TOUR OVERVIEW - I Am Lakota
Spend a precious week in and around the sacred Black Hills - the Holy Land of the Lakota People. Explanations and stories passed down through centuries of generations tell that it was here in the Black Hills where the People first emerged to the surface of the earth, and it is here where the Lakota’s ceremonial season begins with the Return of the Thunder Beings (known as Wakinyan to the Lakota people) and is announced by the presence of thunder
As you enter the world of the Lakota, all you have heard, read or imagined about the Plains Indian Nations dances before you. Take this opportunity to traverse the wide open prairies, shining mountains and mighty rivers of the Great Sioux Nation, to hear of legendary figures such as Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Hump, Man Afraid, Black Elk, to stand where they stood, see what they saw and to feel their struggles and triumphs.
Spring is a beautiful time in Lakota Country heralding celebration of life; animals and birds reappear after their migrations, buffalo emerge from their winter camps, hibernating creatures wake, and the plants and flowers begin to bloom.
The legend of Wakinyan Tanka, the Great Thunderbird who lives at the highest point of the Black Hills, describes thunder beings as good spirits, guardians of truth and protectors of men – they are sacred and highly regarded by the Lakota people.
I Am Lakota is a trip steeped in authentic cultural knowledge. Each day brings visits and explanations of cultural and sacred places, and with your Lakota guides to offer the historical context of this special land this is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone who feels an affinity with the indigenous cultures of the Great Plains. So satisfy your desire to interact with, learn of and hear from the people whose history, stories and spirituality are held within these lands.
Paha Sapa - Sacred Black Hills
Maco Sika - The Badlands -
Mato Paha - Bear Butte -
Mato Tipila - Devils Tower
Fort Robinson - where Crazy Horse was murdered
Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke - Pine Ridge Reservation
1 - In the sacred Paha Sapa (Black Hills), visit the place of the Lakota Genesis (Wind Cave), then look for tatanka (buffalo)
2 - Mako Sica, the moonscape of inhospitable Badlands to where the people escaped after the Massacre at Wounded Knee
3 - Visit Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - visit Red Cloud School, artist home studios, OLC History Center, Wounded Knee
4 - Bear Butte is arguably the most sacred site on the Northern Plains. Stand in her shadow and feel her power.
5 - Mato Tipila, known as Devils Tower in the mainstream; seek true understanding and listen for the stories of Bear's Lodge.
6 - Crazy Horse mounted his first real military campaign at the Fetterman site, proving his worth as a future 'shirt wearer.'
7 - FREE day with early bookings - The Little Bighorn
Where: South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana
When: May 31 - June 6, 2020.
CAN I EXTEND THIS TOUR?
Book during launch week and get a FREE day at the Little Bighorn.
Extend this tour with the Discover Native Yellowstone trip
MORE TOURS FOR 2020 / 2021
Southwestern culture & powwow burst forth every spring in Albuquerque. Now transferred from The Pit to its new outdoor location, the Gathering of Nations is the perfect culmination of a seven day cultural odyssey through the Native Nations of New Mexico. Explore the ancient origins of the Pueblo, Hopi and Navajo cultures, with guides who live traditional lifeways that have been preserved over the millenia.
The Cheyenne, Kiowa, Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfoot, Arapaho, Nez Perce, and the most recent arrivals, the Crow , are among the twenty-seven tribes with cultural ties to Yellowstone that each know a different story. Within these archives from ancestral memory is found a common theme – the sacred nature of the land named for the Yellow Rock Water and the connection to place, an ancient compact between the two-legged and four and the earth that sustains but is, as yet, still unmade.
Traverse prairies to the sacred Black Hills, the barren beauty of Mako Sica, the Badlands and spend time on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, following the culture & history of the Lakota through great leaders such as Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and Crazy Horse.
PLUS Visit the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
Visit the sacred lands of the Lakota Sioux in the crisp, sunny weather of the fall, starting at the Lakota place of genesis – Wind Cave. Visit Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee, Paha Sapa - the sacred Black Hills, Mako Sica – the Badlands, Bear Butte, and Mato Tipila. All are sacred sites of the Oceti Sakowin and your extraordinary week celebrating Native culture culminates at the biggest powwow of the season – Oglala Nation Powwow!
Navajo philosophy is epitomized by the phrase ‘Walk In Beauty’, from the sacred prayer, the Blessing Way. Aspiring to that spirit, we enter deep into the cultures and landscapes of the South-western tribal nations; we meet the Navajo, explore the Pueblo cultures, and the ancient wisdom keepers – the Hopi.
Follow the trails of legendary Apache leaders like Geronimo, whose names and deeds reverberate through the canyons, mountains, and deserts of their homelands. Travel through history on a journey that weaves through traditional Chihuahua Apache heartland of the Dragoon and Chihuahua Mountains learning of the intricacies and diversity within Apache cultures.
Into Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP) and out of Billings, Montana (BIL) Dates as above! If you follow these dates you will be arriving the night previous to the start of the tour, with hotel accommodation INCLUDED in your price. This means you can book flights that suit you because whenever you arrive you will hop on the hotel shuttle from the airport. Same deal when you leave - you can chose your own departure time on the date noted above and will take the hotel shuttle to the airport.
NB. Some hotels will not allow you to book in until 4pm.
Most hotels will ask you to leave your room by 11 am, but may store bags for you if you have a late flight out of town.
Please do NOT book flights until your departure is confirmed.
This trip is based on single room accommodation with no single supplement. For sharing prices, please call +1. 307. 699. 6015
Is camping available?
No. This trip is well priced for the activities and accommodations that are included, but its too early in the year for camping; too cold and uncomfortable for most people.
This trip is not a high activity tour, but all participants must be of reasonable fitness and be able to walk uneven paths and to take short hikes. If you have special needs, please let us know - we will be able to arrange something that works for you and your needs
This will be sent to you upon payment of your balance. But thinking ahead, you will not need much 'stuff' to have a great time - we are informal - no dressing for dinner, nowhere 'posh' to go to - jeans, tees, a sweatshirt/sweater and a fleece work great. Just don't forget your passport, your credit card, sun specs and sunscreen, phone (for the camera!) and charger.
In short, please only bring what you can carry easily yourself :)
This can be sent to you on request once you have made your booking. You do not have to do 'homework' prior to your trip
...but some people like to.
Go Native America is deeply conscious of our responsibility toward Mother Earth and wherever possible we keep miles to a minimum, energy savings to the max. But you also have to do your part. Please read our policy on sustainable tourism here.
This also covers our Fair Trade Tribal Tourism mandate.