A place for art, education, preservation, economic development, culture and history.

There is no other place like The Heritage Center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. And because of this, the Center, located on the campus of Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, has become a model and source of inspiration for many of the Lakota people—and visitors from all across the globe—who wish to honor and celebrate the Lakota culture, Native art, and our historic, significant collection.

One of the earliest cultural centers and museums located on an Indian reservation in the United States, The Heritage Center represents the rich and storied heritage of North America’s Native community and the skill and creativity that remain mainstays of the local Lakota and other Native American cultures. We take special pride in our work to strengthen cultural pride and celebrate, as well as preserve, the local Lakota culture and artistic tradition.

We are more than just a museum or art gallery. We are also an economic engine on the Pine Ridge Reservation. With rates of up to 80 percent unemployment here, the Lakota community faces challenging economic and social conditions in southwestern South Dakota. Yet through the Center’s renowned gift shop and online store, our local artists are empowered to increase their own economic self-sufficiency by making their incredible work available to a wider community… and in doing so, preserve their work and extend appreciation for their artistry to all corners of the globe.

News from The Heritage center

Meet April Hówašte Artists: Denise Brown Eyes and Kristina Iron Cloud

April 1, 2017
In Denise Brown Eyes’ family, quilting is an artform that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, her first role models were her many aunts who taught her to sew...Read More

March Hówašte Artist Mitchell Zephier

posted March 8, 2017
Master metal artist Mitchell Zephier learned to create intricate jewelry as a young man, working alongside other artists from across the country. As a student taking part in a summer program at Dartmouth University, he was hired...Read More

Acclaimed Native Poet Natalie Diaz to Teach and Perform at Red Cloud

posted March 7, 2017
Native poet and indigenous language advocate Natalie Diaz will be on campus this week as part of The Heritage Center’s Visiting Poet Series. In addition to leading workshops with Red Cloud high school students...Read More

February Hówašte Artist Virgil Poafpybitty

posted February 8, 2017
The art of carving pipestone runs in Virgil Poafpybitty’s blood. Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, he watched as his grandfather created intricate pipes, even helping at times...Read More

The Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University Highlights Art from The Heritage Center

posted January 26, 2017
Next month, in honor of Fr. Zuern’s legacy, his alma mater—Marquette University—will host an exhibition featuring 21 priceless pieces from The Heritage Center’s...Read More

The Power of Bringing Art into the Classroom

posted Decemeber 12, 2016
Audrey Jacobs, The Heritage Center’s museum educator, has always understood the power of images. As an art museum educator, she has focused her career on using artwork to enrich students’ learning experiences...Read More

December Hówašte Artist Melissa Hill

posted December 6, 2016
Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Melissa Hill’s childhood curiosity blossomed into a passion for creating objects of both beauty and meaning. When she was just seven years old, her grandmother...Read More

Horse Nation Exhibit Core Artist Marlena Myles Finds Community Voices Through Artwork

posted November 18, 2016
Myles believes in using art to build cultural awareness—and she knew immediately she wanted to be involved in developing the Horse Nation Exhibition. She was inspired by the stories and histories of people...Read More 

Meet November Hówašte Artist Lorri Ann Two Bulls

posted November 4, 2016
For Lorri Ann, growing up on the reservation meant that art was always an intrinsic part of daily life. Exploring the Badlands as a child, she would immerse herself in creating something new with the objects...Read More


Artist Profile: Juanita Kelso Quilts for the Future

posted September 28, 2016
While the craft of star quilting is often passed down from generation to generation, artist Juanita Kelso took it upon herself to learn how to create the beautiful star quilts that she creates today...Read More


Groundbreaking “Horse Nation” Exhibition to Open at The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School on September 22

posted September 21, 2016
Over a year ago, The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School and artist and filmmaker Keith BraveHeart began creating a new exhibition celebrating the bond between horses and Native peoples on the Great Plains...Read More

Artist Profile: Amanda Simmons Passes Beadwork from Generation to Generation

posted September 1, 2016
The colorful and intricate materials used in traditional Lakota art often capture the attention of young eyes and tiny hands. Amanda Simmons ’04 picked up her first beading materials when she was only eight years old...Read More

