.  We will also drive to various locations and participate in various activities.  We will need several of you who attend from the Sioux Falls area to drive to the reservation, and to be able to drive a group of students around during the week.  We probably drive about 750 miles during the week.  If you are willing and able to drive, and if you have a vehicle that can hold three or four people and their things, please let Doug Anderson know (  We can all share travel costs if that is a need.  Thank you.
Depart from Mission, SD on Friday, July 14th by noon. 

Local Costs:
We will make arrangements for lodging and all meals. The cost for all participants, per person, is $450.00 to be paid to Sioux Falls Seminary, 2100 S. Summit Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD, 57105 by June 23rd. Contact Doug Anderson at Sioux Falls Seminary,  for assistance on transportation.
NOTE: If you are taking the course as a visitor (auditing the course) and you are not officially enrolled through a seminary, you will need to pay an additional $150 payable to Sioux Falls Seminary, 2100 South Summit Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57105 for administrative costs by June 23rd. Please include "Attn: Rosebud Immersion" in the address.  For questions about how to pay this fee, contact Sioux Falls Seminary.  You can reach the seminary by phone at (605) 336-6588.  You can also find the seminary online at

Course Objectives: Our goal is to expose students to aspects of culture, religion and faith that they normally are not exposed to in order to sensitize them to the issues, needs, and opportunities for living out ones faith in Jesus in the midst of "otherness." One of the major benefits of a short cross-cultural experience is the opportunity to recognize your own cultural ways, biases and prejudices more clearly as you learn to understand and appreciate those of another. This unique experience will challenge and assist participants to discover Creator’s work in all cultures. The following objectives strive to reach this goal:

1.    Encounter another culture and begin engaging yourselves with others in that culture.  In the process, we learn to love one another as ourselves.
2.    Gain a better grasp of the dynamic of clashing worldview assumptions in the process of cross-cultural communications.
3.    Gain a greater understanding of the larger context of intercultural relationships and global service by learning about the history of missions among the tribes of North America. 
4.    Be prepared (by being stretched and molded) to be used by the Creator in your own and other cultures.
5.    Begin to understand and practice some basic principles of intercultural service, holistic/integral discipleship, critical contextualization and cultural adjustment.
6.    Consider opportunities for future involvement in intercultural relationship building such as prayer, research, funding, community development and encouragement.
7.    Begin to understand root issues of neo-colonialism, and discover some possible Christian responses.
8.    For those students who attend and for whom professional counseling is your career goal, develop a clear understanding of how all psychotherapy is cross-cultural, and develop personal and professional skills in thinking and working cross-culturally.  Counseling students in the group may meet separately a time or two during the week.

Course Requirements:

  1. Participation:  Demonstrated by engaging in cultural immersion experiences and in thoughtful dialogue.  Attend the trip with a learner's attitude, and be willing to serve in whatever capacity is needed.  See yourself as a team member that represents a larger community.  Work together and encourage one another during this immersion experience.  We are a team.  Be open and flexible to participate in new cultural experiences. Focus on relationships both within the team and within the host community that you are visiting.
  2. Mentoring:  Identify a "mentor" that will agree to serve as a sounding board for this experience. This person should be mature, and be available to listen to your story and offer any feedback in the way of prayer, reflection or encouragement that you might wish or need both prior to and after the course/experience. They could be an aunt or uncle, parent, pastor, professor, older student, or anyone of your choosing. You are a part of a wider community and you represent them when you step out of your own culture and visit another.
  3. Class Attendance:  Attend all scheduled gathering times. Participate in all lectures, events, ceremonies, community participation and other activities scheduled.
  4. Journal:  Spend time each day in prayerful reflection.  Each day, record your thoughts, feelings, and concerns that arise during the trip. The journal may be a safe place to relieve frustration, express yourself, or reflect on what you are experiencing.  You will be asked to indicate that you have completed this requirement, but it is your journal and it will not be turned in.
  5. Reading and Viewing Requirements: The reading requirements are meant to help you prepare for group dialogue throughout the week. For those taking this course for credit, prior to the start of the experience you must complete the reading and viewing requirements and generate a one page phenomenological response to each assigned reading/viewing.  These can be emailed to Dr. Anderson at  Please complete this activity and send to Dr. Anderson prior to the start of the actual experience.
    1. Required Reading and Viewing:
      1. Neither Wolf Nor Dog.  This book is the first of a trilogy written by Kent Nerburn.  Read all three books if you can find the time.  They are hard to put down.  The other two books in the series are The Wolf at Twilight and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo.
      2. Black Elk Speaks.  This book is the story of Black Elk’s life as a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux.  It is told by John Neihardt.  Few books are more important than this book when addressing Native American spirituality and theology.
      3. Rescuing Theology from the Cowboys.  Richard Twiss is the author of this book.  He was on the ground floor of creating this immersion course, and his book can be purchased through the Wiconi website ( or on Amazon. 
      4. Other articles, books, and videos may also be required or recommended, and these will be listed on our Moodle site.  You will receive information about how to get on the Moodle site once you have registered for the class through Sioux Falls Seminary.
      5. Watch the HBO DVD “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” prior to the trip.  You should be able to find access to this DVD in several places.
  6. Prayer:  Enlist a team of people to pray for you each day. This could be friends, professors, family, co-workers, etc.  Preferably, you should have 3 or 4 people on your prayer team. This will help both you and those who pray for you to be a part of the trip and God's work in your life.
  7. Final Presentation:  You will be required to write a 10 page (double spaced) report that incorporates your readings, observations, experiences and participation in the various activities. In the paper, we are asking you to describe succinctly what you did, your feelings on the trip, what you learned about yourself/others/culture/God, and how this has impacted your personal and professional life.  Optionally, instead of a written report, you can do this as an oral presentation.  Look for creative opportunities to share this.  You may choose to share your presentation with your own church, a youth group, a Sioux Falls Seminary class (or the school you are attending), etc. If possible, we encourage you to present this with others who attended the course. You now become an advocate for justice, the need for Biblically and culturally informed cross-cultural communication, and mission.
  8. For Doctoral Students:  In addition to the above requirements, doctoral students will need to read an additional book (see bibliography and discuss this with the professor) and they will be expected to assist the other participants throughout the week.
  9. For Counseling Students:  If you are a counseling student from Sioux Falls Seminary, your requirements may be somewhat different from those listed above.  We will discuss those and spell them out at the start of the actual week of class.
A bibliography of added resources will be available closer to the date of the Immersion experience.  It will be posted on the Moodle site for those who sign up for this course.

