LCH - Coaches
Dr. John J. Usera (Principal Evaluator) - PH.D. & Associates Inc. President
Gwen Holmes - MA Ed., LCH Prevention Coordinator, Cheyenne River Lakota Oyate
Joanne Beare, BSW - Program Director, enrolled member of the Hunkpapa/Sicangu Oyate
T.J. McCauley - Prevention Coordinator, enrolled member of the Kul Wicasa Oyate

Train the Trainer

Lakota Circles of Hope (LCH) is an innovative culturally specific prevention curriculum that teaches students how to use their culture to deal more effectively with risky behaviors such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco usage, bullying, and suicide. The curriculum is intended to foster a positive Lakota identity and enhance students understanding of Lakota culture. Train the Trainers Training will provide schools an opportunity to be trained by LCH-Training Coaches. Each School District will be trained on how to use and implement the Lakota Circles of Hope Curriculum in their schools. The Training offers:
  • 3 days of training from LCH-Coaches.
  • Pre/Post Evaluation to students.
  • Fidelity Observation Site Visit by LCH-Coaches.
  • Coaching & Technical Site Visits.
  • 1 Training Tool Kit for each person trained.
  • Completed Evaluation Report.
  • 3 college credits offered for minimal cost.

Schools that implemented the LCH Curriculum past and present.

Todd County, Takini School, Crow Creek Tribal School, St. Joseph's Indian School, White River/Norris School, Loneman School, Red Cloud/OLL Indian Schools, and Porcupine School.

The Meaning

Hocoka Ohomni
Translated means
Gathering into a circle, with hope.
In the Lakota tradition, everything is accomplished in a circle. The essence of the Lakota Circles of Hope curriculum is to use Lakota traditions, culture and values to empower the lives of youth living on the reservations.

Lakota Circles of Hope teaches students how to live a healthy lifestyle and make healthy choices.

The Curriculum

These traditional Lakota values comprise the core of the classroom based prevention curriculum:
  • Bravery = Woohitika
  • Generosity = Wacantognaka
  • Fortitude = Wowacintanka
  • Wisdom = Woksape
  • Respect = Yuonihan


Lakota Circles of Hope teams principal evaluator, Dr. John J. Usera - PH.D. & Associates Inc. President, collecting evaluation data for schools to observe program effectiveness. By request, schools may also be able to consult with the evaluator to obtain a more extensive evaluation.

Lakota Circles of Hope strives to create a series of powerful and self sustained connective circles engaging youth, family, school, and community.


“Learning and demonstrating the lessons was the most helpful part of the Train the Trainer training. It was also helpful being able to learn from previous teachers from the Lakota Circles of Hope program.”

Rosebud Haukaas - Counseler at Todd County South School District
“Seeing the lessons modeled and practicing delivering the Lakota Circles of Hope lessons was the best part of the Train the Trainer training. It’s a program that has its focus on prevention and includes the values of the Lakota people and is an important tool for school counselors.”

Louann Krogman - Counselor at Norris School & White River School District
“Train the Trainer is 3 days of experiencing the Lakota Circles of Hope Curriculum. As counselors, we were trained in the prevention aspect of the program. The training provided people experts in the culture. It was beneficial for us to be students, as well as teachers to learn the program. The Lakota culture is an important part which incorporates storytelling and activities that help the students reinforce their identity as Lakota children.”

Mary Nylander - Counselor at He Dog and Spring Creek Schools in the Todd County School District