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"When we first got here we basically had nothing. Just the clothes on our back. We were just looking for a new life, a new start. We were homeless."    

Kristine Haukaas, Head Start parent.

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Prenatal to Five Head Start
program serves pregnant women and
children ages 0-5 years of age

RAI was the first organization in the nation to convince the federal government to use a tribally controlled Head Start dollars, ordinarily earmarked for reservations, to serve Urban Indians. Our Early Head Start and Head Start programs prioritize services for families moving from the reservation to Rapid City, usually in search of economic opportunity for themselves and their family.  

Our Early Head Start and Head Start programs all use The Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD for guidance on the environments as well as for an observation and assessment system. All our teachers complete weekly lesson plans for their classrooms and input weekly observations on each child.  

Ateyapi ("Fatherhood in the Lakota Language")
Youth Mentoring programs that serve students in Rapid City public middle and high schools. 


The Ateyapi Youth Mentoring Program was developed and implemented by RAI in 1994, and serves approximately 1200 students in the Rapid City Area School District annually. Adult American Indian role models who are alcohol and drug-free, with a knowledge of their culture, serve as mentors, and together with their students strive for personal, group, family and community enhancement.
Our mentors, located in Rapid City's middle and high schools, serve as paraprofessionals during the day, helping in the schools. After school they teach the curriculum their particular Ateyapi program uses. Our programs currently include Lakota language, YES (Youth Engagement in Sports), a health improvement program, and  Tokata Eyucgan Po (Thinking About the Future), a teen pregnancy prevention program.     



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