This trip is currently full, sign up to be placed on the waiting list!

Join us to experience the challenges and joys of the Great Sioux Native American Nation in the context of Maryknoll’s mission work with other indigenous peoples around the world. 

Indigenous people are rich in ancient traditions and culture, but oftentimes pushed to the margins of society.  Nonetheless,  they have many lessons to share about caring for life-in all its forms.  The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers are privileged to accompany and serve the indigenous peoples around the world, including Indonesia, Tanzania, Guatemala, Peru, and Bolivia.  Living side-by-side with the Maryknollers have helped empower indigenous peoples, to embrace their spirituality and culture, combat poverty, and build communities grounded in peace and social justice. 

This immersion trip is offered to contextualize and reflect on the experience of our brothers and sisters of the Great Sioux Native American Nation in South Dakota in light of the challenges and opportunities facing indigenous people around the world. 

Participants will: 

  • learn about the history, culture, and spirituality of the Lakota People
  • hear the intergenerational stories of suffering and resilience from a people who had their land and culture ripped away from them
  • gain firsthand insight into the trauma and injustices that have unfolded through genocide, relocation and poverty during the reservation era
  • see signs of hope springing forth from the cultural revitalization that is happening on reservations today
  • appreciate the importance and prevalence of the culture and spirituality in Lakota communities, and how those traditional practices are kept alive
  • better understand how the experience of the Lakota People relates to and is connected with that of other indigenous groups around the world

We will visit:

  • The Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation, as well as the Pine Ridge and Crow Creek Sioux Reservations
  • The Sundance Grounds will familiarize participants with the Native American Sun Dance ceremony, an indigenous religious tradition to reunite and reconnect with the earth and the spirits. 
  • Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial
  • Black Hills, including Crazy Horse Memorial and Devils Tower National Monument
  • Saint Joseph’s Indian School

Using the see/judge/act methodology of the pastoral circle, the group will bring what they learn and experience into daily community prayer and faith sharing.  Through theological reflection, we will discern how God is prompting us and our communities to better accompany, serve, and advocate for indigenous peoples not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

Our trip will be facilitated by Dr. Gary Cheeseman, a professor of American Indian Education at the University of South Dakota (, who who will draw on his own experience as a Native American.  In addition, via webinar, Maryknoll Fr. Steve Judd, MM will share the realities and context of indigenous people from around the world, as well as Maryknoll’s stories of accompanying and serving  them in their challenges and joys. 


Trip includes fees, hotel and retreat center lodging, breakfasts and ground transportation during the immersion trip.  A donation of $1200 is requested to cover these costs based on double occupancy (add $350 for single occupancy.) Scholarships may be available particularly for young adults and church ministers. Participants are responsible for travel expenses to and from the Omaha Eppley International Airport (OMA) and for their own lunches and dinners at restaurants during the trip.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination including booster(s) is required .  If you are interested in this unique opportunity, please submit the application below and we will be in contact with you for next steps.

Please contact Kris East at (510) 276-5021 or for additional information. Learn more about what to expect on a Maryknoll Immersion Trip at

DEADLINE to apply:  June 1, 2023