The Aktá Lakota Museum hosts the Lewis and Clark Trail Junior Ranger Program, which was just recognized with the National Park Service’s Freeman Tilden Award. Designer of the program, Caitlin Campbell of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, was presented with the Tilden award, the highest award presented to a National Park Service individual to recognize outstanding contributions to the profession of interpretation.
The award was created to inspire and reward creative thinking and original programs in the National Park Service that positively impact visitors and parks.
The Lewis and Clark Trail Junior Ranger program, is a free activity booklet that kids can pick up at the Aktá Lakota Museum and complete to earn a Junior Ranger badge.
“Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail staff work closely with partners sites across 4,900 miles,” said award recipient Campbell. “For this project, we collaborated to create a Junior Ranger program that is inclusive, accessible, and relevant across the entire trail.”
The 4,900-mile-long national historic trail follows the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across North America and passes through the territories of more than 60 Tribes.
The program’s Junior Ranger booklet begins not with an uncharted wilderness, but with a continent bustling with Native trade, art, and technology. Activities highlight the diverse backgrounds and skills of the Corps of Discovery and the expedition’s reliance on Tribal nations. Accessible, innovative features—including audio-described read-along videos, a Native names online guide, and tactile maps—boost engagement for all.
“The legislation that created Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and many other trails clearly envisioned trails as being the products of partners, volunteers, and agency employees working together,” said Superintendent Mark Weekley. “This Junior Ranger program exemplifies what we can achieve through this unique collaboration.”
The Aktá Lakota Museum, an outreach of St. Joseph’s Indian School, is one of more than 30 partnering locations in 13 states where kids and the young at heart can find the Lewis and Clark Trail Junior Ranger program. The public is invited to visit The Aktá Lakota Museum which is located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School and is open year-round to participate in the program free of charge.
About St. Joseph’s Indian School
St. Joseph’s Indian School is a Native American residential school dedicated to improving the quality of life for Lakota (Sioux) children and families. As an apostolate of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s mission is to educate Native American children and their families for life in mind, body, heart and spirit. This mission drives their organization to educate and provide housing for approximately 200 Lakota (Sioux) children each year. St. Joseph’s provides an opportunity for Lakota children to change the cycle of poverty with an education and the opportunity of a brighter future. As a nonprofit organization, all services and programs provided to students are free-of-charge, thanks to charitable contributions from generous supporters.
About The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
The 4,900-mile-long Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail follows the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across North America and passes through the territories of more than sixty tribes. For additional information about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, please call 402-661-1806 or visit www.nps.gov/lecl and join the conversation by following @LewisandClarkNHT.
About The National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s more than 400 national parks and work with communities across the nation to preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.