St. Joseph’s Celebrates Family with National Thiyóšpaye Night

Posted on: November 16, 2023

On November 15th, St. Joseph’s celebrated the gift of family with staff and students at the school. Adapting the National Family Night observance, which is usually celebrated in communities throughout the country during the week of Thanksgiving, the school gathered in groups of siblings and extended family (thiyóšpaye in Lakota) for an evening of games and good eats.

Good-natured competition has become characteristic of the St. Joe’s celebration over the past few years as family units compete in Minute-to-Win-It style games. Some of this year’s 60-second challenges included “Cookie Face,” where competitors use only their facial muscles and the force of gravity to move a cookie from their foreheads to their mouths without dropping it, and “Keep the Feather up,” where the objective is to use only one’s breath to keep a feather from falling to the ground.

Sixth grader Romeo Roubideaux said “Keep the Feather up” was his favorite game with his favorite family game. Third grader Wyatt LaRoche and eighth grader Rylee Bagola better enjoyed watching staff members get pied in the face. Aleighya La Roche, a sixth grader, appreciated the purpose of the evening – having a good time with family and friends.

After an abundance of laughter and hy-jinks prompted by the rapid-fire games, students enjoyed a meal and more camaraderie.

For more than 45 years, the week of Thanksgiving has been proclaimed National Family Week. In 2023, it is scheduled nationally for November 19-25. This observance was the idea of Mr. Sam Wiley, a teacher, basketball coach and school administrator in Indiana who observed the stark difference in children who came from strong, supportive families. He conceived of the idea to set aside a time during Thanksgiving – when families traditionally gather to give thanks for their many blessings – to recognize the important role family plays in our society.