The Crow Creek Sioux Reservation is located in the central portion of South Dakota, 26 miles northwest of Chamberlain, South Dakota, which is on Interstate 90. The reservation boundaries on the west and south include Lakes Sharpe and Francis Case – the large reservoirs formed by mainstream dams, Fort Randall and Big Bend dams, on the Missouri River.
The reservation covers an area of about 400 square miles within Hughes, Hyde, and Buffalo counties. Of this area, about 35 square miles are covered by major reservoirs and about 201 square miles are owned by the Tribe and Tribal members.
The terms of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 placed the Lakota on one large reservation that spanned parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and four other states. After the defeat of the Indian tribes in the Indian Wars of the 1870s, the United States broke the original reservation into smaller ones. Not only did the U.S. government reduce the Indians’ acreage, but it also splintered the Tribe.
In 1889, the United States reclaimed 7.7 million acres of the Sioux’s sacred Black Hills and randomly assigned Sioux families to live on the Crow Creek Reservation, splitting up many extended families. The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe consists of the members of the Isanti and Ihanktowan divisions of the Great Sioux Nation.
The Tribe is governed by an elected body consisting of a Tribal Chairman and a six-member Tribal Council, all of whom serve a two-year term.
Today, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe’s major economic occupation is cattle ranching and farming for 20 tribal operators.
The Tribe operates a large irrigated farm under the Big Bend Farm Corporation, guided hunting for small and big game, and a goose camp operation. The Tribe also operates the Lode Star Casino.
Overall, the majority of employment is provided by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Lode Star Casino & Hotel, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Indian Health Service.