Home of the Oglala Lakota Nation or Oglala Sioux Tribe, the reservation covers 11,000 square miles (approximately 2.2 million acres) in southwestern South Dakota. The reservation borders the Nebraska state line to the south, Rosebud Indian Reservation to the east and Badlands National Park to the north. Tribal headquarters is in the town of Pine Ridge. The Oglala, or Scatter Their Own, are one of the seven bands of the Titowan (Lakota) division of the Great Sioux Nation.
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.
Red Cloud (1822-1909), an Oglala chief, was a respected warrior and statesman. From 1866-1868, 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 Indian children. He is buried on a hill overlooking the Red Cloud Indian School, which 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.
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.
Oglala Lakota College, near Kyle, provides a site for higher education on the reservation. The accredited college stocks a variety of Native American literature in the bookstore. 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 at the Oglala Lakota College Historical Center. An audiotape provides 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.
Pine Ridge, Kyle, Oglala, Manderson, Porcupine, Wanblee, Long Valley
Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce
Kyle, South Dakota
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Pine Ridge, South Dakota