Lakota Youth Development 

Reclaiming Lakota language, culture and spirituality by promoting education and healthy lifestyles for our youth through culturally based strategies.

Elder Guidance
Elder Guidance

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Tipi Stay at Sunset
Tipi Stay at Sunset

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Lakota Youth Development
Lakota Youth Development

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Elder Guidance
Elder Guidance

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Summer Apprenticeship Program

                                                                            Learn More!

Visit our underground garden

Designed by Grad Student from Brookings.

Built and maintained by our youth.                             Watch video!

Rent our mechanical bull or rock wall!

Great for parties, picnics, camps and more.

                                                                            Click to schedule

Check us out on PBS and other media!

Our unique stories are getting noticed and shared!   Click to see more

Upcoming Activities/Events

LYD invited to participate in "Remembrance Day" Activities in Italy

Three LYD Representatives were sent to Florence Italy to witness the first ever Day of Remembrance for Indigenous Peoples of North America (Turtle Island). This event was an acknowledgement of the genocide of indigenous peoples and the struggles that indigenous peoples still face today across Turtle Island by the government of Tuscany. The week's long events was sponsored by the City of Florence and Wambli Gleska - a non-profit organization that teaches Lakota culture to Italians. LYD and Wambli Gleska have been partners for several years as we work together to bring intercultural tourism and apprenticeships opportunities to Italians and Lakota people.

Listen to SD Public Radio Interview with our Executive Director, Marla Bull Bear.

South Dakota Tourism Training

LYD has been selected for a unique opportunity to be a site for the Discover America Tour through Trafalgar Tours starting in 2023. On November 5th, our staff will work South Dakota Tourism and George Washington University on developing this cultural heritage experience for our visitors. We are excited for the opportunity to have even more visitors to learn about our organization and culture.

Language Immersion Sessions

Since March 2021, our staff member have been attending weekly Lakota language immersion sessions instructed by Joseph Marshall III, our Board of Directors President and native speakers of Lakota. This is an important first step in reaching our organizational goal of having a completely language and cultural immersive environment for our youth. So far, our staff has learned about 200 words in Lakota and very basic sentence structure.

Youth entrepreneurs offer new products

 Check out our Honey, Lip balm, Candles, Stickers, Sweetgrass braids, Authentic Parfleche Ornaments.                                 Shop now 


Weekend Youth Retreats

Our weekend retreats provide our youth with intensive cultural activities while providing a safe environment that is drug and alcohol free.


  • Project Venture out of school programs for youth in South Dakota counties of Gregory, Todd, Mellette and Tripp.


Experiential Camps

Camps are based on traditional Wolakota values and are certified for Project Venture's Positive Prevention Model. Serving youth from Gregory, Todd, Mellette and Tripp counties in S.D.

  • SunkaWakan Otakuye - "Horse Wisdom" Lakota equine life skills are woven into each camp

  • 2021 Camps   

Leadership ~ Chaperone Training ~ Bow and Arrow

Spring Medicine ~ Summer Harvest

Hunting Safe Certification ~ Fall Hunt


Social Enterprises



  • Cultural Tourism

    • TIPI Stays

    • Camps, Hunting, Fishing, Riding, Hikes

    • Youth Performances and Presentations

    • Traditional art, dance, storytelling

    • Star Knowledge


  • Beekeeping & Honey Products -Online/wholesale

  • Restoration Garden- trail walks and Medicinal Herb product sales

  • Cultural Performances and Presentations

Edited Image 2017-05-10 14-55-42


Maţo Tašuŋka Wakiŋyaŋ Okolakičye

Bear Horse Thunder Society for Young Men

Womaske ye Waste Walakin Nahan

Young Women's Sisterhood Guild

Youth Leadership Societies are formed by participants in our cultural youth camps. They organize themselves in order to have a youth voice related to our alcohol and drug prevention programming. 


Members utilize the Lakota society structure as a peer mentorship and leadership system to promote Lakota language development, increase participation in Lakota spirituality and ceremonies and live an alcohol and drug free life style.