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Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Montgomery, Alabama
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24 posts
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Visiting SD Indian reservations?

We're traveling across SD for a couple of weeks in September (Sioux Falls to Keystone). Our route takes us through/near Lower Brule, Crow Creek, Rosebud, and Ogala (Pine Ridge) Reservations. Does anyone know of organized tours or if there are native tour guides for hire on any of these reservations? We're interested in learning about the culture & history but we prefer a personal tour to reading notes on a museum exhibit. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Kittanning, PA
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1. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast claims to arrange tours of Pine Ridge Reservation with a native guide. Their website is www.wakpamni.com. You might also try calling the Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce at (605) 455-2685. Badlands Outfitters also has tours available but they say nothing about whether the tour guide would be Native American. Hope this helps!

Montgomery, Alabama
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2. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Thanks! I'll check those out. While searching online, I found a company called Go Native America. Looks like they specialize in multi-day tours, but their website says day trips too. Does anyone know about them?

Deadwood, South...
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3. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Hey there-

Not sure exactly what you are looking for in the Indian reservations, but its just a designated area that belongs to the Native Americans. You won't realize when you enter or leave one...it all looks the same. And a lot of the reservations are very large spreading many miles.

There are some museums like Wounded Knee that give history, otherwise, all the Reservations themselves are just full of homes, schools, and small towns...and sometimes casinos.

Iowa
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4. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

This month's National Geographic magazine has an article and pictures about the Pine Ridge reservation. It was really interesting. I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, but.....the article makes it sound quite run down, lots of poverty, drug abuse, and some of the residents seem to be a bit anti-government (flags hanging upside down, etc.). In other words, I'm not sure if tourists would get much of a warm welcome. This is just what I gathered from the aritcle though; I have not visited there myself; so you'll want to take what I say with a grain of salt, obviously:-).

Montgomery, Alabama
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5. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Sarah H & kren250, Thanks for responding. I haven't seen the NG article, but I saw a TV program about Pine Ridge reservation that also focused on the poverty and high rate of alcoholism. It noted that there seems to be a renewed sense of hopefulness and some positive changes. I guess what I'm thinking is that a Lakota guide might be able to explain the history and culture from a different perspective than what's in the history books.

Rapid City, South...
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6. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Shannon County/Pine Ridge is the 3rd poorest county in the US. Your route is also likely to take you through the 2nd poorest,Todd county.

Here is a Rapid City Journal article from Jan 2012:

rapidcityjournal.com/news/nation-s-top-three…

Montgomery, Alabama
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7. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Lorhs, Thank you for the article regarding the high poverty rate on Pine Ridge and other reservations in SD. I see that you live in Rapid City, SD. Which museums or other sites do you feel do a good job of relating the history and culture of the area's Native Americans?

Rapid City, South...
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8. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

I have not been to any of the museums recently. The Journey Museum has rotating exhibits http://www.journeymuseum.org/.

I also hear good things about the museum at the Crazy Horse memorial. http://crazyhorsememorial.org/

Montgomery, Alabama
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9. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

Thanks, Lorhs! Anyone else have recommendations for museums or other sites that you feel do a good job of relating the history and culture of the area's Native Americans? We'll be traveling from Sioux Falls westward to Keystone so anything in that general area is a possibility for our itinerary.

Iowa
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10. Re: Visiting SD Indian reservations?

We really liked our Crazy Horse visit. They had a fairly extensive museum with displays of Native American artifacts, everything from weapons to clothing. They also had an area where Native Americans could make and sell their crafts such as paintings and jewlery.

I've read that Crazy Horse (the monument) is a point of contention with some of the Native Americans; some are for it and some against. I can see both sides of it.