Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings  Intructional Resources


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In 2008, the Oceti Sakowin core concepts were developed by a team of educators and experts in culture, history, oral traditions, and language that collaborated with the South Dakota Department of Education. The team had identified the core concepts that focused on the essential to understanding and teachings of the Oceti Sakowin history and culture. Upon completion of this phase of development in August 2010, another team began to develop the essential understandings. The work was designed to provide compatibility to the South Dakota social studies standards. The essential understandings captured the core concepts that were identified at the beginning of the project. Indicators, standards, and activities were written to provide a framework for additional work and various forms of implementation. Culturally appropriate work created by other sources was identified to support suggested activities. The Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards are used in schools across South Dakota. They provide a foundation for teaching about the history and culture of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires).


OSEU 1: Lands & Environment The original land base and natural resources of the Oceti Sakowin [oh-CHEH-tee shaw-KOH-we] were under communal stewardship prior to immigrant settlement. Oceti Sakowin have a distinct and unique interrelationship with the environment that is essential to South Dakota.

Week 1  

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     Released 2/1/2021 

Week 2  

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     Released 2/8/2021 



OSEU 2: Identity & ResiliencyThere is variety and resiliency among individuals within the Oceti Sakowin [oh-CHEH-tee shaw-KOH-we] Oyate [oh-YAH-tay] (people) as identity is developed, defined and redefined by entities, by organization, and by people. A continuum of tribal identity, unique to each individual, ranges from assimilated to traditional lifestyle. There is no “generic American Indian.”

Week 3  

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     Released 2/15/2021 

Week 4  

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     Released 2/22/2021 

Week 5  

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     Released 3/1/2021 





Oceti Sakowin Essential Understanding

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Upcoming Resource Release Dates



Week 6: OSEU 3: Culture & Language - 3/8/2021 

Week 7: OSEU 3: Culture & Language - 3/15/2021


Week 8: OSEU 4: Kinship & Harmony - 3/22/2021 

Week 9: OSEU 4: Kinship & Harmony - 4/12/2021 


Week 10: OSEU 5: Oral Tradition & Story - 4/19/2021 

Week 11: OSEU 5: Oral Tradition & Story - 4/26/2021 


Week 12: OSEU 6: Sovereignty & Treaties - 5/3/2021 

Week 13: OSEU 6: Sovereignty & Treaties - 5/10/2021 


Week 14: OSEU 7: Way of Life & Development - 5/17/2021 

Week 15: OSEU 7: Way of Life & Development - 5/24/2021 


Conclusion - 6/01/2021