MAKA BLACK ELK | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR TRUTH AND HEALING, RED CLOUD INDIAN SCHOOL
Maka Black Elk (Oglala Lakota) is the Executive Director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School, formerly known as Holy Rosary Mission, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Red Cloud is one of the few remaining Jesuit schools serving an indigenous community in the country. As an alumnus of Red Cloud Maka continued his Jesuit education at the University of San Francisco. He returned to Red Cloud after earning his master’s in Peace and Human Rights Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Over the past 8 years, Maka has been a high school history teacher, volunteer coordinator, and the director of curriculum during which he earned a master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. He serves as the chairperson of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network and is a board member of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and the Catholic Volunteer Network. He also serves as an advisor to the Taking Responsibility initiative on clergy sexual abuse at Fordham University. Maka has dedicated much of his work to leading and fostering educational empowerment for his community through his unique lens of being both Lakota and Catholic.
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The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is a national social justice network inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. ISN was founded in 2004 and is a lay-led 501(c)3 organization working in partnership with Jesuit universities, high schools, and parishes, along with many other Catholic institutions and social justice partners.