St. Joseph’s Indian School Launches Hóčhoka Season 4

Posted on: August 28, 2023

On Monday, August 28, St. Joseph’s Indian School launched Season 4 of the school’s podcast, Hóčhoka. The endeavor aims to showcase the people and ideas that make the school a leader in Native American education and to discuss issues central to Native American education today. The season runs with weekly releases through December 4. It is available on Podbean, Apple, iTunes and Spotify in audio and vlog formats.

 The season begins with returning guest Dr. Damian Costello, a Catholic theologian specializing in indigenous spiritual traditions. He asks, “Should the Catholic Church near you have a buffalo skull?” Listen to his surprising and well-argued answer. Later in the season, he rejoins for two more episodes, one on the Rosary as a Lakota prayer in its origins and the practice of Lakota holy man Black Elk, and one on sweetgrass, “the fragrant, holy grass.”

During the season, host Scott Woster visits with experts on Native American literature, including Lily Mendoza, bookseller and founder of the Red Ribbon Skirt Society, and Joseph Marshall III, who was recently awarded the prestigious Owen Wister Award for lifetime contributions to Western Literature. The two return during future episodes to discuss the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Also contributing to that series of four episodes are Allison Morrisette, South Dakota’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator, and Mary Beth Holzwarth, Human Trafficking Coordinator.

Other thought-provoking guests include Fr. Vien Nguyen, who went from being a Vietnamese boat person to becoming the Superior General of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs) in the United States. The SCJs founded and operate St. Joseph’s Indian School. Also joining the guest cast are Michele David Mechling, a frequent visiting artist at the school, and the school’s Religious Studies Teacher, Kim Schneider, who gives insights into Lakota and Christian pilgrimage.

President Mike Tyrell said, “We have a remarkable season in store. Hóčhoka has become a positive vehicle for reaching out and sharing what we have with others and an opportunity to learn from the best of what our talented and unique guests share with us.”

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 it does, and the role of the podcast to be at the center of the Native American educational conversation and gather others around that conversation.

 Why tune in to 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.