Indians of South Dakota
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The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) established several field agencies in South Dakota to administer Indian programs on eight different reservations. Various Sioux tribes lived on those reservations, including the Santee, Teton (Brule and Oglala), Yankton, and Yanktonnais. Other Indian tribes who lived in South Dakota in the early nineteenth century included the Arikara, Cheyenne, Omaha, and Poncas.
Tribes and Bands of South Dakota
The following list of American Indians who have lived in South Dakota has been compiled from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians... and from Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America. Some may simply be variant spellings for the same tribe.
- Cheyenne (Northern) -- see Northern Cheyenne
- Cheyenne River Sioux
- Crow Creek Sioux
- Flandreau Santee Sioux
- Lower Brule Sioux
- Northern Cheyenne
- Oglala Sioux
- Oyate Sioux
- Rosebud Sioux
- Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux
- Standing Rock Sioux
- Yankton Sioux
Four Bands of Lakota Sioux: Minnecoujou, Two Kettle, Sans Arc, and Blackfoot
Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Agencies and sub-agencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value were created by these offices.
The following list of agencies that have operated or now exist in South Dakota has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs..., Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians, and others.
- Cheyenne River Agency
- Crow Creek Agency
- Grand River Agency
- Lower Brule Agency
- Pierre Agency
- Pine Ridge Agency
- Red Cloud Agency
- Rosebud Agency
- Spotted Tail Agency
- Standing Rock Agency
- Upper Missouri Agency
- Whetstone Agency 1871-1874
- Yankton Agency, 1859-1876
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
Allotted Tribes of South Dakota
•Cheyenne River, Crow Creek Reservation, Lake Traverse, Lower Brule, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Standing Rock, Yankton •Sisseton-Sioux
The Office of Indian Affairs (now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) established a network of schools throughout the United States, beginning with Carlisle Indian School, established in 1879. Some of these schools were day schools, usually focusing on Indian children of a single tribe or reservation. Some were boarding schools which served Indian children from a number of tribes and reservations.
In addition, other groups such as various church denominations established schools specifically focusing on American Indian children. (read more...)
The following list of Indian Schools in South Dakota has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs..., Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians, and others.
- Chamberlain School
- Flandreau School 1906-1937 FHL film 1017424
- Holy Rosary Mission School
- Hope School
- Indian Training School
- Oglala Boarding School
- Oglala Lakota College, near Kyle, four year accredited
- Pierre School record group 75 roll 167 FHL film 1205162
- Rapid City School FHL film 1204882
- Sisseton-Wahpeton College.
- Springfield School
In addition to government schools for the Native Americans, several churches established educational institutions for them. Among them were:
- Catholic Mission Schools (Family History Library has some records)
- Protestant Mission Schools (Family History Library has some records)
Indian Health Facilities
Records Available through the Family History Library
The Family History Library has 130 microfilms of BIA records from the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Sisseton, Standing Rock, and other agencies. These include birth, marriage, death, adoption, census, school, land allotment, probate, military, and miscellaneous records. Most of the records were created between 1870 and 1970.
Major James McLaughlin records 1855-1937 FHL film 541380 (first of 39 films) Guide to the microfilm edition of Major James McLaughlin Papers. FHL book 973 No. 2000
Central Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1813-1878 FHL film 1602893 (first of 108 films)
Dakota Superintendency FHL film 1549632 (first of 13 films)
1880 Rosebud Census and 1886 - 1942 Supplemental Vital records M 59 FHL film 573847 (first of 692 films)
These records are listed in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under NATIVE RACES and other subjects such as CENSUS, VITAL RECORDS, and LAND AND PROPERTY. You will also find records listed in the subject section of the FamilySearch Catalog under the names of the tribe, such as SIOUX INDIANS.
The original BIA records are at the National Archives—Central Plains Region at Kansas City, MO (see Archives and Libraries Section above for address).
From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.
Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.
The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether.
For a current reservation map - South Dakota - Indian Reservations - The National Atlas of the United States of America. Federal Lands and Indian Reservations. by the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
The following list of reservations has been compiled from the National Atlas of the United States of America, the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America, and other sources. Those reservations named in bold are current federally-recognized reservations, with their associated agency and tribe(s). Others have historically been associated with the state or are not currently recognized by the federal government.
- Cheyenne River Reservation (created ______)
- Crow Creek Reservation (created ______)
- Flandreau Reservation -- Federal, under jurisdiction of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Agency, Tribe: Flandreau Santee Sioux
- Grande River Reservation
- Lake Traverse Reservation
- Lower Brule Reservation -- Federal, under jurisdiction of the Lower Brule Agency, Tribe: Sioux
- Pine Ridge Reservation or Wowakita Reservation -- Federal, under jurisdiction of the Pine Ridge Agency, Tribe: Oglala Sioux
- Rosebud Reservation (before 1878 Spotted Trail) -- Federal, under jurisdiction of the Rosebud Agency, Tribe: Sioux
- Sisseton Reservation
- Spotted Tail Reservation -- Prior to 1878, this was the name for the current Rosebud Reservation (see above).
- Standing Rock Reservation -- Standing Rock Reservation is located in south-central North Dakota and in north-central South Dakota. It consists of over 3500 square miles in Sioux County, North Dakota and Corson County, South Dakota, along with small parts of Dewey and Ziebach Counties, South Dakota, The population of 8250 (2000 pop. figures) are Dakota and Lakota Sioux.
- Wowakita Reservation -- This is another name for the Pine Ridge Reservation (see above).
- Yankton Reservation -- Federal, under jurisdiction of the Yankton Agency, Tribe Yankton Sioux
Family History Library
FamilySearch Catalog Places search United States, North Dakota - Native races lists over 39 titles of interest.
For Further Reading
See also American Indian For Further Reading.
- South Dakota_Church Records for a list of missions
- South Dakota_History
- South Dakota_Military Records for a list of forts
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
- Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. (FHL book 970.1 H551g.)
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. FHL book 970.1 H551o
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. FHL book 970.1 H551g.
- National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
- Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.(Family History Library book 973 E5)