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The History of OSEC
Oceti Sakowin is a term that translates from both the Lakota and Dakota languages into English as “Seven Council Fires”. Inherent in the term is an implication of relatives coming together for a common purpose. To meet one’s relatives in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, to celebrate through food, song and prayer a common bond and to work together to build a better future for the coming generations.
It is in that spirit that the founders of the Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium first began working together. The Oceti Sakowin Learning Education Consortium is a legacy of the Visions TECWEB Project, a Technology Innovation Challenge Grant of the U. S. Department of Education. Visions TECWEB and its participating membership provided the programmatic and financial basis for the establishment. The initial Visions TECWEB partnering members where diverse. Comprised of parochial, state, federal and tribal schools and a tribal education department, the Visions TECWEB project tested the theory that the needs of the Native Children served outweighed the political considerations of systems that had evolved separately, and sometimes in competition, of each other. The success of Visions TECWEB in building curriculum, providing guidance to members in professional development and to help direct and gather resources was viewed by other school leaders serving Native Children as an important model to continue. In December of 2000 the original Visions TECWEB schools invited other schools and tribal colleges to begin the process of building an organization that would carry out the model started by the Visions TECWEB project.