About the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in SD

Entering the Crow Creek Indian ReservationThe Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation is approximately 358,361 acres located in central South Dakota. The reservation land base is approximately 10 x 70 miles. Current reservation land held in trust by the United States government is approximately 107,543.28 acres. The reservation tribal land is approximately 270,000 acres within Buffalo, Hughes and Hyde Counties. It is located along the north and eastern shores of the Missouri river. The terrain consists of plains, hills, shoreline, bluffs, prairie, lakes, dams, river and creeks. Tribal administration headquarters, businesses and the largest concentration of population are located in the town of Fort Thompson which is approximately 60 miles southeast of the capitol of Pierre.

View of the Missouri River as seen by a Habitat Volunteer on Crow Creek


The Crow Creek Reservation in the late 1800sThe Crow Creek Indian Reservation was established by executive order following what was known as the Minnesota Uprising, as a prison camp for the exiled Isanti Dakota and Winnebago people. These were the survivors, mostly women and children, of the largest known public execution in American History, “The Hanging of 38 Dakota Men at Mankato Minnesota.” From 1863 to 1866 approximately 300 died at Fort Thompson suffering from starvation, sickness, disease, exposure, hardship, and heartache. The Reservation is also the homelands to the Ihanktowan Dakota of the Oceti Sakowi (Seven Council Fires) commonly known as the Great Sioux Nation. In the years following 1863 bands of Dakota Chiefs including Sisseton and Wahpeton were forced and ordered to settle on Crow Creek by the US Government. Dakotas from other bands including the Mdewakan, Hunkpapa, Yanktanai and Tetons also settled on Crow Creek when they were not allowed annuities at other reservation agencies.

Crow Creek  Today

Community Gardens on the Crow Creek Reservation The Big Bend Dam on Crow Creek

Hoop DancingAt present, the reservation suffers from lagging economic indicators with few signs of development. In 2000, Buffalo County – where the majority of the reservation is located – was named the poorest county in the United States, with just under $5,300 per capita income annually. Astoundingly, the Native American income in the county is actually lower.

However, over the decades Crow Creek has persevered through many hardships, including broken treaties and the loss of land due to the construction of the Big Bend Dam. While the difficulties of the current economic situation are important to understand, they should not be seen as the tribe and reservation’s defining characteristics. Crow Creek is a beautiful place with beautiful people and Dakotah Tipis is excited to partner with the people of Crow Creek to develop a brighter future.

Continue to a more detailed account Crow Creek History, Click Here

Like to visit Crow Creek?
…volunteer for a Habitat Build.
Contact: Bob Werner
Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
To see what else to do
in South Dakota: Click Here.

Mount Rushmore


On a Habitat for Humanity Build on Crow Creek Badlands National Park

See Crow Creek, See South Dakota’s attractions, Help someone.

Learn about the Dacota 38

Click here for Full Dacota 38 movie

If you plan to volunteer, please become familiar with the best practices for safety and loss prevention.

Volunteer Safety Training

Christ Episcopal Church on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation
Faith Based Partnerships

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Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity

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