Volunteer on the Rosebud Reservation

Experience life in an American Indian community on the plains of South Dakota. Unique and meaningful community service opportunities await you on the route to one of America’s most popular tourist destinations! Enter a world largely unknown to casual visitors, working one-on-one with the Sicangu Oyate – also known as Sicangu Rosebud Sioux people.  Help with pressing social, labor and cultural projects for a week of service, learning and fun.

FAQs: How to Volunteer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation

  • REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE

    The need on the Rosebud Reservation is very high. Todd County, comprising the reservation, is the second poorest county in the nation. Unemployment is over 80 percent. About 76 percent of the employed labor force on the reservation lives below the poverty level. Labor assistance is our primary community service project. Home repair and painting is a constant need. If you are experienced in electrical and plumbing work, you’ll employ your skills on a variety of home projects. Splitting and delivering firewood is an important project – and one that nearly all ages can work on.

    No previous experience is necessary. A group of native crew leaders will work with and direct you and your teammates.  All the while, you learn about and from people who strive to improve the quality of life for children and families.

  • Youth Summer Camp

    Help plan, organize and run a week-long summer camp for elementary-aged youth.  Whether you are a craft maven, athletically minded, a great storyteller or just love kids, your help is needed.

Rosebud Volunteer Program Snapshot

1 week programs available

Fees From:
$1,045

Projects Include:
Labor, Youth Summer Camp

Local time:





Rosebud Food & Lodging

Your health and safety as a volunteer in the USA are our top priorities. Lodging is dormitory style with two bunk beds per room and shared women’s and men’s bathrooms.

  • Bunk beds in church dormitory
  • Shared bathrooms with showers
  • Windows in every room with fans
  • On-site kitchen for meal preparation

Breakfast is self-serve at the lodging facility, with packed or provided lunch at the work sites. Evening meals are prepared by a local cook at the lodging facility. Food is typical American fare – meat, potatoes, salads and soups. Strict vegetarian and other restrictive diets may not be easily accommodated. Local water is safe; bottled water is available. WiFi is available for an additional charge.

Feeling light within, I walk. With lively feelings, I walk. It is finished in beauty. It is finished in beauty.”


Navajo Nightway chant

“Getting into the car to drive home was the hardest thing I’ve done all week.  I had no desire to leave the sunset, the hills, the drumming, our Lakota friends.  But our time in Rosebud has come to an end—for now. But, they stay in my heart.”

Erin K. SmithRosebud Reservation Volunteer

“Seeing buffalo grazing on the green hills, surrounded by pine trees on Lakota tribal land was truly a spiritual experience…feeling connected with spirit…with South Dakota.”

Viv Arranz-BoyleRosebud Reservation Volunteer

Be The Change.

Through important, full-day volunteer assignments and free-time activities, you learn about the Lakota Nation and the significant ways you improve children’s and elders’ lives. Our time-tested and proven philosophy of service ensures your efforts help advance the host community’s development vision and goals. You contribute to genuine development projects, and in doing so, you’re accepted as family. You can also volunteer on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Our commitment to work in partnership with American Indian nations on long-term community projects enables you, in just a short time, to serve as a critical link in a chain of volunteer support spanning three decades.

Volunteer Voices:

Read more about our South Dakota program though the prospective of our volunteers on this Lakota Culture post on our program blog.

Request a South Dakota Program Fact Sheet