The Lakota Culture in Pine Ridge Reservation

The Lakota Culture at Pine Ridge

Trip Details

Registration Deadline

November 12, 2021


Pine Ridge, South Dakota

Dates of Travel

March 5 – March 13, 2022

Cost of trip


The Pine Ridge Reservation is the home of the Oglala. Oglala is a Lakota word meaning, "to scatter one's own." The Oglala Lakota Nation is one of the seven bands of the Titowan (Lakota) division of the Great Sioux Nation. The reservation is the eighth-largest reservation in the country, covering 11,000 square miles in southwestern South Dakota.

Despite a history of genocide, broken treaties and extreme poverty, the legacy of the Lakota people is not rooted in their suffering; but rather in their strength, their wisdom, their traditions and their ways. Participants will be able to experience the vibrant culture, listen in the wisdom of the elders, and learn of ancient legends.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Pine Ridge Orientation
Health and Safety
Day 2: Reservation Tour and Reflection Wounded Knee
Visit Irazu Volcano
Day 3: Growing Up Lakota Lakota Youth Ambassadors
Day 4: Storytelling and Narratives of Lakota History AIM Movement
Red Cloud Boarding School
Tipi Construction
Day 5: Lakota Spirituality Inipi Education
Day 6: Inipi Ceremony Work Sites
Day 7: Traditional Social Dance Horseback Riding
Traditional Social Dance
Day 8: Travel to Gettysburg Return to Gettysburg College

About the Program

Immersion Projects are off-campus, educational opportunities at sites in the United States and abroad which take place over Winter Break, Spring Break, and in May. Students spend the weeks prior to travel learning about the community and its history. Students then travel to sites ranging from Nicaragua to Morocco and from Alabama to New York City, where they immerse themselves in a the community. Each project seeks to foster a dialogue between the students and the host community around issues of social justice. By working alongside community leaders and sharing their stories, students learn about themselves and the world. Students find Immersion Projects to be exciting and powerful educational experiences. Immersion Projects are open to all Gettysburg College students. Occasionally, persons from off-campus participate. Participants must be sixteen years of age or older. Students must be in good disciplinary standing (no more than 5 points and not on academic probation) in order to participate on an Immersion Project. Each participant must agree to full participation in their chosen project by attending all pre-trip meetings, completing required paperwork and preparatory assignments (such as readings, videos, other activities), behaving in an appropriate manner at all times, participating in group reflection, and contributing to the group follow-up project.

Application and Payment

Registration opens Monday, October 11, 2021 and closes Friday, November 12, 2021 at 4:00PM. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at time of registration. First half of payment is due Friday, November 26, 2021 by 4:00PM. Final payment is due Friday, January 28, 2022 by 4:00PM.

Financial Aid

Scholarships are available to help offset the cost of an Immersion Project. Read carefully the criteria for financial awards and follow directions for completing the application. For consideration, complete the Financial Award Application and email it to See application for detailed information. Application Deadline: Friday, November 12, 2021 by 4:00PM.

Mandatory Orientation Session

All Winter project participants are required to attend a mandatory orientation session held in November. Email reminders will be sent to participants. Participants will meet other project members, receive important paperwork, and discuss requirements and goals of Immersion Projects.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance

All Gettysburg College students traveling on an Immersion Project are covered under the College's medical evacuation and repatriation travel insurance. This insurance does not replace the student's primary insurance policy, but will cover certain emergency services when traveling, such as the need for evacuation. Students and parents are welcome to examine the details of the policy.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

The Center for Public Service will register each student traveling internationally on an Immersion Project in the STEP Program. This program is a free service provided by the U.S. government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP provides users with travel warnings and alerts, and allows users to receive routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Withdraw from Project

The $100 deposit required at the time of registration is non-refundable should the participant decide to withdraw from the project. In addition, the participant is responsible for paying for all expenses incurred on their behalf at the time of the withdrawal. For example, if airline tickets have been purchased by the time of withdrawal, participant will be responsible for the cost of the ticket, as well as any other pre-paid expenses.

The Center for Public Service reserves the right to remove a participant prior to departure for reasons of, but not limited to, failure to make project payments in a timely manner, financial debt to the College, a history of judicial violations, failure to complete required participant forms (such as release and health forms), failure to attend mandatory Orientation Session and/or group meetings. The Center for Public Service reserves the right to send a participant home during the project (at the participant's expense) for reasons of, but not limited to, violations of College policy, the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, disrespect toward site community or group members, or medical/psychological emergencies.

Contact Us

Email or call 717-337-6490.