Rosebud Immersion Experience – Packing List and Other Reminders:

  1. Bible (gotta start with that!), pen, journal
  2. Small flashlight
  3. Comfortable and modest clothing.  It may get quite warm, and it can get quite cool.  Plan your clothing accordingly.
  4. Light jacket (rain-repellent might be helpful)
  5. Comfortable shoes
  6. We don’t get fancy, but bring a reasonably appropriate outfit for attending a church service
  7. Clothes for playing basketball, volleyball, or throwing a Frisbee around.  And feel free to bring a good Frisbee.
  8. Hat, sunscreen, and water bottle for outings (Pow Wow, Wounded Knee…)
  9. All toiletries – soap, shampoo, toothbrush, towel
  10. Personal medications
  11. Sleeping bag or set of sheets for a twin mattress, and a pillow
  12. We may have air conditioned comfort when in doors (I anticipate this to be the case), but you may wish to bring a small fan, ear plugs (for when a person in your room snores throughout the night!), surge protector (very optional, but would protect your phone and computer if plugged in during a raucous South Dakota thunderstorm), and a camera
  13. Important: For the Sweat Lodge – Wear cotton.  Nothing on the clothing that will easily get hot.  Absolutely no metal (jewelry, zippers, piercings, etc).  Bring an extra towel (large towel, not a hand towel) for this ceremony.  Men can wear a t-shirt and a pair of shorts or swim trunks.  Women can wear a t-shirt and a long cotton skirt (like a broomstick skirt – this is traditional), or modest shorts (modesty is very important).  Bring a sports bra (no underwire bras). 
  14. Important: Bring gifts to give to others that you meet on the reservation.  Gift-giving is a way to establish and maintain relationships, and the gifts you bring can communicate in ways that words may not.  In the past, people have brought home-made jams, mugs, home-made jewelry, all sorts of things.  The more personal and thoughtful your gift the better.  Be creative and plan to bring a number of gifts to give away during the week.  This is always a fun and deeply meaningful experience for both givers and recipients.
  15. Important: Bring a story (3-5 minutes).  We want to hear each other’s stories, and we want to be able to share our stories with those we meet at times.  Humorous is good.  Serious is good.  Your choice.
  16. Plan to learn from and care for one another.
  17. Plan to laugh, but you might also find plenty of reasons to cry.
  18. Plan to exercise the Gumby Principle: In all things be flexible.

Financial Reminder:

  1. $450 to Sioux Falls Seminary by June 23
  2. An additional $150 to Sioux Falls Seminary by June 23 if you are auditing this class
  3. Extra cash for personal spending while on the reservation (snacks, coffee, ice cream, gifts, coffee, tips for professors, coffee)

Copyright 2006 Wiconi International
Please submit any comments or questions about the website to our Webmaster
Howard Lane at:

All other communication contact:
Wiconi International, PO Box 5246,
Vancouver, Washington 98668
360-546-1867 -