A Gift for Future Generations: The Charles F. Kilgore Collection Comes to The Heritage Center

posted August 19, 2016
This summer, at the request of Kilgore’s own descendants, his stunning collection became a part of The Heritage Center’s. Kilgore’s family always wanted a museum to care of his beloved artwork...Read More

The Evolution of an Exhibition: Community Voices Help to Define the Horse Nation

posted August 15, 2016
The powerful and irrevocable bond between the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ and the Horse Nation is the subject of a groundbreaking exhibition set to open at The Heritage Center in the fall of 2016. More than a year ago, Heritage Center Director Mary Maxon started a series of...Read More

Summer School Highlights—Art in the Classroom

posted July 01, 2016
On warm summer days, classrooms are often quiet and empty. But during the month of June, Red Cloud students’ voices filled the hallways as they created and illustrated their own works of art. Led by The Heritage Center’s Museum Educator...Read More

Announcing the 2016 Annual Red Cloud Indian Art Show Award Winners

posted June 5, 2016
The Red Cloud Indian Art Show is a juried competition, awarding over $7,000 in prizes in 24 different categories. With over 80 artists and 200 new works, it is our pleasure to announce this year's winners...Read More

48th Annual Red Cloud Indian Art Show Features Over 200 New Works by North American Native Artists

posted June 4, 2016
For the last 48 years, The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School has hosted one of the country’s most unique art exhibitions—a celebration of Native art actually held on Native land, on the grassy plains of the Pine Ridge...Read More

Meet Shawn Espinosa, a craftsmen in One of the Most Ancient Lakota Mediums

posted May 16, 2016
Shawn Espinosa ’97 works primarily with parfleche as means of “keeping the tradition alive.” Growing up in the Lakeside community near Oglala, SD, Shawn found himself drawn to the traditional practices of creating Lakota art...Read More

Visiting Poet Series Spurs Students’ Passion for Spoken Word

posted April 20, 2016
Spoken word—an art form that combines poetry with performance—has captured the hearts and minds of Red Cloud Indian School students. Many have written and performed their own poetry through Tȟéča Wówapi Káǧa Okȟólakičhiye...Read More

The Heritage Center Selected to Participate in National Museum Assessment Program

posted April 13, 2016
The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP). Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will empower...Read More

A New Community Storytelling Project Launches on Campus

posted March 21, 2016
Today, fourth graders are learning about the power of storytelling in their own lives—and for their own generation. With support from the Better Way Foundation and the Indian Mission School Network, the fourth grade classrooms are launching “Our Community Story"...Read More

Arstist Profile: Bryan Douglas Parker, Winner of the Simon Award

posted March 18, 2016
As a child growing up outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, artist Bryan Parker was constantly drawing. After high school, craving direction, Bryan enlisted in the Army. He spent 14 months deployed in Iraq, but he never forgot his love of art and self-expression...Read More

Major Grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation Support Innovative Exhibition

posted February 29, 2016
For the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota people who make up the Seven Councils Fire, the horse is more than just an animal. Rather than a tool used for work or travel, the horse has been cherished as kin since its reintroduction to North America more than three centuries ago...Read More

Tanaya Winder to Perform Spoken Word Poetry

posted February 5, 2016
Native poet and artist Tanaya Winder will perform her spoken word poetry at a free performance Wednesday evening March 2, 2016, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Cuny Commons at Red Cloud Indian School...Read More

New Exhibit Looks at the Evolution of Lakota Quilting

posted February 4, 2016
The Heritage Center’s gallery walls are now covered with vibrant, intricate quilts.Some feature the traditional sunburst design of the Lakota quilts that are often presented as ceremonial gifts to honor or remember loved ones...Read More

2nd Annual Red Cloud Indian Youth Art Show is Now Accepting Submissions

posted December 4, 2015
The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School is proud to announce submission are now open for the 2nd Annual Tȟéča Tȟawókaǧe (Young People’s Creations)...Read More