Lakota Emergence

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

Lakota Emergence focuses entirely on the short Lakota emergence narrative titled “How the Lakota Came Upon the World,” written down by James Walker sometime between 1896, when he first arrived at Pine Ridge to serve as the agency’s physician, and 1917 when it was published by the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit divides […]

The Great Race

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

According to Lakota legend, long ago there was a great race between the four-leggeds and the two-leggeds.  The purpose was to determine which of the two groups of contestants would have precedence over the other.  One unintended consequence of the race was the Black Hills were caused to come into being.  The Great Race focuses […]

Tapun Sa Win

The Tapun Sa Win (taw-poon sha ween) narrative is organized around a story about a beautiful young Lakota woman (Tapun Sa Win, or Red Cheek Woman) who married a star and went to live with him in the sky.  Near the due date for the birth of her baby, she inadvertently created a hole in […]

Takuwe – Why?

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

“Takuwe,” which in English means “why,” centers on re-imagining the senseless slaughter of 300 Lakotas on December 29, 1890. The narrative structure of “Takuwe” is based on the words of Lakotas who were there in 1890 and 1891. Their recollections and reflections guide visitors through the exhibition in seven chronological periods: The exhibition includes songs, […]

Articles of a Treaty

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

Articles of a Treaty focuses on the articles of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty between the “different bands of the Sioux Nation of Indians” and the United States.  The title is the first four words of the actual treaty. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty contains seventeen articles. Each article is interpreted through music, poetry, and […]

Iyáčhiŋ — Compare

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

Iyáčhiŋ (ē ah chee), is Lakota for compare. In this exhibit, the pieces are hung in pairs encouraging a natural tendency to compare and contrast as a means of understanding. Iyáčhiŋ features artwork exclusively from the Aktá Lakota Museum’s permanent collection.

The Gift

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

The Gift, 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. Hanbleceya — Vision Quest Hunkapi — Making Relatives Inipi — Purification […]

Creation.Story Artist Reception

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

Keith BraveHeart and the Aktá Lakota Museum are proud to present Creation.Story – an exhibition of contemporary art about the Lakota creation story. In 2018, the museum purchased BraveHeart’s MFA thesis, a series of eight paintings entitled Wakan Takan. Creation.Story is a continuation of this thesis work that involves the collaboration of nine additional artists: […]

The Quilt — Owíŋza Exhibit

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

The Quilt - Owíŋža exhibit features quilts from 1893 to contemporary that are in the Aktá Lakota Museum’s private collection. These quilts are a testament to the powerful tradition, aesthetic, artisanship, and resiliency of the Lakota culture. When the buffalo was at the center of Lakota life, beautifully decorated hides, often with striking circular patterns, […]

Navigating Narratives
The Corps of Discovery in Teton Territory

Navigating Narratives The Corps of Discovery in Teton Territory Navigating Narratives is the newest exhibition by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS). The exhibit focuses on the eight days in September of 1804 when the Corps of Discovery traveled up the Missouri River through the land of the Teton people. It […]

Navigating Narratives Exhibit
Opening Reception

Aktá Lakota Museum St. Joseph's Indian School, Chamberlain, SD

Navigating Narratives The Corps of Discovery in Teton Territory Opening Reception • June 24, 2023 • 2 — 5 pm The Aktá Lakota Museum cordially invites you to celebrate the opening of our newest exhibit, Navigating Narratives developed by the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS) on June 24, 2023. 2:00 PM  […]