The Lakota words Aktá Lakota mean to honor the people. Each year we receive thousands of visitors to the museum from all over the globe that want to deepen their appreciation of Native American culture. As an outreach program of St. Joseph’s Indian School the Aktá Lakota Museum prides itself on not just providing that experience but creating an atmosphere conducive to learning and healing into the hearts of our visitors and the students we serve.
What makes our museum such a wonderful experience is our focus. We have an outstanding collection of cultural, historical and artistic works that relate specifically to the Northern Plains Indian Tribes, the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota, the ancestry of our students. Our historical collection honors the past with many objects dating back to the early 1800s while our contemporary collection contains premier examples of artistry that represents the creative spirit of today’s world. Additionally, we work closely with Indian artist and artisans, to present contemporary artwork that builds on cultural traditions while expressing itself in new ways.
Aktá Lakota highlights include:
- A thirty-six foot wide diorama titled Lakota Buffalo Days dedicated to showing the importance of the buffalo to the Indian people;
- Interactive displays encourage visitors of all ages to learn and take part in the culture through informal, hands-on activities;
- Audio/visual observation areas transport the viewer into realities of daily experiences
- An outdoor Medicine Wheel Garden exhibit that combines traditional and contemporary art forms to create a peaceful atmosphere for all who visit.
What you take away from your visit and what we instill in our students is the understanding that Lakota culture is not just a thing of the past. It's alive and thriving today. The Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural center is open year round and free to all that visit we are located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, USA.