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Lakota Youth Development 

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


2024 Embracing Our Ceremonies

  • March 19, 2024 Spring Solstice

  • April 12,2024 Calling Back the Thunders & Welcoming the Honey Bees

  • May 19, 2024 Gathering of Relatives (Celebrating people on sobriety)

  • June 20, 2024 Summer Solstice

  • July 11, 2024 Give Thanks for Spring/Summer Harvest

  • Sept. 22, 2024 Fall Equinox

  • Dec. 20,2024 Winter Solstice  


Check out the Honey Lodge, a youth led enterprise.


Honey Lodge 100% Pure Raw Honey – LakotaHoneyLodge

Tipi Stays

 Call now for 2024 reservations.                                                                                                                                     Learn More

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. (CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE DUE TO NEEDING REPAIRS.)

                                                                            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 2021 Annual Report 

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. Working with South Dakota Tourism and George Washington University, we've worked to develop a 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.

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

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

Youth entrepreneurs offer new products

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

2024 Donors: 

We would like to thank our donors so far this year: the Steiner Family Foundation and a donation made by Michael Steinberg & Dani Fraser in honor of their loved one Porter Creasman. 


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

  • 2024 Camps   

Spring Harvest- Theatre Workshop with Chaya Gordon (USD)- Isnati - Leadership/Lakota History - Bow & Arrow - Summer Harvest/Hunt Safe 




  • 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

Copy of SARE Grant Flyer_edited.jpg

Lakota Earthsong:

Cultivating Sustainability through Ethnobotany

Sustainable Agriculture: Learn innovative techniques for cultivating food while nurturing the land, inspired by traditional Lakota wisdom.
Ethnobotany: Delve into the rich tapestry of plant knowledge within Lakota culture, discovering the diverse uses of native flora.
Cultural Immersion: Immerse yourself in the teachings and practices of the Lakota people, gaining a deeper understanding of their connection to the earth.

Event  Date: September 27th -29th

Deadline for applicants: July 31st

Supported by USDA: North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture 
Research & Education Grant

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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. 

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