BROOKINGS – The South Dakota Art Museum has been awarded a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for K-12 curriculum development for a new Native American art exhibition, “Articles of a Treaty.”

Craig Howe, director of the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS), curated this exhibition. It focuses on the 17 articles of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty interpreted through artworks, poetry and music created by citizens of Oceti Sakowin tribes.

South Dakota Art Museum Director Lynn Verschoor and Howe are working with a team of American Indian educators to develop curriculum for K-12 teachers based on the exhibit. This curriculum will include activities to incorporate the exhibit into classrooms while meeting state standards. 

As with Howe’s recent “Takuwe,” an educational art exhibit about the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1898, “Articles of a Treaty” seeks to explore important shared history from the perspective of contemporary Native American artists in ways that stimulate discussion and better understanding for Natives and non-Natives alike. “Articles of a Treaty” opened in May at the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center in Chamberlain. It comes to South Dakota Art Museum in December and the Dahl Arts Center, The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School and others in 2020.

Verschoor noted the importance of this grant to the museum’s mission of providing access and education that fosters appreciation of the visual arts for the people of South Dakota and its visitors. 

“The South Dakota Art Museum is honored to receive this NEA grant to support our collaboration with Dr. Craig Howe and CAIRNS. This grant also allows us to build on a solid and productive relationship with CAIRNS while promoting Native American artists, musicians and writers in South Dakota and beyond.” 

About NEA grants

Art Works is the NEA’s principal grantmaking program.The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking and will award 977 grants. The South Dakota Art Museum is one of four South Dakota organizations to receive grants in this round, including the South Dakota Arts Council, which provides important operating funds to the museum as well as funding for the South Dakota Governor’s Biennial Art Exhibition. 

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as South Dakota Art Museum are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create and be inspired.”

About the CAIRNS

CAIRNS is an Indian-controlled nonprofit research and education center that is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of American Indian communities and issues important to them by developing quality educational resources and innovative projects that acknowledge and incorporate tribal perspectives, and by serving as a meeting ground for peoples and ideas that support these perspectives.

For more information about CAIRNS, visit or

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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