Native History


Sisseton Agency records, Northern State University digital collections, Aberdeen: “This collection includes photographs and documents from the Sisseton Indian Agency held by the National Archives in Kansas City. Many of the images are from the home restoration project of the 1930’s, showing before and after photos of government renovations to reservation homes.”

Guide to American Indian Research in South Dakota, State Archives, Pierre: “This guide is intended to describe to potential researchers both the archival holdings of the South Dakota State Archives, and other information sources regarding the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota. It was initially a guide only to the collections of the South Dakota State Archives. However, it became apparent that a guide to primary sources for Indian research in the state should include tribal organizations and federal repositories. Thus the guide includes tribal enrollment offices, BIA realty offices, tribal colleges and universities, other South Dakota resource facilities, and some non-South Dakota facilities.”

American Indian Research Project (AIRP), South Dakota Oral History Center, University of South Dakota, Vermillion: “The American Indian Research Project [AIRP] contains over 2,300 oral history interview recordings. This collection was funded through a grant from tobacco heiress Doris Duke. The grant funding started in 1967 and continued into the 1970s.  The majority of the oral history recordings found in the AIRP were gathered in this early period though the work of Joseph Harper Cash and Herbert Hoover, Ph.D., both professors at the University of South Dakota.   The gathering of recordings for the AIRP was not discontinued at the end of the grant, but continues to this day, ensuring the continued growth of this important collection.  The collection contains the memories and experiences of individuals from the 1890s to the present.  These memories and experiences cover topics of culture, life ways, legends, music, change and activism within the Native American peoples, tribes and communities of the Northern Plains.   While these oral histories are predominantly in English, recordings conducted in Lakota, Dakota and others can also be found.   There is also a collection of recordings focused on the teaching of the Lakota language.  Through the AIRP researchers have, most recently, gone into the field to conduct interviews with Native culture keepers, individuals and groups concerned about the Bear Butte sacred site, the Sturgis Bike Rally, and Native gang members.”

James Emery Collection, South Dakota Oral History Center, University of South Dakota, Vermillion: “nearly 300 recordings contains a large amount of Native American music, in addition to other material”

Blue Cloud Abbey-American Indian Culture Research Center Collection, Center for Western Studies Digital Collections, Augustana University, Sioux Falls: “Over 1,100 images of nearly 600 artifacts from the Blue Cloud Abbey-American Indian Culture Research Center Collection are now available on-line. Most of this collection is related to the missionary work of Blue Cloud’s Benedictine monks with the Sioux tribes of the Dakotas. Moccasins, necklaces, bags, regalia, and other clothing items exhibiting Sioux and Christian symbolism in bead- and quillwork are featured with carved Catlinite pipe bowls and various other objects. The time period of the artifacts ranges from ca. 1860 to more contemporary.”

Dr. Paul A. Boe-Wounded Knee II Papers, Center for Western Studies Digital Collections, Augustana University, Sioux Falls: “The American Indian Movement invited Dr. Paul A. Boe, a Lutheran pastor, to go to Wounded Knee during the 1973 occupation as an observer and friend. During the ensuing legal battles, Boe nearly served time in prison for refusing to testify about what he saw there. 45 letters and memoranda from Boe’s personal papers covering the time periods of spring 1973 and winter 1973-1974 are available digitally.”

Manuscript Collections, H.M. Briggs Library, South Dakota State University, Brookings: Elizabeth Cook-Lynn papers, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve papers, and Congressman Benjamin Reifel papers

Records of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, Marquette University, Milwaukee: Records tagged “South Dakota”.



Allen, Clifford et al. Dakotah: A History of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. Tribal History Program, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Flandreau, South Dakota, September, 1971.

Andrews, Thomas G. “Turning the Tables on Assimilation: Oglala Lakotas and the Pine Ridge Day Schools, 1889-1920s.” The Western Historical Quarterly 33(4) (Winter 2002), 407-430.

Canku, Clifford, and Michael Simon. The Dakota Prisoner of War Letters: Dakota Kaskapi Okicize Wowapi. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2013.  Transcribed letters written from Dakota prisoners taken by the U.S. in 1862 to missionaries.  Editors worked with elders from Flandreau, SD.

Carson, Mary Eisenman. 8th Landing: The Yankton Sioux Meet Lewis and Clark. West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing, 2004.

——. Blackrobe for the Yankton Sioux: Fr. Sylvester Eisenman, O.S.B. (1891-1948). Chamberlain, SD: Tipi Press, 1989.

Deloria, Vine. Singing for a Spirit: A Portrait of the Dakota Sioux. Sante Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers, 1999.

Duratschek, Sister Mary Claudia. Crusading Along Sioux Trails: A History of Catholic Indian Missions of South Dakota. A Grail Publication, Yankton: SD, 1947.

Galler, Robert. “Making Common Cause: Yanktonais and Catholic Missionaries on the Northern Plains.” Ethnohistory 55(3) (Summer 2008), 439-464.

Greene, Jerome A. “The Sioux Land Commission of 1889: Prelude to Wounded Knee.” South Dakota History 1(1) (Winter 1970), 41-72.

Hoover, Herbert T. The Yankton Sioux. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.

Kreis, Karl Markus. Lakotas, Black Robes, and Holy Women: German Reports from the Indian Mission in South Dakota, 1886-1900. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007.

Libhart, Myles. Sioux Artists of the Twentieth Century, Vol. 4. Spearfish: SD, Black Hills College Center of Indian Studies, 1982.

Paulson, Howard W. “The Allotment of Land in Severalty to the Dakota Indians before the Dawes Act.” South Dakota History 1(2) (Spring 1970), 132-153.

Waggoner, Josephine. Emily Levine, Ed. Witness: A Hunkpapa Historian’s Strong-Heart Song of the Lakotas. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013.  Posthumous publication of history writing by Waggoner, a resident of Standing Rock Reservation.