DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Badlands National Park

DOI / VISTA: Danielle McFadden
Supervisor: Christine Czazasty
Address: P.O. Box 6, Interior, South Dakota 57750
County: Pennington County
Voice Telephone: 605-433-5242
Web site:
Web site 2:
Congressional District:
Bureau: National Park Service (NPS)


The Heritage Center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is located on the campus of Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, and 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. With levels of up to 80 percent unemployment, 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.



About the Surrounding Community

Shannon County (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) is one of the poorest in the nation. The US Census Bureau reports that 50% of the population lives below the poverty level.  Unemployment rates, lack of housing, and other poverty issues affect the entire community. Bringing educational opportunities to the youth of Pine Ridge Reservation is a goal of the park’s education program.

Project Overview

DOI/VISTA helps coordinate educational outreach efforts across multiple districts and particularly with our partners at Red Cloud Indian School and Heritage Center. This project is fundamentally a job training and intake program for underserved youth in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Youth with these skills will be highly visible members in their community and will serve as role models for younger children. They will also go on to develop outreach programs on behalf of the South Unit of Badlands National Park and/or eventual tribal national park.

Sponsors and Partners

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