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Ochethi Sakowin Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Values
Sitting Bull College strives for educational equity, diversity, and inclusion in scholarly activities by cultivating opportunities for collaboration and community to create, model, apply, and practice the Ochethi Sakowin values, or virtues that are culturally identified ideals for being in this world. Rather than abstract and elusive philosophical principles to be strived after, however, these qualities are essential elements of one’s everyday life.
As the Ochethi Sakowin author Joseph Marshall points out, they are instilled in us as firmly and as specifically as American courtesies like saying “please” and “thank you” . . . I knew growing up that at some point I was supposed to be the things I learned in the stories: compassionate, honorable, and brave, and so forth . . . The virtues espoused by the stories . . . are the foundation and moral sustenance of Ochethi Sakowin culture. (Marshall,
The Ochethi Sakowin Way
There are numerous virtues, and while individuals may identify different virtues or order them variously according to significance, the underlying theme is always the same: expectations for individual behavior and character that ensure balance and well-being within society – human and beyond. In Marshall’s words, “There is nothing more important.”
The following Ochethi Sakowin values have been adopted as a guide for students to follow during their educational journey at Sitting Bull College.
Wóohola (Respect): SBC family should be thoughtful and considerate towards property, policies and people including themselves, fellow students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Wówacha?tognake (Generosity): SBC family should assist others in need without expecting anything in return.
Wówau?šila (Compassion): SBC family should display empathy for those less fortunate.
Wóowot?a?la (Integrity): SBC family should show
for their actions and work.
Wówachi?t?a?ka (Patience): SBC family should show endurance under difficult situations.
Wówicak?e (Honesty) SBC family should display integrity, truthfulness and straightforwardness in their educational studies and activities.
Wóu?šiic’iye (Humility): SBC family should be modest and respectful to themselves, fellow students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
Wóksape (Wisdom): SBC family should strive to gain the understanding to apply perceptions, actions, and judgment in a good way.
Wóohitike (Bravery): SBC family may face uncertainty and need to find courage in order to succeed.
Wówalitake (Fortitude): SBC family need to find the mental and emotional strength in difficult times.
Sources for the following list of values/virtues come from Joseph Marshall’s book,
The Ochethi Sakowin Way: Stories and Lessons for Living
(New York: Penguin ACCUPLACER 2002). Other useful sources discussing Ochethi Sakowin values are
Land of the Spotted Eagle
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 1978) by Luther Standing Bear,
Speaking of Indians
by Ella C. Deloria (University of Nebraska Press 1998, and
by Royal B. Hassrick (University of Oklahoma Press 1964). The spelling of the values here follows the
New Ochethi Sakowin Dictionary
(Bloomington, IN: Ochethi Sakowin Language Consortium 2008).
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