Situated on Lake Oahe, a sprawling Missouri
River reservoir, the
Standing Rock Reservation straddles the South Dakota-North
The area is the birthplace of one of the Lakota's greatest warriors and most
respected medicine men, Sitting Bull. Today, visitors can pay homage at his
gravesite overlooking the Missouri River west of Mobridge. A large granite bust
depicting Sitting Bull marks the site.
Near the bust of Sitting Bull stands a marker
erected as a tribute to Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who traveled with
explorers Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Ocean. Just six years after that
historic journey, Sacagawea died at Fort Manuel near Kenel, S.D. Though the fort
no longer exists, visitors can stand on the river bluffs near Kenel and admire
the natural beauty of Sacagawea's final resting place.
Fort Yates, N.D., tribal headquarters, is the site of the mystical "Stone
Woman." As the legend goes, an Arikara woman married a Dakota man, who later
took another wife. The first wife became jealous and refused to leave her tent
when the rest of the band broke camp. Two men returned to retrieve the woman
only to find she had turned to stone. From then on, they carried the "stone
woman" with them everywhere. Today, she stands on a pedestal at the old Standing
Rock Agency near Fort Yates.
Leaders: Past and Present
Bull, a Hunkpapa, was an influence
and respected man. Not only did he serve as a spiritual leader, he also was the
last known leader of the "Cante Tinza," an elite warrior society. Sitting Bull
helped to defeat Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn. And he traveled with
Buffalo Bill Cody's "Wild West Show" for a time. Sitting Bull was killed by
Indian police on Dec. 15, 1890.
Patricia Locke (Ta Wacin Waste Win), a
Hunkpapa Lakota and Chippewa, lives on the Standing Rock Reservation. A
MacArthur Fellow, 1991-1996, she has assisted 17 tribes in establishing
community colleges on their reservations. Locke has taught at major American
universities including the University of California at Los Angeles. She is the
author of 29 articles and publications.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
P.O. Box D
Fort Yates, ND
Fax: (701) 854-7299.