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Wind Cave National Park Cultural Coordinator


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

26611 U.S. Highway 385, Hot Springs, South Dakota

Tracking Code


Position Type


Title: Wind Cave National Park Cultural Coordinator

Stipend: $650.00 weekly living stipend

Dates: 6/17/2024 -  12/6/2024 

Term: 900 hour AmeriCorps service term, 25 weeks full time

Reports To:  National Park Service, Wind Cave National Park

Location: Wind Cave National Park

Benefits:  AmeriCorps Education Award $3,447.50 after successful completion of term


Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps’ Mission 

It is the mission of the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps to lead our nations back to cultural and ecological well-being.  The Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps is specifically designed to engage Native American youth and young adults.  Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps serves local tribal communities in the regions we operate. Indigenous persons and/or area tribal members are highly encouraged to apply.

This program is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Where a significant portion of the population eligible to be served needs services or information in a language other than English, the recipient shall take reasonable steps to provide written material of the type ordinarily available to the public in appropriate languages.


AmeriCorps Mission Statement:

AmeriCorps mission statement is “to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based direct national and community service.” 


National Park Service Mission:

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

It is Wind Cave National Park's goal to protect, preserve, and interpret both the Natural and Cultural resources that are contained within the park, for the larger public and for future generations. In the oral traditions of the Oceti Sakowin, Wind Cave also known as Maka Oniye is the genesis site for both humanity and the bison. It remains a Sacred Site for not only the Oceti Sakowin but for many Tribal Nations including the 28 Tribes who are traditionally associated with Wind Cave National Park.

Being one of the longest, oldest, and most complex caves in the world, Wind Cave is an important natural site containing the largest concentration of boxwork, a rare cave formation first described at the site. The park is also home to many prairie wildlife communities including elk, pronghorn, prairie dog, endangered black-footed ferrets, and genetically diverse and brucellosis-free American Bison.  

NPS Wind Cave Cultural Event Coordinator/ALCC Individual Placement (IP) Overview:

As both a culturally and environmentally significant site there is a need for an Intern who can help plan and implement one or more events in 2024 that will honor the culture and oral traditions of the Tribal Nations who are associated with Wind Cave and will celebrate the fundamental and life-giving connection that Native people have with the bison. 
This project will involve working closely with the Natural Resources departments of various Tribal Nations to plan the logistics of conducting an annual take of one bison at Wind Cave. Older bull bison once reaching a certain age will wander away from the herd and set out on their own in the park, this often leads to them being hit by passing motorist. Removing the older bull bison for a ceremonial kill would not affect the genetics of the herd as they have already passed on their genes, would support balance in the ecological systems of the park, and would have the added benefit of providing food for the Tribal Communities involved.
The community and public events will foster better relations with the Tribes and demonstrate Wind Cave's commitment to preserving both the natural and cultural landscape of the site. It is of paramount importance to have these events planned though an Indigenous person's perspective so that they are developed and implemented in a respectful and meaningful way and that they truly demonstrate the ancestral and living connections between Indigenous communities and the park. 
The intern will be in an interdisciplinary position working with the Natural, Cultural, and Interpretation Departments of Wind Cave National Park and the corresponding programs for area Tribal Nations. The intern will be exposed to the inner workings of these departments and will have many chances to network with other parks and other entities outside of the NPS as their work will require them to meet and communicate with a variety of Tribal organizations, cultural demonstrators, artists, and related parties to plan for the events. 
Indigenous persons and/or area tribal member are encouraged to apply.

Essential functions and responsibilities:

This ALCC IP/ Cultural Coordinator will work to complete tasks and projects outlined below. 

  • Engage with Tribes to develop concept and process for the ceremonial take of one bison annually that honors and acknowledges the deep cultural and traditional relationship that Native people affiliated with Wind Cave have with the bison. 
  • Successfully plan and implement a public event on Native Americans' Day (aka Indigenous Peoples Day) that celebrates Native culture and cultural practices, communicates the oral history of Wind Cave National Park, and promotes the connection of Indigenous people to the park and its resources.
  •  Foster relationships with Tribes associated with Wind Cave to help build the foundation for a full-time Tribal Liaison position for Wind Cave and other Black Hills parks.

Required Skills

    1. Organizing a culturally relevant Native Americans Event at Wind Cave that reflects the significance the place has with Indigenous people. 
      •  Contacting and forging agreements with Native American cultural demonstrators (i.e. dancers, drummers, flute-players, story tellers, artists) who will be able to showcase their culture with the wider public and bring attention to the cultural significance of the site.
      • Organizing, planning, and advertising the event in a way that is respectful and mindful of the spiritual significance that the site has.
      •  Fostering communication with local Tribal governments and Tribes that are affiliated with Wind Cave National Park
    2. Facilitating the concept design for an annual ceremonial bison take
      • Working with local Tribal governments and Tribal organizations to garner interest in a ceremony and determining priorities for the various Tribal Nations that are traditionally associated with the park. The goal is a draft plan for an annual take that celebrates the cultural and traditional ties Native people have with the bison and identifies an appropriate process for selecting one entity to carry out the activity per year.
      • Working with the park and regional Natural Resources departments to establish park guidelines for permitting a bison kill and ceremony.
      • Fostering communication between the Natural Resources department and Tribal entities to create continuing and long-lasting relationships between all parties involved. 
    3.  Fostering relations with Tribal Nations associated with Wind Cave National Park, with the goal of assessing what job functions and occupational series within the government of the park, and possibly other Black Hills parks, would be the highest priority for diversity hiring.  
      • Assessing the Park's opportunities for diversity hiring through research and communication with relevant parties.
      • Assessing the success and difficulties associated with the planning of the cultural events, and how to reach target audiences, to enable the park to better plan for future events.
      • Learning from the events and communicating with the Tribes to develop new events such as a Native arts and crafts show for future planning.
      • Trainings that you will provide to prepare the intern for this activity: Mentorship from Park Management and from other Indigenous NPS Employees 

Required Experience

Preferred Experience: 

  • experience in community outreach and engagement.
  • event planning
  • knowledge of tribal nations in surrounding area / cultural connection related to bison.

Indigenous persons and/or area tribal members are encouraged to apply.

This position is located at 26611 U.S. Highway 385, Hot Springs, SD. View the Google Map in full screen.