The Native American Cultural Center provides a number of unique educational opportunities geared to enhance the visitors experience at Crazy Horse. One-of-a-kind artifact collections are displayed, native artisans/vendors are showcased and special activities and games are featured.
The distinctive stone building was completed in 1996 from rock blasted from the Crazy Horse mountain carving.
The Center hosts and encourages many hands-on activities including: setting up a Lakota style tipi, Lakota games (shinny/field hockey, hoop toss, whipping top game, bone and pin game, whirling bone game and hand games.) Guests are encouraged to participate at the “make and take” activity table which provides detailed instruction on how to make Lakota crafts such as miniature drums, medicine pouches and par fleche designs. Each item has written and drawn explanations of its cultural significance and usage in order to teach the proper cultural respect. Staff and vendors provide instruction in American Indian history and culture through storytelling, flute playing, song and dance, as well as information regarding contemporary issues affecting tribal nations today. Native American artists from all over North America spend much of the summer in residence at Crazy Horse, where they are provided space in the Cultural Center at no charge. They are able to create and sell their work while interacting with visitors, which provides a valuable cultural exchange for both parties.
One wall of the lower level of the Cultural Center is a natural quartz ridge. The lower level is used for lectures and presentations and houses a display of a large collection of Edward S. Curtis photographs of Native Americans, taken around the end of the 19th century. This extraordinary collection of historic and culturally significant photographs was donated by Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation board memberWilliam Turner and family of Florida.
As part of the Indian Museum of North America, the Cultural Center building is also the home of many museum exhibits.