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  • 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 »

  • 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

    40th 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 40th Annual American Indian Day & Powwow Celebration. Read more »

  • Native American works of art

    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 »

  • 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 »

  • Listing of South Dakota area powwows

    Area Powwows

    A wacipi - powwow - is a Native American gathering focused on dance, song and family celebration. It celebrates the connections to tradition and spirituality, to the Earth and to one another in a social, personal and spiritual meeting. View the listing of South Dakota area powwows »

  • Lakota-Language.png

    Speak Lakota

    We invite you to learn basic phrases and words of the Lakota language with the students at St. Joseph's Indian School. Read more »

  • ALM billboard in Chamberlain, SD

    Need Directions?

    Planning a road trip to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center? Take a look at these driving directions »

News & Events


The Lakota Moon Calendar:
Wiótehika Wi — The Hard Moon

Wiótehika WiThe Hard Moon

Winter signaled the beginning of a quieter time for the Lakota, during which a single camp site was used for the season. While women made and mended clothing, men went on raiding parties to ensure the camp’s safety and strength. Winter was also a time for fun. Children gathered around the fire to listen to the words of their grandparents. Lakota elders preserved community history by telling stories and recounting past times. There also was time for games, dancing and visiting.

Learn More!


The Dawes Act of 1887

The Dawes Act of 1887

On February 8, 1887, Congress passed the Dawes Act, named for its author, Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts. Also known as the General Allotment Act, the law allowed for the President to break up reservation land, which was held in common by the members of a tribe, into small allotments to be parceled out to individuals. Native Americans registering on a tribal "roll" were granted allotments of reservation land.

The aim of the act was to absorb tribe members into the larger national society. Allotments could be sold after a statutory period (25 years), and “surplus” land not allotted was opened to settlers. Within decades following the passage of the act the vast majority of what had been tribal land in the West was in hands of white settlers.

Learn More!