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Cheyenne River Reservation
Cheyenne River Reservation
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The Cheyenne River Reservation Destination is located in the western part of South Dakota, with the largest local population being found on the Cheyenne River Reservation. The land is a federally recognized Indian reservation that is home to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which is one of many Native American tribes in the United States. The reservation covers an area of about 2,366 square miles, making it one of the largest reservations in the United States.[1] Other cities within the destination include Miller, Murdo, Kimball, and White Owl. Activities that are possible for those visiting the area include attending powwows, going to museums, fishing, and hiking.[4] The best reported time to visit the area for outdoor activities tends to be during the summer months, particularly from June through August. Temperatures between those times reach average highs of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest months of the year, on average, are November through February, when lows can be around 16 degrees.[5] 

What Cheyenne River Reservation is known for

The Cheyenne River Reservation Destination was named after the Cheyenne River Reservation, an Indian reservation located in the western part of South Dakota. The Cheyenne people were originally from the Great Lakes region of North America but migrated westward over time.[7] Other cities and areas of note within the destination include Miller, White Owl, Murdo, and Kimball.

The Cheyenne River Reservation is located in the western part of South Dakota, United States. It covers an area of approximately 2,366 square miles and is reported to be one of the largest Indian reservations in the United States.[1] As of the 2020 census, the population of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe was 7,806, making it one of the most populous reservations in the United States. [8]The reservation is home to several small communities, including Eagle Butte, which is the largest town on the reservation. The majority of the population is of Lakota Sioux descent, with a small number of Cheyenne and other tribal affiliations. The reservation's economy is largely based on agriculture and livestock production, as well as businesses such as a casino and a hotel. The surrounding area is reported to be predominantly rural, with a mix of small towns and wide-open spaces. The majority of the population is reported to be White, with small Native American and Hispanic communities. Religious affiliations in the area are predominantly Christian, with a small number of Native American spiritual traditions also present.[1]

The Cheyenne River Reservation Destination is home to multiple attractions that have been popular with tourists. One of the notable events that take place on the reservation is powwows—traditional Native American gatherings that include dancing, music, and food. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe hosts several powwows throughout the year, including the annual Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Powwow in Eagle Butte.[4] Another attraction is the variety of museums found in the destination. The area is home to several museums that focus on Native American culture and history, including the Timber Lake and Area Museum, H.V. Johnston Lakota Cultural Center, and the Timber Lake and Area Museum in Timber Lake. [3]Those visiting the area can also fish on the Cheyenne River and several other rivers and lakes in the area. A variety of fish can be caught, including walleye, northern pike, and trout.[6]

Geography

Peak tourism for the Cheyenne River Reservation Destination often occurs during the summer months, specifically from June to September, as the weather is generally warm and dry.[5] During this time, visitors can enjoy attractions such as powwows, hiking trails, and fishing spots in and around the reservation. The area also sees an increase in tourism during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place in August and brings in thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world.[6]

The Cheyenne River Reservation is located in the Great Plains region of the United States, and its topography is characterized by rolling hills and prairies. The reservation is bisected by the Cheyenne River, which runs through the central part of the reservation and provides a source of water for irrigation and other recreational uses. The dominant biome in the destination is grassland, with a mix of shortgrass and tallgrass prairies. The grasslands support a diverse range of plant and animal species, including bison, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, and a variety of bird species. The area is also home to several riparian ecosystems along the banks of the Cheyenne River and its tributaries, which provide important habitats for fish and other aquatic species.

On the whole, the destination experiences a continental climate, with reportedly cold winters and hot summers. The annual temperature range can vary, with average lows in the winter months (November through February) dropping to 10 degrees Fahrenheit and average highs in the summer months (June to August) reaching into the high 70s. The optimal time for tourists to visit the Cheyenne River Reservation is generally considered to be during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warm and dry. During this time, outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and attending powwows are possible. Spring and fall provide a different variety of attractions for those visiting the destination. Throughout the spring months, visitors can enjoy wildflowers and migratory bird watching, while during fall, hunting and foliage viewing are possible.

History

The area that is now known as the Cheyenne River Reservation Destination was originally home to several Native American tribes, including the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and other Plains tribes. These tribes lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle, moving with the seasons to hunt bison and other game and to gather plants for food and medicine.[3] However, as European settlers began to move westward, conflicts between Native American tribes and the United States government escalated. In 1868, the U.S. government signed a treaty with the Lakota Sioux that established the Great Sioux Reservation, which included the Cheyenne River area. However, the government later reneged on the treaty, and the reservation was reduced in size through a series of relocations. Today, the Cheyenne River Reservation is home to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which is a federally recognized Indian tribe.[2]

Today, many of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s cultural traditions are still reported to be tied in the land. The tribe's traditional way of life has always been focused on the natural resources of the area, including hunting, fishing, and farming.[7] The tribe's economy is still largely based on agriculture and livestock production. [1] The reservation is also home to several local small businesses, including a casino and a hotel.