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Sitting Bull Grave Site Returned

The State of North Dakota had owned the grave site of Sitting Bull since 1956. It was returned to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on January 5, 2007 with great joy and thankfulness.

Sitting Bull Grave Site, SD

The Sitting Bull Grave Site located near Grand River Casino is the second grave site of Sitting Bull. In 1953, it is said that his remains were moved to a burial site near Mobridge, South Dakota. This grave is located south of Grand River Casino where a large monument has been created as his memorial.

The site was taken in the night in 1953 and moved to this area. The Sakakawea Monument honors the woman who went with Lewis and Clark to the Pacific.

Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway

The Standing Rock became a new Native American Scenic Byway in Washington, DC on September 22, 2005. 

The Native American Scenic Byway stretches across the expansive tall grass plains of the Sioux people, who preserve the history of the shaping of the American West. As you pass through the green-gold hills of this Byway, its many memorial markers, monuments, museums and sacred sites commemorate the heritage of the Sioux Nation and help you hear history from the Native American point of view.

The entire 86 miles of the Standing Rock Native American Scenic Byway are within the borders of the Standing Rock Reservation. In addition to its rich history, the reservation is unique due to its location in two states: North Dakota (ND) and South Dakota (SD).

Leavenworth Monument

On September 9, 1807, Ensign Nathanial Pryor was commissioned to return the Mandan Chief White Coyote to his people on the Upper Missouri River. White Coyote was the chief that went to Washington, DC with Lewis and Clark’s Corp of Discovery, along with another chief of the Arikara named Eagle Feathers. Ensign Pryor stopped at the Arikara camp to inform the people of the death of their chief Eagle Feathers. The Arikara under Chief Grey Eyes attacked the group. Ensign Pryor’s group suffered 19 casualties. It was the first Indian and white battle in South Dakota.


In the Ashley Fur Trading Company Attack of 1823, Arikara Indians attacked a fur trading party led by a General Ashley. Twelve of the fur traders were killed and eleven wounded. This fight is one of the first fights between Indians and whites in South Dakota. 


News of the attack on the Ashley party resulted in the launching of a punitive expedition against the Arikaras. The expedition was under the command of Col. Henry Leavenworth. The troops consisted of six companies of the 6th U.S. Infantry and several groups of fur traders. Colonel Leavenworth,  took 200 soldiers to the Arikara village. The troops shelled the village with a cannon for several hours. However, the damage was slight and the Indians suffered few casualties from the six-pound shells. 


After Colonel Leavenworth decided the Akikara had suffered enough, he attempted to obtain a pledge from them of their future good behavior. After a truce was called to discuss the issue, most of the Indians slipped out of the village and escaped.

Fort Manuel

Manuel Lisa (1772-1820), North American fur trader, born in New Orleans; led the first important expedition up the Missouri River in 1807 and built Fort Manuel at the mouth of Bighorn River; with Andrew Henry, Jean Pierre Chouteau, and others founded Missouri Fur Company (1808-1809) and built Fort Lisa near mouth of Big Knife River in North Dakota; erected Fort Manuel in South Dakota 1812.

Fort Manuel was established by Manuel Lisa and Toussaint Charbonneau on the banks of the Missouri River right below the present day Kenel, South Dakota. 

A fur trader recorded the death of Sakakawea at Fort Manuel in his journal on December 20, 1812. John C. Luttig wrote that Charbonneau's wife, a Shoshone woman, "died of a putrid fever." He went on to write "she was a good and the best woman in the fort, aged about 25 years."

Fort Manuel, now underwater, was near present-day Kenel, SD, just south of the North Dakota border on the Standing Rock Reservation. Fort Manuel was rebuilt by Kenel District in 2000.

Monument to Father Kenel & Marty

Monument to Father Kenel & Marty - Kenel, SD

Sitting Bull Grave Site, ND

The original grave site of Sitting Bull, spiritual leader of the Hunkpapa band of Lakota. A large boulder resting on a concert slab with a sign leaning against the boulder lists some information about Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull was murdered by Indian Police by orders of the Indian Agent Major James McLaughlin on December 15, 1890.

Monument to Indian Police

Monument to Indian Police who killed Sitting Bull - Fort Yates, ND

Standing Rock Monument


A Dakota had married an Arikara woman and by her had one child. By and by, he took another wife. The first wife was jealous and pouted. When the time came for the village to break camp, she refused to move from her place on the tent floor. The tent was taken down but she sat on the ground with her babe on her back. The rest of the camp with her husband went on.

At noon, her husband halted the line. “Go back to your sister-in-law,” he said to his two brothers. “Tell her to come on and we will await you here. But hasten, for I fear she may grow desperate and kill herself.”

The two rode off and arrived at their former camping place in the evening. The woman still sat on the ground. The elder spoke: “Sister-in-law, get up. We have come for you. The camp awaits you.”

She did not answer and he put out his hand and touched her head. She had turned to stone!

The two bothers lashed their ponies and came back to camp. They told their story but were not believed. “The woman has killed herself and my brothers will not tell me,” said the husband. However, the whole village broke camp and came back to the place where they had left the woman. Sure enough, she sat there still, a block of stone!

The Indians were greatly excited. They chose a handsome pony, made a new travois and placed the stone in the carrying net. The pony and travois were both beautifully painted and decorated with streamers and colors. The stone was thought waken (holy) and was given a place of honor in the center of the camp. Whenever the camp moved, the stone and travois were taken along. Thus, the stone woman was carried for years and finally brought to Standing Rock Agency and now rests upon a brick pedestal in front of the Agency Office. From this stone, the Standing Rock Agency derives its name.

World War One Monument

World War 1 Monument - Fort Yates, ND

Holy Spirit Church

Holy Spirit Church - Rock Creek, SD

Weinhandl Museum

Weinhandl Museum - Shield, ND

Prairie Knights Marina

Prairie Knights Marina - Ft Yates, ND

The Bay

Grand River Resort, The Bay, SD

Bear Soldier Jackpot Bingo

Bear Soldier Jackpot Bingo - McLaughlin, SD

Major McLaughlin Heritage Center

Major McLaughlin Heritage Center - McLaughlin,SD

Jedediah Smith Monument

Jedediah Smith, at the age of 22, signed on with the expedition of William Ashley to travel the Upper Missouri and trap beaver. It is said that Jedediah prayed at the mouth of the Grand River.

Jedediah rediscovered the south pass through the Rocky Mountains. A monument to Jedediah sits on the mouth of the Grand River today.

Barren Butte

Barren Butte is the highest location on Standing Rock.

Standing Rock Tribal Office

Tours are given in the Tribal Office. There are pictures of our leaders on the second floor.

Fort Yates Stockade

The stockade building is the only building left of the military fort which was built in 1871. It was one of the largest military forts on the Missouri River and the Indian agency headquarters. 

This was a two company infantry post during the years of 1870-74; the average strength was three officers and eighty-five men. 

The fort was closed in 1903 with only the stockade building remaining at Standing Rock. Rain-In-The Face and others were put in prison in this stockade.

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