Career Pathways Planning Curriculum

Lesson Plans: Part Two

Elder Review: Ben Rhodd, Potawatomi


These highlights will support the participant in thinking about and working with important aspects of transforming difficulties and life experiences into a successful career pathway. The key areas include:

  1. History – where we come from;
  2. Mentors & Opportunities – who and what supports us;
  3. Education, Career, Jobs, and Vocational Skills – what moves us forward.

These highlights are to be utilized to assist the participant in answering and discussing the questions identified with each of the five lessons provided in this curriculum.

Benn Rhodd

History (where we come from)
  • Potawatomi/Choctaw
  • “Boarding school was a very traumatic experience personally. Being torn from my family, my relatives, my community.”
  • “I was taken to boarding school, but my development up to that point was socially, and family, was unacceptable, because I began to drink at a young age, and got into a lot of trouble.”
Mentors & Opportunities  (who and what supports us)
  • “My uncles and my aunties always used to say to me, ‘It’s up to you, Sonny.’ I always remember them saying that. Okay, hey that means I got to think for myself.  I can’t turn and ask anyone for the answer, I have got to find it for myself.”
  • “The first time any man that was not of my own tribe, not of my family, had ever reached across to me and shook my hand. He said, ‘I expect you to live to what I said that I needed for you to do.’” 
  • Walking from a disciplinary meeting and recognizing that he had a choice to make; did so in reference to the wind, the trees, the sky, etc.
  • Honored by the Patron Nelson Mandela
Education, Career, Jobs, and Vocational Skills (what moves us forward)
  • Haskell Indian Junior College and chose the trade of becoming a baker
  • Was on the police force in Wanbli on Pine Ridge
  • Attended Oglala Lakota College and obtained an Elementary Education degree
  • Began carpentering and built houses in Gallup, New Mexico
  • Became an archeological aide
  • Pursued becoming an archeologist from University of South Dakota
  • Traveled the world and signed the document in the creation of the World Archeological Congress