Overview American Horse School is a small Public Law (PL) 100-297 Elementary Grant school located in the heart of the Oglala Lakota Nation in Allen, South Dakota. Nearly all students enrolled at the school are members of a federally recognized tribe with the majority being members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. American Horse School is one of 10 elementary schools on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and it provides accredited educational services for approximately 330 Oglala Lakota children in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight. In addition to being a PL 100-297 Grant school, American Horse School is also managed by a 5 member board elected-at-large from within its service area and is governed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Department of Education. American Horse School has a service area that covers the village of Allen, S.D. and extends to the local villages and towns of Kyle, Batesland, Swett, Martin, and others.
History In 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, American Horse School began its long and distinguished service to the Allen community on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It began with the consolidation of two rural district day schools set-up under the direction of the Dawes Act. Day School #20 set at Yellow Bear Camp on No Flesh Creek, and Day School #21 set about a mile north of the Church of the Inestimable Gift. These two school buildings were moved to the site of the new school to become housing for teachers. Accordingly, the Allen community joined the North Corn Creek, the East Bear Creek, and the West Yellow Bear communities in a new modern brick school-casting the mold for a successful and prosperous future. Soit was that the United States Department of the Interior of the Indian Affairs, commissioned the Indian Emergency Conservation Work to construct a brick school that would maintain 100 students. Work began August 2, 1933, and was completed April 1, 1934.
American Horse School received its name in a very unusual manner. The principal at Kyle had an American Horse nameplate for the Kyle school…Alas, the Kyle parents did not want that name, so the principal persuaded the new school to accept the nameplate and be named after the great Chief American Horse. Some information links about Chief American Horse can be used below: Native Americans Past and Present (Chief American Horse) (Separate Web Site) Indigenous Peoples’ Literature (American Horse) at Indians.org (Separate Web Site).