Native American Attractions
South Dakota is home to nine different Native American tribes, including Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people. Spread throughout the state, the nine tribes include the Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Flandreau-Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Standing Rock Sioux, and the Yankton Sioux Tribe. These tribes have contributed much to South Dakota’s life and culture, and visitors will find an abundance of Native American attractions throughout the state.
Crazy Horse Memorial
The world’s largest mountain sculpture, Crazy Horse Memorial, is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota near the town of Custer. The magnitude of this memorial rivals the significant accomplishments of Crazy Horse, a legendary Native American leader.
South Dakota Art Museum
The South Dakota Art Museum has been showcasing South Dakota’s local art and artists since 1970. Located in Brookings, South Dakota, the museum has a permanent collection, as well as changing exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and guided tours. The museum has six galleries, a museum store, and a Kid’s Sensation Station.
Wounded Knee Museum
On December 23, 1890, US troops massacred almost 300 Lakota Sioux men, women, and children at what would become known as the Wounded Knee Massacre. The Wounded Knee Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Lakota families whose lives were profoundly changed or lost at Wounded Knee.
A Powwow, or Wacipi (pronounced wa-chee-pee), is a Native American celebration where a tribe gets together to dance, sing, spend time together, and honor the Native American culture. It is a time when the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota of South Dakota conduct Honorings, giveaways, family gatherings and when friends meet, camp, visit, and reconnect as tribal nations. With nine Native American tribes, South Dakota hosts many Wacipi celebrations each year, many of which welcome visitors to part or all of the celebration.
Native American Scenic Byway
South Dakota’s Native American Scenic Byway cuts through the middle of South Dakota, and crosses through the reservations of four tribes: the Crow Creek Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, and Standing Rock Sioux. With 305 miles of roads, the byway passes by numerous memorial markers, monuments, museums, and sites sacred to Native Americans.
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
About 1,000 years ago, an American Indian settlement sprang up along the creek and rose into a village of about 70 lodges containing hundreds of people. The site of that ancient village is now partially inundated by manmade Lake Mitchell, but much of it is preserved as the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village