Hóčhoka – A Podcast of St. Joseph’s Indian School on Issues Central to Native American Education

Podcasts are among the fastest-growing communication channels worldwide as organizations find more ways to reach their audiences directly through channels they own and control. St. Joseph’s Indian School has a video podcast series to showcase the people and ideas that make our school the special place our families tell us it is.

Why tune into a podcast from St. Joseph’s Indian School? Learn more about what the school has to offer. Listen to the wisdom of thought-leaders on Native American education today. Laugh, hope, warm your heart and sharpen your mind at the center of the school’s camp circle.

The Lakota word Hóčhoka (emphasis on the first syllable) means the center of the camp circle. The name speaks to the actual location of the recording studio at the heart of campus, the centrality of the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School to all that we do, the role of the podcast to be at the center of the Native American educational conversation and gather others around that conversation.

Season 1 guests and topics include:

Season 2 guests and topics include:

  • Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, and a team of houseparents join us in a three-part series about the transition from dormitories to residences and the vital role of the houseparent.
  • Dr. Damian Costello, a Catholic theologian who specializes in Indigenous spiritual traditions and serves as Director of Post Graduate Studies at NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community, provides fresh perspectives on Catholicism through an Indigenous lens.
  • Sičháŋǧu Lakota author Joseph Marshall III speaks in a two-part series on Lakota Leadership. The two-part series is capped by the school’s Native American Studies Lead and Sičháŋǧu Lakota LaRayne Woster on the Seventh Grade Cultural Trip that forms students into leaders at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
  • Makȟa Black Elk and Fr. Mike Carson speak in a three-part series on Native American Boarding School Truth and Healing.
  • Fr. Tom Cassidy, SCJ, Makȟa Black Elk and Mission Integration Director Joe Tyrell explore the Dehonian, Lakota and Catholic spirit that inspires us.

Season 3 guests and topics include:

  • President Mike Tyrell discusses his newly published book, “Detour Home” about houseparenting and more.
  • High School Senior Basil Eagle Star takes two turns as podcast host.
  • Two experts on residential life share their perspectives on working with students in a residential setting.
  • We showcase our “Circle of Care” and share how that model is served by the Counseling Services Department.
  • We “Talk Thiyóšpaye” with a former staff person and a former student and spend time with two donors to learn why they give to St. Joe’s thiyóšpaye.
  • Dr. Paul Monson gives a fresh perspective on Catholicism through an indigenous lens as he tells us about Bishop Martin Marty and Sitting Bull.

Season 4 guests and topics include:

  • Dr. Damian Costello joins us again to provide fresh perspectives on Catholicism through and indigenous lens.
  • We get to know Fr. Vien Nguyen, Superior Provincial of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, founders of our school.
  • Visiting Artist Michele David Mechling shares the joy of art with our students.
  • We talk about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women with Red Ribbon Skirt Society Founder Lily Mendoza, Joseph Marshall III and employees of the State of South Dakota who work on the issue every day.
  • We learn about Native American literature from Lily Mendoza, Joseph Marshall III and the school’s own bookmobile initiative.
  • We visit with Religious Studies Teacher Kim Schneider about her summer spiritual journeys that traversed the Lakota sacred sites of South Dakota and the Camino de Santiago Compostela in Spain.

Season 5 guests and topics include:

  • Dr. Damian Costello joins us again to provide fresh perspectives on Catholicism through and indigenous lens. We talk about Lakota Star Knowledge, St Patrick: Celtic and Indigenous, and Sundance and the Paschal Mysteries.
  • We hear what Fr. Vien Nguyen, Superior Provincial of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, had to say at the 615-day mark.
  • We learn about three upcoming good reads by Joseph Marshall III, and he teaches three episodes on lessons from the traditional bow and arrow.
  • Four visiting members of the Coalition on Residential Excellence share their time with us, with a reprise “Tell Me More” between former student Basic Eagle star and Sean Milner of Baptist Children’s Home.
  • Sr. Cathy Bertrand asks us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
  • Author and Oglala Lakota Ledger Artist Donald Montileaux discusses his stories and conducts an illustrating lesson in Librarian Claire Nehring’s room.

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Podcast Hosts

Scott Woster

Scotts Portrait Photo

Who do you get when you take a wide-eyed guy with a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from North Dakota State University and pair him with small-town Chamberlain, S.D., and St. Joseph’s Indian School?
• Nearly 30 years of love and dedication to the students, the families and other staff and their stories through his work as a Family Service Counselor
• A 2006 marriage to Sičáŋǧu Lakota Native American Studies Teacher for the school, LaRayne, and her three teenage daughters
• The 2008 birth of a daughter to the family
• Hóčhoka Podcast Host Scott Woster

Scott calls all of this a way-of-life he’d trade for no other. The son of a South Dakota journalist and nurse mother, he makes every stint in the Hóčhoka podcast studio a moment of passionately sharing the St. Joseph’s Indian School story.

Hope McCloskey

Hopes Portrait 2

What’s a savvy young Ponca/ Sičháŋǧu Lakota woman doing in a place like Hóčhoka Podcast studio?
•Continuing a great relationship with St. Joseph’s Indian School that she began as a sixth-grade student in August 2014
• Adding young-adult wisdom and energy to the conversations we share
• Enriching her film and television career with her hosting experience
• Collaborating with staff she knows and loves and building new relationships with experts in the field of Native American thought

Hope fits Hóčhoka into the busy life of a student on the cusp of graduating from Augustana University. Her free time involves working in the university library, munching on McDonald’s, panicking over papers and power-sleeping to cure stress. “I wouldn’t miss the opportunity for anything in the world,” she says. We hope you will enjoy your time with her as much as we do.