Little Known Facts

Presidential Visit to Pine Ridge

On July 7, 1999, President Bill Clinton arrived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was welcomed by the Tribal President, Harold Salway and other council members of the tribe, and later addressed the Oglala Sioux Nation at the campus of the Pine Ridge School about economic development, and how important it is to get involved in youth programs on the reservation. Later that day he sat down with community residents and spoke with them about the poverty they face on a day-to-day basis. 

Hollywood Comes to Pine Ridge

On November 9, 1990, Dances with Wolves was filmed around the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Starring Kevin Costner, he told a story about Lt. John Dunbar and his interaction with the Oglala Sioux Indians during the Civil War. The movie later won seven Oscars.

Many other great films have also been shot on and around the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, such as Thunderheart, Son of the Morning Star and Chief Crazy Horse. These settings were picked because of the landscaping and historical history of these sites such as the Badlands National Park and the Black Hills. For more information on other great movies and their filming places go to www.imdb.com/title/tt0099348/locations.

Buffalo Pastures

The history of the buffalo is unique to the Native Americans. Long ago they depended on the buffalo to survive. Every part of the buffalo was used such as the hide for blankets, the meat for food and the bones for tools which were used to cook with. Today, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has created buffalo pastures due to the animal’s near extinction. There are four buffalo pastures around the reservation: one in Slim Buttes, two in Allen (north and south pastures), and the most recent one in Yellow Bear Canyon. For more information on buffalo visit www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/buffalo.

Badlands Bombing Range

In 1942 the U.S. Air Force decided to use the badlands as a place to practice shooting and bombings during WWII. It therefore commandeered an extensive section of the northern part of the reservation for use as a bombing and gunnery range, displacing many families in the process. When the Air Force were done, there were bombs left behind, many which still exist there today. The Oglala Sioux Tribe established a program called The Badlands Bombing Range Project, which works to find and defuse them. 

Wounded Knee Massacre

On the morning of December 29, 1890, many Native American men, women and children were slaughtered in their camps by the United States Army. When the brutal killings were over, more than 150 Native American lives had been lost. This is why today it is known as the Wounded Knee Massacre. In its place stands a monument in remembrance of the innocents lost that day. For more information visit www.lastoftheindependents.com/wounded.htm.

Red Cloud Indian School, 100 Mission Drive, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota 57770.
Phone 605/867-1105. © Red Cloud Indian School, 2014.

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