Culture is defined as the established beliefs, social norms, customs and traditions of a group of people. The same is true for Native American culture. Factors like geography, history and generations of spirituality, stories and traditions also shape the culture of any given tribe or people. Native Americans are no exception.
Here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, we have had the privilege of working with Native American families and communities since 1927. In 1991, the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center was established on our campus to honor and preserve the historical artifacts and contemporary art that tell the story of the Lakota (Sioux) people of the Northern Plains.
Native American culture is sometimes thought of as a thing of the past. However, contemporary powwows, art and language revitalization efforts tell a different story.
This section introduces historical information about Native American culture — specifically the Lakota — as well as ways this rich culture is being lived and shared today.
What is known today as the Great Sioux Nation is made up of the bands and dialects of the Seven Council Fires or Oceti Sakowin, in Lakota.
Read more about Oceti Sakowin — Seven Council Fires.
What a person believes shapes the way they live their lives, make decisions and plan for the future. Traditions and customs are the backbone of any culture.
Read more about Lakota Beliefs and Traditions.
A wačhípi — powwow — is a Native American gathering focused on dance, song and celebration. Powwows celebrate the connections to tradition and spirituality, to the Earth and to one another in a social, personal and spiritual meeting.
Read more about the Lakota powwow.
Cultural education is important for students and staff at St. Joseph’s. Check out some of our favorite Native American books and authors.
Read more about Native American Books.