Yankton Indian Reservation

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Location of the Yankton Indian Reservation within the US state of South Dakota
Sunshine Bottom

The Yankton Indian Reservation is the homeland of the Yankton Sioux Tribe of the Dakota tribe.

The reservation occupies the easternmost 60 percent of Charles Mix County in southeastern South Dakota, United States. It has a land area of 665.712 sq mi (1,724.186 km²) and a total area (land and water) of 684.406 sq mi (1,772.604 km²), and a resident population of 6,500 persons as of the 2000 census. The population as of the 2010 census was 6,465 inhabitants. It is the second-largest (to the Osage Indian Reservation) Indian reservation that is located entirely within one county. The largest community on the reservation is the city of Wagner, which is also the location of the tribal headquarters. The blues-rock group Indigenous is originally from this community, as is early 20th-century author and activist Zitkala-Sa.

Tribal information[edit]

  • Reservation: Diminished Yankton Reservation; part of Charles Mix County
  • Division: Dakota (Yankton)
  • Bands: Ihanktonwan
  • Land Area: Approximately 438,100 acres total (425,900 land and 12,200 water)
  • Tribal Headquarters: Wagner, SD
  • Time Zone: Central
  • Traditional Language: Nakota/Dakota
  • Enrolled members living within diminished area: 6,500 in 2000; 6,465 in 2010
  • Major Employers: Fort Randall Casino, Indian Health Service, tribal office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Marty Indian School
  • Website: https://www.yanktonsiouxtribe.net/


  • Charter: None; Constitution and Bylaws: Yes - non-IRA
  • Date Approved: April 24, 1963
  • Name of Governing Body: Yankton Sioux Tribal Business and Claims Committee
  • Number of committee members: (5) five committee members
  • Dates of Constitutional amendments: March 20, 1975
  • Number of Executive Officers: (4) Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer


  • Primary election is in July and the General is every two years on the first Thursday in September. Executive officers are elected at large and serve two year terms in office.
  • Number of Election districts or communities: 5


  • Regular business meeting are held once a week usually on Tuesday. An annual General Council Meeting is set for the third Tuesday in August each year.
  • Quorum number: 5 members

Notable leaders, past and present[edit]

Smutty Bear in 1857
  • Chief Struck By The Ree (1804–1888) – a Yankton chief, was wrapped in an American flag by Meriwether Lewis. Lewis and Clark were in the area exploring Louisiana Purchase lands. As a leader, Struck By The Ree managed to befriend the whites, yet remain dedicated and loyal to his people. He died in 1888 at Greenwood.
  • Chief Running Bull, Tatankaiyanka (1826–1900) – a Yankton Chief who succeeded Chief Struck by the Ree. Running Bull signed the Treaty of 1858, and was the son of Zuyesa whose name means "Warrior" signed the Treaty of 1837, which ceded all the lands east of the Mississippi to the U.S.
  • Chief Smutty Bear, Mato Sabi Ceya (1790?–1865) – which has been said to mean He Paints Himself Dark Like A Bear, an Ihanktonwan Chief, was a signer of four treaties. He signed the Treaty of 1825,[1] the Fourth Treaty of Prairie du Chien of 1830,[2] the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851,[3] and the Treaty of 1858.[4] He was a strong defender and believer in tribal sovereignty. Spellings of Chief Smutty Bear's name, following the chronological order of the treaties, are as follows : Maw-too-an-be-kin, Matto-sa-becha, Mak-toe-sah-bi-chis and Ma-to-sa-be-che-a.



  1. ^ "home". ccas.creighton.edu. Aug 11, 2014. Retrieved Mar 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "CONTENTdm". dc.library.okstate.edu. Retrieved Mar 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "Treaty of Fort Laramie - 1851". www.canku-luta.org. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved Mar 29, 2019.
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Media related to Yankton Indian Reservation at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 43°05′00″N 98°23′00″W / 43.0833°N 98.3833°W / 43.0833; -98.3833