Standing Rock Indian Reservation

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"Standing Rock" redirects here. For other uses, see Standing Rock (disambiguation).
Standing Rock Indian Reservation straddles the border between North and South Dakota

The Standing Rock Indian Reservation is a Lakota, Yanktonai and Dakota Indian reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota in the United States. The sixth-largest reservation in land area in the United States, it comprises all of Sioux County, North Dakota, and all of Corson County, South Dakota, plus slivers of northern Dewey County and Ziebach County in South Dakota, along their northern county lines at Highway 20.

The reservation has a land area of 9,251.2 square kilometers (3,571.9 sq mi) and a population of 8,250 as of the 2000 census.[1] The largest communities on the reservation are Cannon Ball and McLaughlin. Other communities within the reservation include[citation needed] Bullhead, Fort Yates, Kenel, Little Eagle, McIntosh, Morristown, Porcupine, Selfridge, Solen, and Wakpala Cannonball.


The Yanktonai and Dakota live in North Dakota, the Lakota live in South Dakota. The Upper Yanktonai people used a language called Ihanktonwana which translates "Little End Village" and Lower Yanktonai, called Hunkpatina in their language, "Campers at the Horn" or "End of the Camping Circle". Thunder Butte, a prominent landmark, is along the border between the Standing Rock Reservation and the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. The latter is occupied by the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation based upon Nomadic people who lived in teepees year round. Their culture was also based strongly upon horses and buffalo.

Sitting Bull was a highly respected Lakota war chief and medicine man who led the Lakota in years of resistance to the United States in the late 19th century. He commanded forces that defeated General George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. His grave is on the reservation. Sitting Bull College was named in his honor. His people, the Hunkpapa (Húŋkpapȟa), mainly reside on this reservation. Húŋkpapȟa means "Head of the Circle", due to the tradition of their setting their lodges at the entryway to the circle during Sioux council.

Originally with a territory of 4 million acres (16,000 km2) in 1864, the reservation was reduced in size after the Indian Wars of the 19th century, resulting in more land available for European-American settlers.

University of North Dakota[edit]

The athletic teams of the University of North Dakota (UND) are known as the Fighting Sioux. Controversy surrounding the use of Native American mascots prompted the NCAA to ban the use of "hostile and abusive" Native American mascots in August 2005.[2] An exception was made to allow the use of tribal names as long as they are approved by that tribe.[3] Since the Tribal Council of the Standing Rock Sioux has not approved[4] UND's use of "Fighting Sioux",[5] the ban prevents the university from hosting any championships and disallows the use of UND's team logo or nickname at any championship events. The North Dakota Legislative Assembly raised the stakes during its 62nd session by passing House Bill No. 1263, which declares "The intercollegiate athletic teams sponsored by the University of North Dakota shall be known as the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux....If the National Collegiate Athletic Association takes any action to penalize the University of North Dakota for using the Fighting Sioux nickname or logo, the attorney general shall consider filing a federal antitrust claim against that association."[6]

Notable tribal members[edit]


  1. ^ "Standing Rock Reservation, South Dakota/North Dakota". Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  2. ^ "NCAA Bans Indian Mascots". NewsHour. PBS. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  3. ^ Powell, Robert Andrew (August 25, 2005). "Florida State wins its battle to remain the Seminoles". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Conlon, Kevin (August 14, 2011). "North Dakota, NCAA spar over mascot". CNN. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  6. ^ "House Measure No. 1263". North Dakota Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°45′N 101°12′W / 45.75°N 101.20°W / 45.75; -101.20