Guest Blogger: Dixie

Ahh, the Dog Days of Summer are here! The heat does not seem to be slowing progress on the construction of the new Historical & Alumni Center at the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center.

Architect rendering of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Historical & Alumni Center – outside view
Architect rendering of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Historical & Alumni Center – outside view

For those not familiar with the project we broke ground in October of 2011 on the new Tokéya uŋkí nájiŋpi – We Stood Here in the Beginning – Historical and Alumni Center.   The Historical Center will preserve the memories of St. Joseph’s Indian School and share accomplishments of the students, religious staff and benefactors. The center will house historical and contemporary artifacts from St. Joseph’s past and present, and serve as a place where alumni can share their stories and stay involved with programs.

Other aspects of the project include an outdoor Medicine Wheel Garden of Healing. This space is intended to positively impact the well-being of St. Joseph’s students and alumni by integrating sculpture, with its healing and spiritual qualities, into the heart of the St. Joseph’s Indian School. The garden will also give students, alumni and visitors a peaceful and inspirational respite from their daily routines.

Architect rendering of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Historical & Alumni Center – floor plan
Architect rendering of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Historical & Alumni Center – floor plan

The final portion of the project is a new storage facility for the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center’s fine art and historical artifact collection.  The climate-controlled storage facility will house portions of the permanent collection when not on display, ensuring their preservation for future generations.

All three projects are an expansion of our current Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, which has been preserving the rich Lakota (Sioux) culture for students, visitors and staff of St. Joseph’s Indian School since 1991.

Phase 2 of the project includes installation of the Tokéya uŋkí nájiŋpi Historical Center exhibits, updating the Akta Lakota Museum’s existing exhibits and the installation of an energy efficient LED lighting system, as well as updates to our gift shop and parking lot areas.  Work in these areas will not begin until fall 2012, with all project work scheduled for completion in May 2013.

As construction progresses, we will continue to maintain regular museum hours as much as possible.  However there will be brief periods of time that require us to be closed as we strive to be good stewards of our collections and ensure a safe and comfortable viewing environment for our visitors.

View the project scrapbook now!

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Dixie”

  1. I don’t see any mention of a vegetable/herb garden at St Joseph’s. Is there one on premises or plans to create one. I think it is so important for children to learn and understand where healthy pure food comes from. So many of today’s children are lacking this connection.

    I would be willing to donate to help create one. The organic produce could help enrich the schools lunch/meal programs while teaching valuable lessons


    1. Good afternoon Lychee,

      Pilamaya – thank you for the great suggestion; great minds think alike!

      A small garden is actually in the works here at St. Joseph’s Indian School! Please let us know if you’d like to make a donation specifically towards the project! (You can call us at (800) 762-2162 or send us an email at

      Thank you again; God bless!

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