The Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum: A Case Study of a Tribal Museum in the 21st Century



Denny, Claire

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This thesis discusses a small, tribal museum located on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. The Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum is owned and operated by the St. Francis Mission, a religious mission run by the Jesuit Order of the Catholic Church. The paper explores issues of issues of ownership, narrative, authority, and accessibility as they relate to the current relationships of the local museum and the Sicangu Lakota tribe. It considers the extent to which introducing technological resources could help safeguard this museum's vulnerable collection and further its founder’s mission and the tribe’s goals of cultural education and preservation. This thesis presents ways to increase community engagement, capitalize on the opportunities for outside partnerships, and it illustrates steps that to be taken to begin the process of decolonizing the BMLM for the benefit of the St. Francis Mission and most importantly the Sicangu Lakota people.



Museums, Native Americans, Community engagement, Collection management, Online resources, Rosebud Reservation