The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center opened in 1991 on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School. The words “Akta Lakota,” meaning “to honor the people,” were chosen because the museum is truly intended to honor and preserve the rich culture of the Lakota people, the students at St. Joseph’s Indian School and for thousands who visit the museum each year.
The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is housed in the former school building; an octagon shaped building with 14,000 square feet of display space. The museum’s collection features art, artifacts and educational displays that depict the proud heritage of the Lakota people. Much of the museum’s original collection came from gifts given to St. Joseph’s by alumni and friends since the school opened in 1927. Since the museum opened, it has acquired many new pieces and continually strives to add relevant pieces to the collection. The museum also houses a Collector’s Gallery, which gives local artists a place to display and sell their work.
The facility is more than a traditional museum; it is an experience that provides visitors with a living lesson on the Native American way of life, both past and present.