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  • Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is open

    We are Open!

    We have made several changes, to create a safe museum experience driven by social distancing measures, access to safety and sanitization equipment, and routine facility cleaning. Learn more »

  • Plan Your Visit

    Plan Your Visit

    Located in the heart of St. Joseph’s Indian School in the town of Chamberlain, South Dakota, along the banks of the beautiful and majestic Missouri River the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center tells the unique stories of the history of the Northern Plains Indian Tribes as no other museum can. We invite you to connect personally with the culture and traditions of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people through our exhibits and programs. Learn more »

  • Story Time with Uŋčí and Lalá

    Story Time with Uŋčí and Lalá

    Story Time with Uŋčí & Lalá has gone virtual! Due to COVID-19 and new social distancing rules our museum Story Time is being offered as an online program every Tuesday at 10:30 AM CDT. The program is geared toward elementary age children but children young or old will enjoy stories read by elders of the Lakota and Dakota communities. Browse our bookshelf for all our favorite stories!

  • ALMCC Gift Shop

    Gift Shop

    The Akta Lakota Museum offers a wide selction of unique, Indian made, items for purchase. All sales are used to fund programs for the Lakota children in our care at St. Joseph's Indian School. Shop our store »

  • Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center

    About Us

    The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, an educational outreach of St. Joseph’s Indian School, is committed to promoting the knowledge and understanding of the Northern Plains Indian Culture past, present and future, through the preservation of historical artifacts and contemporary works of art. Read more »

  • Medicine Wheel Garden

    Medicine Wheel Garden

    Our Medicine Wheel Garden is one of our newest exhibits at the Aktá Lakota Museum. Visitors may sit in quiet meditation among the native plants listening to the sound of the Mni Wicóni (Waters of Life) or stroll around the perimeter and enjoy the Lakota directional prayers displayed on interpretive panels resembling sacred buffalo hides. Learn more »

  • ALM Historical Center

    Historical Center

    St. Joseph's Indian School's Alumni & Historical Center was dedicated in May 2013.
    Tokéya uŋkí nájiŋpi (We Stood Here in the Beginning) will preserve the memories of St. Joseph’s Indian School and share accomplishments of the students, religious staff and benefactors. Read more »

  • Native American Artists

    Artist Biographies

    Want to learn about the Native American artists? Read more »

  • St. Joseph's Indian School's American Indian Day and Powwow

    Annual Powwow

    As an outreach program of St. Joseph's Indian School, the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center will be offering cultural activities with our 45th Annual American Indian Day & Powwow Celebration. Read more »

ALM 30th Anniversary

Wičhózaŋi — 30 Years of Honoring the Culture

In May of 1991, the Aktá Lakota Museum officially opened its doors. Over the past 30-years, the museum’s collective memory has provided exceptional research, exhibit and educational services to scholars, the students of St. Joseph’s Indian School and all those interested in learning more about the culture and heritage of the Northern Plains Indian people. To commemorate the milestone anniversary we will be sharing video tributes each month through the end of the year that will lead visitors on a journey through the moments in the evolution of the Museum, our collection, educational programs and more. Follow our journey!


New exhibit opens at the Akta Lakota Museum

The Gift

The Gift, developed by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) is based on the traditional Lakota narrative of the coming of the White Buffalo Woman who gave a sacred pipe to Itazipco Oyate people.

The exhibit centers on the seven sacred Lakota ceremonies — ‘gifts’ — that Black Elk says were foretold by the White Buffalo Woman.

  1. Hanbleceya — Vision Quest
  2. Hunkapi — Making Relatives
  3. Isnati Awicalowan — Preparing for Womanhood
  4. Tapa Wankayeyapi — Throwing the Ball
  5. Wanagi Yuhapi — Keeping a Ghost
  6. Wiwanyang Wacipi — Sun Dance
  7. Inipi — Purification

Each of the gifts are interpreted by an artwork, a poem and a song created by Lakota artists, poets and musicians and presented together with the text of each ‘gift’.

The Gift will be on exhibit at the Aktá Lakota Museum from June through November 2021.