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Sioux Culture

Sioux Culture

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Akta Lakota Museum

The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center opened in 1991 on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School. The words “Akta Lakota,” meaning “to honor the people,” were chosen because the museum is truly intended to honor and preserve the rich culture of the Lakota people, the students at St. Joseph’s Indian School and for thousands who visit the museum each year.

The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is housed in the former school building; an octagon shaped building with 14,000 square feet of display space. The museum’s collection features art, artifacts and educational displays that depict the proud heritage of the Lakota people. Much of the museum’s original collection came from gifts given to St. Joseph’s by alumni and friends since the school opened in 1927. Since the museum opened, it has acquired many new pieces and continually strives to add relevant pieces to the collection. The museum also houses a Collector’s Gallery, which gives local artists a place to display and sell their work.

The facility is more than a traditional museum; it is an experience that provides visitors with a living lesson on the Native American way of life, both past and present.


Dakota Indian Foundation

Dakota Indian Foundation was founded in 1971 by the late John Frank Lindley, former State Representative and Lieutenant Governor of the State of South Dakota. He conceived the Foundation from his concern for the plight of South Dakota’s tribes.

At the heart of Dakota Indian Foundation is a belief that education is essential to making life better for future generations. Each semester, approximately 100 students receive a scholarship to support their collegiate studies. Students must be enrolled in a South Dakota tribe, have attended a college or university on a full-time basis, and carry a minimum grade point average.

The Foundation is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors comprised of business and education professionals. The Board is comprised of a majority of enrolled tribal members and meets on a monthly basis to review grant proposals and scholarship applications. The Board is not paid for their services but receive reimbursement of expenses when necessary.

Native Hope


Mission Statement: Native Hope is a nonprofit organization that exists to dismantle barriers and inspire hope for Native voices unheard.

Native Hope Values: We believe in the power of storytelling to dismantle barriers and inspire hope for Native people.

We respect culture by offering support to mend issues on reservations and by preserving the traditions of each tribe.

We take bold action to inspire success when addressing the difficulties Native American communities and individuals face.

We honor families by promoting a healthy lifestyle and a holistic healing for tiyospayes…for extended families.

We serve Native American peoples with a joyful spirit. We seek to act honorably and sensitively so a sense of wholeness is provided.

We will keep promises made to the Native American people and communities we serve.