Established in 1992 and located on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation, LAKOTA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT (aka- Native American Advocacy Program) is a statewide, non-profit, grassroots organization serving persons residing on and off the lands of the tribal nations in South Dakota.
We believe that Native youth need to know their culture and have access to people, places, and environments that help them to develop healthy lifestyles, without alcohol, drugs, or violence.
OUR MISSION: To Reclaim Lakota language , culture and Spirituality by promoting education and
healthy lifestyles for our youth through culturally based strategies.
Our goal is to re-establish and support a Hocoka (Sacred Circle) for the Oyate (people) to facilitate positive direction in their lives through Lakota Language, culture values and spirituality with our horse nation relatives.
Using culturally specific curriculum and strategies, we meet our goal through afterschool and summer programs, weekend youth retreats, equine life skills training, and our Lakota song, dance and youth society drumming programs. These activities offer the opportunity for: leadership development, social skills development, relationship building, healing from trauma and fear management, all leading toward increased self esteem and confidence.
We have created a conscious continuum of development for our youth. They begin building relationships and trust during weekend retreats and experiential camps.
Our Wolakota camp series allows them to share cultural experiences.
They deepen their cultural involvement through youth societies and retreats.
Through social enterprises which they conceive, lead and operate with Lakota cultural values, they learn practical business and employment skills that help prepare them for financial independence as young adults.
Caring adult mentors
With the support and guidance of the LYD leadership, Elder advisors and skilled business mentors, our youth are immersed in a safe non-judgmental nurturing environment that inspires trust, healthy relationships, and leadership development.