Pine Ridge Girl’s School: Empowering a New Generation of Water Activists

Photo courtesy of Anpo Wicahpi

Anpo Wicahpi, the Pine Ridge Girls’ School, is an all-girls school that uses an empowerment and cultural rootedness approach to transform Lakota girls, living in one of the poorest counties in America (the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota), into strong, activist, vocal community leaders.

LDF's grant supports an innovative “Politics of Water” course for use within the school, as well as elsewhere in and out of Indian country, blending hands-on science and engineering, local history and current events, critical thinking, activism and empowerment, and self-expression.

This project-based curriculum will yield benefits far beyond enrichment of individual students. By developing strong, knowledgeable leaders for Indian country, and cultivating wider understanding of Native treaty rights and cultures in relation to water, the curriculum can help build forces of resistance to development that threatens waters everywhere.

In terms of sustainability, the curriculum, materials, and equipment provided through the grant will serve as a long-term investment in the school’s ability to offer engaging, project-based coursework on one of the most relevant issues to our students’ lives.

Through collaborative partnerships, we support innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. Our work is divided into six main program areas – Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.

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