About Lake Traverse
The prairies, hills and valleys of the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeastern South Dakota offer opportunities to camp, hunt and fish. Aside from being an area of great natural beauty, this is home to the people of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Oyate (the word ‘oyate’ is Dakota for ‘family’). Sisseton is right beside the north/south continental divide and is also completely surrounded by glacial melt lakes, making it look distinct from the rest of South Dakota. There is a tower outside of town where you can see a beautiful view spanning across three states (North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota). Quite different from most reservation towns, the town of Sisseton is 47% white and 47.8% Native American; this fact gives Sisseton a very different feel from many of our other reservation sites, though the two racial groups remain largely separate from one another.
Serving in Lake Traverse
- Serve through painting, cleaning, yard work or other simple work projects.
- Partner with local assisted living homes.
- Plan and lead kids programming for children in the community, including Bible lessons, games, crafts and reading.
- Students will have the opportunity to participate with each of the above service sites during the week.
You and your group will experience the small town feel of Sisseton, an aspect that makes Lake Traverse unique among our reservation communities. One of the most unique partnerships we are developing in Sisseton is with the old Middle School in the middle of town which is being converted into a community education and activity center. YouthWorks has been able to be a big part of the renovation, and are now transitioning into helping assist in the programming and services offered at the school. In addition you and your group will be working to help facilitate kids’ programming through local schools, serve with local assisted living/nursing homes where you will get to listen to some incredible stories from the residents there and help out with other work projects in the community. Throughout the week you will learn about Native culture, visit Fort Sisseton to learn about the history of military presence in the area and the ways westward expansion changed the local demographics, and join the community for a cookout.
YouthWorks has been serving in Sisseton since 2005, working to grow relationships with various churches and community leaders. We’ve been glad to serve and build relationships in both Sisseton and nearby towns Old Agency, SD and Browns Valley, MN.