Volume 2: Midwest United States
South Dakota: SD-3

St. Joseph Indian School
1301 North Main Street
P.O. Box 326
Chamberlain, SD 57326

Phone: 800-341-2235
Email: See website (Contact)


History: St. Joseph Indian School, Chamberlain, Brule County, South Dakota, has been a predominantly Native American School in the Diocese of Sioux Falls (Archives: Sioux Falls, South Dakota).


Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (United States Province) (Archives: Franklin, Wisconsin) established and have administered St. Joseph’s Indian School (Brulé Lakota, Sans Arc Lakota, Santee Dakota, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota)


Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia (Archives: Ashton, Pennsylvania) staffed the school


A fire destroyed the school, but it reopened later that same year


Benedictine Sisters (Archives: Yankton, South Dakota) staffed the school


Dominican Sisters (Archives: Oxford, Michigan) staffed the school, in part


Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (Archives: Marty, South Dakota) staffed the school, in part


Sisters of Mercy (Regional Community of Vermont) (Archives: Belmont, North Carolina) staffed the school, in part


Lay teachers staffed the school, at least in part


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1927-ongoing, undated

Volume: At least 15.5 cubic feet


Description: The records at St. Joseph's School were not arranged according to a classification scheme when reviewed by a Marquette University archivist, 1980. Consequently, the description is by record type. 


/1 House chronicle

Inclusive dates: 1977-ongoing

Volume: At least 1 volume

Description: Handwritten daily entries with information on daily activities, special events, visitors, and the like.


/2 "History of St. Joseph's School

Inclusive dates: 1927-1964, undated

Volume: 199 pages

Description: Typed copy; author not identified.


/3 House council meeting minutes

Inclusive dates: 1948-ongoing

Volume: At least 147 pages  


/4 School records

Inclusive dates: 1927-ongoing

Volume: At least 15.0 cubic feet


A. "Cumulative Records" of students, 1950s-present, 10 cubic feet: divided into inactive files (at least 8 cubic feet) and active files (at least 2 cubic feet); typical files contain an application for enrollment, including supporting documentation, such as transcripts, medical reports, photographs, baptismal records, progress reports, and standardized test scores

B. "Permanent School Record Cards," 1950s-present, at least 1 cubic foot: divided into active and inactive records and thereunder arranged alphabetically by surname; information on cards includes annual attendance record, annual scholastic record, and standardized test scores

C. Cards on students, 1930s-1979, at least 1 cubic foot: arranged chronologically and alphabetically; include name and age of student and family members, data on religious background and past education, and dates when student enrolled and left the School

D. "School Records for St. Joseph's Indian School, 1927-1948," 153 pages: records provide the following data: name of student, age, grade, names of parents, address, medical history, religious history, whether student left school or was dismissed, and occasionally photos, clippings, and written comments

E. Notebook listing graduates, 1928-present, at least 1 volume: arranged chronologically and alphabetically

F. "General School Administration," 1960s-ongoing, 3 cubic feet: alphabetical subject files


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.