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Akta Lakota Museum History

Constructed in 1968, the building currently home to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center once served as the school on St. Joseph's campus. Roughly 10 years after its construction, students shifted from dormitories to family living units.

This change prompted St. Joseph's administrators to reduce class sizes. This change better met the students' individual needs. As a result, a dormitory was converted into classroom space. In 1989, renovations were completed and students began a new era of education at St. Joseph's Indian School.

Soon after classes began in the new school building, transformation began on the 14,180 square foot structure which would house the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center.

Designed by Brother Bonaventure and Father Lind in the 1960's, the building's circular shape offered a unique site to display the history of the Lakota people.

The distinctive design was also very stable. The design was supported by beams allowing for adjustment to the shifting ground.

The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center opened in May 1991 and welcomes thousands of visitors every year. It features a renowned collection of art by Lakota, Dakota and Nakota artists as well as unique cultural displays.

In addition, the museum’s outside walls depict 10 Lakota and Dakota chiefs.


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