By Clare Willrodt Director of Communications and Outreach St. Joseph’s Indian School


What happens when a team of sixty artists, poets, and musicians seeks to interpret the tense moments of a worrisome intrusion that happened more than a century prior? The Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) announce the opening of “Navigating Narratives – The Corps of Discovery in the Teton Territory” on Monday, June 19.

CAIRNS organized the exhibit, which explores the daily journals of Corps members William Clark, Patrick Gass, John Ordway, and Joseph Whitehouse. Their first-person accounts from September 23 to September 30, 1804, are the only known records of the events that took place when The Corps of Discovery, commonly called the Lewis and Clark Expedition, unwittingly entered the territory of the Titonwanian nation as they navigated the swirling waters and shifting sandbars of the Missouri river.

The artists, poets, and musicians read the journal entries and created works to interpret their findings in painting, poetry, and song. Come and ponder their perspectives about what must have been a problematic exploration. The opening reception is Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 2 to 5 p.m. To schedule a guided tour of Navigating Narratives, call 800-798-3452.

CAIRNS is an Indian-controlled nonprofit research and education center committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them by developing quality educational resources and innovative projects that incorporate tribal perspectives, and by serving as a meeting ground for peoples and ideas that support these perspectives.

The Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural Center was established in 1991 and is an educational outreach program of St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D. Visit to find additional information.