• United States of America
1 week

Program Details

Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
Global Volunteers tax-deductible South Dakota program contribution starts at $1,177. The contribution includes all meals, accommodations, airport transportation, transportation within volunteer projects, project costs, administrative expenses, and support from Global Volunteers staff. Discounts are also available for students, family and multi-person groups, and returning volunteers. Free-time activities, airfare, or other travel are not included in the fees.

Note: During the COVID-19 outbreak, Global Volunteers is waiving the fee to transfer from affected service programs to a future date.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards
Mar 24, 2022
Jul 27, 2022
9 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Experience life in an American Indian community on the plains of South Dakota. The Sicangu band, also known as Lakota or Rosebud Sioux, is part of the Great Sioux Nation, an alliance of seven bands who once ruled the northern plains. The Rosebud Reservation is located in one of America’s poorest areas, with over 85 percent of the residents unemployed. The people of Rosebud struggle to overcome their tragic past and to create a better future for their children.

Our community partners in South Dakota have requested Global Volunteers' assistance for the local community on a variety of development projects, including:
• Helping with planning, organizing, and running a week-long summer camp for elementary-aged youth
• Helping community members with home repair
• Supporting a local women’s shelter
• Building up the firewood supply for the brutal South Dakota winters.

These are unique and meaningful community service opportunities for groups, families and individuals.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Help with pressing social, labor, and cultural projects for a week of service and fun.
  • Work alongside Sioux people to support their community.
  • All logistics (except for airfare) arranged by our staff, so you can focus on volunteering.
  • Global Volunteers' policy: safety trumps everything. Volunteers are well taken care of by their Team Leader while on a service program.
  • Learn about Sioux culture and history.

Program Impact

The Rosebud Reservation is located in one of America’s poorest areas, with over 85 percent of the residents unemployed. The people of Rosebud struggle to overcome their tragic past and to create a better future for their children.

Allow yourself to become immersed in the captivating culture and history of the Lakota Sioux. The Rosebud Reservation, located in the rolling prairies of south-central South Dakota, takes you back to the ancient traditions of the Lakota and introduces you to their struggles in the 21st century.

The beliefs of the Lakota center on their quest to live in harmony with the universe. The four main virtues of the Lakota are bravery, wisdom, generosity, and fortitude. Values, culture, and spirituality are passed from one generation to the next through a rich oral tradition, sacred sun dances and traditional pow-wows. Continuing these traditions is vital for the survival of the Lakota culture in the 21st Century.

Be a part of meaningful, long-term service on Rosebud Reservation with Global Volunteers.

Program Reviews

10 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer service with the Lakota Tribe at the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota.

Our Global Volunteers trip to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota in July 2022 exceeded my expectations. There were so many dimensions to our service program. Barbara Bicknell was our leader and she did an awesome job connecting us with the community. We stayed at a dorm of the Rosebud Episcopal Mission and Rev. John Willard was our host. On our first day after orientation, we visited a wildlife refuge and hiked to a waterfall and river. We were invited to sit in on two Tribal Council meetings, which gave us insight into the issues the Lakota Tribe dealt with. We were invited to work with the Tribal Land Office. We worked alongside Lakota women and men foraging for various plants used by the tribe and we worked with them picking up litter at the cemetery and a small lake. The Lakota provided lunch for us on some of these occasions. We all felt very welcomed by these kind and generous people.
We were also invited to their Bison range and later attended a workshop at the Tribal Ranch with lunch provided. We learned so much about the Lakota culture through our involvement with the local community. Some of us participated in daily sage smudging prayer services. We were all invited and six of us participated in a sweat lodge ceremony along with Lakota women and men who had recently finished a Sun Dance. On our last day, some of our team cleaned out the basement of an Episcopal church while others of us worked with the Land Office at a Children's Day festival handing out helium balloons, candy, and water.
Each Global Volunteers trip is unique, and I list our service program activities to give future volunteers an idea of what we did. This journey was personally life-changing for me and I learned so much. The Lakota principle of interconnectedness with all the elements of nature is a way of life that really inspired me. I truly benefited from our interactions with these beautiful people who have suffered so much throughout time and they have enriched my life.

  • Meaningful work assignments in service to the Lakota Tribe.
  • Opportunities to learn about Lakota culture.
  • The opportunity for personal growth.
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

"Be strong enough to stand alone, be yourself enough to stand apart, but be wise enough to stand together when the time comes."

The title is from a motivational picture of three wolves about Teamwork. The team at Rosebud practiced this every day. Not only with each other on the team, but with citizens of Rosebud. Our mantra was, "what do you need us to do today?" Seniors working along side the next two future generations learning from each other, teaching each other, and helping families of Rosebud. I have been on one other GV project, but Rosebud and Rev. Stanley taught me so much about the Lakota and their continued struggles. I was so proud to be apart of the April 2019 Team and recommend it 100%.

29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing Experience on Rosebud Reservation

There are experiences in life that you may consider pivotal--perhaps because of the people you were with, the value you believe you gave or gained or maybe how it changed your outlook on life. My volunteer experience with Global Volunteers on the Rosebud Reservation encompassed all of those. I am forever grateful.

Two friends and I volunteered together. We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in the little town of Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Reservation. Our host was Mother Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal priest who serves the local Lakota population. We were not surprised to learn that life was not easy on the Reservation. Mother Lauren arranged a meaningful array of ways we could help and participate with the local community beginning with attending a church service and lunch with the congregation. We had such an amazing variety of service projects. We helped with renovating the local Women's shelter under the guidance of locals Billy and Danny, and helping, Lindsey, the Director of the White Buffalo Calf Women's Society, organize the Women's thrift store. The facility was established in 1977 by Native Americans for Naative American Women and was the first of its kind in the United States. We had such a blast working with the children in the GLORY Program (God Loves Our Rosebud Youth) one evening. We had a wonderful selection of guest lecturers who shared their knowledge and wisdom with us. We took an extremely meaningful and unexpectedly emotional field trip to Wounded Knee Massacre site. We danced with Sage Eagle (using the term danced very loosely), admired amazing beading shared by Hattie, ate delicious food prepared by Billy and his daughter Rachel, and, visited a nearby quilting factory. We also worked at the Rosebud Economic Development garden with Aaron, an amazing project aimed at developing food sources. A personal highlight was our visit and tour of the local Middle School to delivery backpacks we had brought to support a project of sharing food with students. There were several teachers on our team and everyone was absolutely blown away by the programs the Principal, Dana, had put in place. I could go on. In fact, I have to anyone who would listen There is no way to describe everything we learned, all the amazing people we met, our extraordinary team, and the sacred place the Rosebud Reservation holds in our hearts. Yep, a pivotal experience. I highly recommend you give yourself the gift of this experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Can't think of anything--the program was well planned. We had all the information needed. Most important, we had an AMAZING Team Leader, Kathy.
35 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers