What We Do CAIRNS is a small organization, currently with just two full-time staffers, and therefore pursuing its mission requires a great deal of collaboration and communication, as well as an exceedingly diverse work docket. It is tricky to describe a typical workday so new individuals joining our team should be prepared to “wear many hats” throughout the course of any given day. We develop educational resources, like posters and books, for commercial purposes. We create and facilitate learning experiences that include multi-day classes, weekend workshops, day-long trainings and short presentations for participants to immerse themselves in the content. Some of these offerings are held at Wingsprings, while others are at our clients’ locations; some are stationary, others are conducted in motion from site to site. We also design and host public events, like exhibits, festivals and workshops. Finally, we design products and resources with a careful aesthetic. All of our work is aimed at promoting tribalism, the notion that tribal sovereignty is advantageous to American Indian communities. Join our team and contribute your talents to the cutting edge of American Indian research and education.

Interning at CAIRNS

What You Should Bring

  1. Positive Attitude

  2. Rigorous work ethic

  3. Desire to produce top quality work within the CAIRNS framework

  4. Superior verbal and written communication skills

  5. Some college education (strongly preferred)

  6. Ability to adapt to diverse tasks

  7. Strong organizational skills

  8. Readiness to learn about Oceti Sakowin histories and cultures

What Would Be Beneficial

  1. Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office software

  2. Some knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite

  3. Comfort interacting with diverse individuals and organizations

  1. Application form

  2. Resume

  3. Essay 1

  4. Essay 2



This job description is subject to change.

When We Would Like You Here CAIRNS is flexible to on-board new interns in a manner that fits into their schedule. In the application you will be asked to indicate your preferred beginning and ending dates.

Who We Are Looking For We are seeking interns of diverse backgrounds from across this nation and beyond. Applicants should be at least 21 years of age with a keen interest in learning about Lakota history and culture. No prior knowledge of Lakota history and culture is necessary - only an open mind and a desire to learn from your experience. A sense of adventure and an accommodating personality are essential, as is being capable of interacting comfortably with diverse guests and employees.

Where We Work CAIRNS was founded in 2004 and is located at Wingsprings, a retreat and conference center located on Oglala Sioux allotted trust land in the Lacreek District of Pine Ridge Reservation, near Martin, SD. Its name is based on an old place-name for the area, Three Stars Springs; the memory of Richard Howe, previous steward of the land who loved to pilot airplanes; and two Frank Lloyd Wright designs, Wingspread and Spring Green. The architecturally striking facilities are nestled into a native prairie reserve of rolling grass-covered hills that overlook a natural system of spring-fed pools.

Your Title Intern

What You Will Do

  1. Conduct research under the director’s supervision

  2. Contribute to the development of educational resources

  3. Assist in the preparation of workshops and seminars hosted by CAIRNS

  4. Execute daily chores at Wingsprings, including but not limited to cooking, cleaning and general grounds maintenance

  5. Handle a number of office duties, including but not limited to cataloging of articles and books, preparation of binders, readings, and other materials for workshops, organizing and proposing applications for grants and research projects, and answering phones.

  6. Earn college credit, if desired

Where You Will Live Short-term interns (3 weeks or less) may lodge in a cabin adjacent to the CAIRNS headquarters building or, if preferred, a tipi or wall tent located at the base of the hill below the headquarters (weather permitting). You will also have a private bathroom and shower. Meals are provided for short-term stays and are served in the main building, which also serves as the residency for the CAIRNS director.

Long-term interns (3 weeks or longer) are responsible for finding their own lodging in the surrounding area. The nearby town of Martin has a grocery store, several gas stations and restaurants, as well as a movie theater, bowling alley and other amenities. Lunch is provided for you while at work.

  1. All interns, regardless of their length of stay, must have their own transportation.

How to Apply Please print, complete and mail the application to the address on the application, or scan and email it to info@nativecairns.org. Be sure to include all application components:

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