South Dakota Indian Tribes

The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of South Dakota. If the tribe name is in bold, then South Dakota is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to South Dakota and then provide a link to the main tribal page.

  • Arapaho Indians. According to tradition, the Arapaho at one time lived in the neighborhood of the Black Hills and warriors of the tribe often traversed the western parts of this State.
  • Arikara Indians. The Arikara lived at various points on the Missouri River in South Dakota during their migration northward after separating from the Skidi Pawnee.
  • Cheyenne Indians
  • Dakota Indians
  • Kiowa Indians. The Kiowa lived in and about the Black Hills for a time before they were succeeded by the Sutaio and Cheyenne. (See Oklahoma.)
  • Mandan Indians. According to tradition, this tribe reached the Missouri River near the mouth of White River, and settled at several places along the former within the borders of this State before passing out of it into North Dakota. (See North Dakota.)
  • Omaha Indians. After having been driven from the region of the Pipestone Quarry in Minnesota, the Omaha settled on the Missouri in the territory of South Dakota and later moved downstream under pressure from the Dakota to their later seats in Nebraska. (See Nebraska.)
  • Ponca Indians. This tribe was with the Omaha when it left the region of the Pipestone Quarry, but separated from it on the Missouri and went into the Black Hills for a time, after which it retired to the Missouri and settled in the present Nebraska. (See Nebraska.)
  • Sutaio Indians
  • Winnebago Indians. After leaving Minnesota in 1862 and before they took refuge with the Omaha, part of this tribe lived for a while on the Crow Creek Reservation.


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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