Tribal projects are projects that we take great pride in here at Encompass Architects. Designing project centered on community and imagery meaningful to you is our biggest goal. We listen, listen, and listen some more until we are sure we fully understand the wants and needs of the community and the project. We have worked on tribal project types ranging from schools to governance center and cultural centers. We have over 20 year of employee experience working with tribal governments.

Let us show you how we can enhance your community's character and value.

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Lakota Dream Museum and Monument

Kyle, SD

The Lakota Dream Museum is designed as a place for the youth culture of indigenous peoples to pursue their dreams. The vision for the project is to become a community center that provides the resources for young people to strive to improve their future. Encompass Architects provided initial schematic design for the project and it is currently in fundraising.

The museum will be located near the Black Hills south of Rapid City, South Dakota. The program for the museum includes 18,000 SF of space to honor and celebrate heritage, community, and youth creativity. The program includes classrooms, meeting and event rooms, an interpretive center with space for curated exhibits, and an outdoor amphitheater for cultural celebrations.


Lakota Arts & Business Incubator

Kyle, SD

The goal for the Oglala Lakota Artspace project was to provide a culturally influenced building to house emerging Native artists and businesses in a collaborative and efficient facility. Working with Artspace Projects, First People’s Fund and Lakota Fund; Encompass Architects reached out to the community to identify the different types of spaces the local artist’s desired. It was then taking this knowledge and creating a design that connects to the Lakota culture.

The new 10,000 SF building located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, SD includes tenant spaces, artist’s spaces, co-working spaces, a computer lab/training room and a recording studio, are designed around the Lakota star map. The stars are a guidebook for the Lakota people that tell of the journey from the Spirit/Star world to the Earth/Material World. In each group of stars on the Lakota star map there are stories and teachings that help guide, teach and inspire, which is also the hope for this building.

 On the star map Encompass Architects focused on a circle of star groups known as the Racetrack constellation which correlates to the Black Hills, which is not far from the project’s site. To bring this into the design of the building a centrally located courtyard with an arbor was created with a metal shroud around the center pole of the arbor to depict the concept of mirroring. Mirroring is a fundamental archetype in Lakota star knowledge and it is said, ‘As it is above (in the sky), it is below (on the Earth).’ (D(L)akota Star Map Constellation Guide by A. Lee, J. Rock and C. O’Rourke). The structure of the arbor is organized to correspond to key star groups on the Racetrack constellation and allows for the artists to hold markets to showcase and sell their pieces.


Sinte Gleska University - Student Union 

Mission, SD

Encompass architects provided architecture and engineering services for this project which consists of a 4,000 SF addition to the existing Student Services Building which Encompass designed previously. Also part of the project was a new 8,000 SF student Union. The Union includes dining services and food services, study areas, lounge area and other support services.


Wounded Knee Memorial Center

Wounded Knee, SD

Working with an Exhibit designer and local community members, Encompass Architects envisioned a Team effort to design the content of the Wounded Knee Memorial Center. A visitor's journey throughout the Center is controlled and scripted allowing the visitors to gain the proper perspective and state of mind prior to actually viewing the site.

The site is sacred and access to it needed to be controlled. The goal was to guide visitors in a specific path, first through the Center then to a designated trail through the site. The Center, a 19,800 SF building incorporates exhibit spaces, a theater, offices and meetings rooms, retail spaces, dining spaces, as well as general service spaces.