Perhaps more than any other group, the men and women of the Lakota Nation (better known as The Sioux) — with their graceful tipis, fast horses, warrior societies and richly feathered regalia — have become the international symbol for all of America's native peoples.
Their legacy is embedded into South Dakota History. The Sioux gained control of the Northern Plains in the 1700s, and developed a unique culture based on the abundant buffalo herds of that era. The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 (also know as the Sioux Treaty), signed at Fort Laramie in Wyoming Territory between the United States and the Lakota Nation guaranteed the Lakota people ownership and hunting rights of the Black Hills. The treaty brought an end to Red Cloud's War.
Faces and places in Sioux history are legendary: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, American Horse, High Hawk, Gall, Hump, Rain in the Face. Historic landscapes line the banks of the Little Big Horn River and are the tragic backdrop at Wounded Knee, near Kyle on Pine Ridge Reservation. For another perspective, read the book or see the movie "Dances With Wolves" or visit The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School.
Today, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, whose members comprise about about 11% of South Dakota's citizenry, live in the shadows of the Black Hills on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations, and in the cities and towns of western South Dakota. The cultural influence of the Sioux extends to South Dakota's citizens, arts, mass media, fashions, jewelry, architecture, interior design, religion and politics. Various tribal groups hold Powwow Celebrations through the year; make sure to check out the Powwow Schedule to see when everything is happening. Providing news and entertainment to reservation communities and beyond, KILI Radio broadcasts from Porcupine, SD, and the Lakota Country Times offers a weekly newspaper. On the Internet, Lakota Mall offers detailed information about local businesses and organizations throughout Pine Ridge Reservation.
Come, visit, learn.