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Oglala Sioux Tribe

Majestic Badlands, rolling grassland and hills, dryland prairie and pine-dotted areas await you at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It's a place where you’ll learn of ancient legends, colorful history, and heritage as old and wondrous as the surrounding Badlands.

THE OGLALA PEOPLE

Oglala is a Lakota word meaning "to scatter one's own." The Oglala Lakota Nation is one of the seven bands of the Titowan (Lakota) division of the Great Sioux Nation. They are a proud people with a rich history and culture.

GEOGRAPHY

The Pine Ridge Reservation is the home of the Oglala. The reservation is the eighth-largest reservation in the country, covering 11,000 square miles (approximately 2.2 million acres) in southwestern South Dakota. There are three diverse geographic regions within the reservation. The southern and eastern sections consist of picturesque grassy plains. The west-central section merges with the small eastern spurs of the Black Hills. The result is an area of rolling pine-covered hills and ridges, providing the inspiration for the name Pine Ridge. To the north of the wooded area are approximately 160,000 acres of the Badlands National Park. The reservation borders the Nebraska state line to the south, Rosebud Indian Reservation to the east and Badlands National Park to the north. The tribal headquarters is in the town of Pine Ridge, but the reservation includes the communities of Kyle, Oglala, Manderson, Porcupine, Wanblee and Long Valley. 

NOTABLE OGLALA SIOUX

Red Cloud (1822-1909), an Oglala chief, was a respected warrior and statesman. From 1866 to 1868, he successfully led the fight to close off the Bozeman Trail, which passed through prime buffalo hunting grounds. Once settled at Pine Ridge, Red Cloud worked to establish a Jesuit-run school for Native American children. He is buried on a hill overlooking the Red Cloud Indian School that was named in his honor.

Crazy Horse (c.1840-1877), a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota, fought against the U.S. government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. He is most known for his participation in the Battle of Little Bighorn in June 1876 in Montana.

DON'T MISS

The Red Cloud Heritage Center, located on the campus of Red Cloud Indian School, houses an extensive collection of prize-winning paintings, graphics and sculptures created by contemporary Native American artists from across North America. Also on display is historical and contemporary Lakota art, including beadwork and porcupine quillwork. The gift shop offers a large selection of unique Lakota fine art. Each summer, the center hosts the Red Cloud Indian Art Show, which showcases the works of modern Native American artists.

Near Kyle, the Oglala Lakota College provides a site for higher education on the reservation. The accredited college stocks a variety of Native American literature in the bookstore. At the Oglala Lakota College Historical Center, visitors can see historical photographs and artwork displays that chronicle the history of the Oglala Lakota from the early 1800s through the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. An audio presentation provides even greater meaning to the displays. The center honors the struggles of those who came before and lost their lives to protect the Lakota way of life.

The Wounded Knee Massacre Site is located south of Porcupine on BIA Highway 27.

The Pine Ridge Visitor Center, located in the Chamber of Commerce building at 7900 Lakota Prairie Drive near Kyle, provides visitor and travel information. Opened in 2009, the center features Lakota art and wildlife displays and is open year-round.

The White River Visitor Center is located about 20 miles south of the town of Scenic in the south unit of the Badlands National Park where BIA Highway 2 intersects with BIA Highway 27. The Center features Lakota exhibits and a video program and is open during the summer months.

At the Prairie Wind Casino near Oglala, visitors can take a chance at the gaming tables and slot machines. The casino offers live entertainment, a restaurant, bingo and a gift shop featuring work by local artists.

The East Wind Casino near Martin offers over 100 Vegas-style machines and a snack bar.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce
Kyle, South Dakota
(605) 455-2685
pineridgechamber.com

Oglala Sioux Tribe
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
(605) 867-5821
oglalalakotanation.org