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Red Cloud Indian School welcomes visitors year round to learn the history of the Lakota people and the vibrancy of Lakota arts and culture today. Tour our historic campus, where Chief Red Cloud himself is laid to rest. Experience Lakota and other Native art exhibits in The Heritage Center fine arts gallery and support local Lakota artists by purchasing authentic Native-made goods in our gift shop.

Chief Red Cloud (1822-1909) was a great leader who fiercely defended the lands and rights of the Oglala Lakota. As the U.S. government encroached further and further on tribal sovereignty throughout the nineteenth century, Chief Red Cloud, or Maȟpíya Lúta as he is known to the Lakota, recognized that education was essential to the future survival of his people. In 1888, he joined with the Jesuits, or “black robes,” to create a school for Lakota children at the southern end of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Over 130 years later, the organization that bears his name—Red Cloud Indian School—continues to honor his spirit and his deep commitment to his people. By teaching Lakota history and spirituality, by actively revitalizing the endangered Lakota language, and by creating opportunity for Lakota artists, we are working to deepen understanding of Lakota heritage, culture, and values.

We welcome all visitors to join us at Red Cloud—to learn more about the history of the Lakota people and to experience the vibrancy of Lakota arts and culture today.

A Red Cloud graduate will guide you on a tour of our beautiful campus and the historic cemetery where Chief Red Cloud himself is laid to rest. As part of your tour, you will experience Lakota and other Native art exhibits in The Heritage Center gallery. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase authentic Native-made goods in The Heritage Center’s gift shop—and help to provide a sustainable source of income for local Lakota artists on the Pine Ridge Reservation. We look
forward to welcoming you!

The Tour

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Red Cloud Indian School is situated in the beautiful rolling hills of the Pine Ridge Reservation, southwest of the majestic Badlands and just north of the Nebraska border. Your guided tour includes a walk around campus, including visiting Chief Red Cloud’s memorial gravesite and a look inside our award-winning Holy Rosary Church, which honors both the Catholic and Lakota values that have shaped Red Cloud’s history. After a formally guided tour, guests can view Lakota and other Native American fine arts in The Heritage Center’s gallery and purchase handmade jewelry and other Lakota arts in our onsite gift shop. During the summer, visitors can experience the Red Cloud Indian Art Show—the largest and longest running Native art exhibition of its kind and one of only a few held in an indigenous community.

Throughout the tour you will learn about:

  • Chief Red Cloud’s vision for a school on the Pine Ridge Reservation—and its extraordinary success in empowering Lakota students today
  • The history of the Lakota people, and the trauma and injustices that unfolded during the reservation era, and the cultural revitalization that is happening on the reservation today.
  • The importance and prevalence of the arts in Lakota communities—and how Lakota artists are keeping traditional practices alive today.

Your Guides

As well as being staff members, our tour guides are all graduates of Red Cloud Indian School.

Rilda

Rilda

Marcus

Marcus

Tour Times

Monday – Friday 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm

Tours last approximately one hour.

If you happen to be here outside of our regular tour schedule, please call. We love giving tours
and, if our staff is available, we will do our best to accommodate you.

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Rates

Price: $12 per person

  • Children under 12 and Oglala Sioux Tribe members tour for free
  • Red Cloud benefactors can receive complimentary tours; please call ahead to schedule.

Groups

$200 per bus (14 or more)

Recommendation for Groups

Groups are welcome! We encourage you to call ahead so your guests will get the best visitor experience.

If you have more than 20 people, we will split you into smaller groups and have each tour guide begin at different sections of the tour.

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Wóphila Tȟáŋka!

(Many Thanks!)