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Our History 

If our ancestors were to tell stories of the history and unity of the Lakota Nation. . . the Oglala (Scatter their Own) of the Pine Ridge reservation, the Sicangu (Burnt Thigh) of the Rosebud reservation, the Hunkpapa (Camps at the Entrance) of the Standing Rock reservation and the Cheyenne River reservation; Mnicoujou (Planters by the Water), Siha Sapa (Black Foot), Oohenumpa (Two Kettle), Itazipco (Without Bows), they would proudly teach that these are the seven bands of the Titunwan (People of the Plains) one of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Nation.
Battle of Little Big Horn.

Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation

The name Sioux is part of the Ojibway/Chippewa/Anishinabe word “Nadoweisiw-eg,” which the French shortened to Sioux.  The original word meant “little or lesser snakes/enemies.”  The Sioux are really three groups comprised of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota, each having slightly different language dialects.  Geographically, the Lakota are the most western of the groups and there are seven distinct bands.  Four of the Lakota bands (Minnicoujou, Itazipco, Siha Sapa, and Oohenumpa) are located on the land known as the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. The other three (the Oglala of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Hunkpapa at Standing Rock Reservation, and Sicangu at the Rosebud Indian Reservation and also at Lower Brule Indian Reservation), are all located in western South Dakota.  The Standing Rock Reservation also stretches into North Dakota.  Some of the Lakota also settled in Canada at Wood Mountain Reserve in Saskatchewan beginning in 1876.  Collectively the bands are part of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota.

The present land base of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation was established by the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties and the Sioux Act of 1889.  Prior to this, the bands placed within this reservation knew no boundary to their territory.  They were hunters and traveled frequently in search of their main food source, the sacred American bison or buffalo.

Tribal flag

The blue represents the thunder clouds above the world where live the thunderbirds who control the four winds. The rainbow is for the Cheyenne River Sioux people who are keepers of the most Sacred Calf Pipe, a gift from the White Buffalo Calf Maiden. The eagle feathers at the edges at the rim of the world represent the spotted eagle who is the protector of all Lakota. The two pipes fused together are for unity. One pipe is for the Lakota, the other for all the other Indian Nations. The Yellow hoops represent the Sacred Hoop, which shall not be broken. The Sacred Calf Pipe bundle in red represents Wakan Tanka – The Great Mystery. All the colors of the Lakota are visible. The red, yellow, black, and white represent the four major races. The blue is for heaven and the green for Mother Earth.


                                    – Sydney Keith

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