South Junior High School and Haskell Indian Nations University on Monday formalized their long-standing relationship.
The two schools entered into a school/business education partnership, bringing the total number of such partnerships in Lawrence to 48. South also is in partnership with McDonald's.
In the 2-year-old partnership program, schools and, most often, local businesses team up. Company employees donate time at schools, and a variety of in-kind donations of goods and services are provided for students and staff.
Russell Blackbird, principal at South, said a steering committee is filled with ideas on how the the junior high and Haskell can share resources and information.
During an all-school assembly Monday morning at South, former South Principal Orvel Criqui told students and staff that the land where South and Broken Arrow schools now sit formerly was part of Haskell's land.
"In fact, all of this was Haskell land, clear to the Wakarusa (River)," said Criqui. ``... So our school grounds is a gift from Haskell."
And when colors were chosen for South before it opened for the 1968-69 school year, Criqui said, Haskell was included. Black, he said, was taken from Lawrence High School, representing the future. And gold was borrowed from Haskell, noting the past.
Ricky Robinson, who heads Haskell's teacher education department, said he hopes more of his students now will spend time at South, observing and working with teachers and students. In addition, Haskell's math and science departments are particularly interested in working with South, said Robinson, a member of the Cherokee tribe. The band and cheerleaders from South plan to perform at some Haskell sporting events.
And members of the Haskell staff will continue to share their tribal cultures with South students.
"We hope to see you all many times in the years to come," Robinson said.