Associated Tribes of Badlands National Park - Badlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (2024)

National Parks have a "trust responsibility" (i.e., fiduciary) to Federally Recognized tribal nations that is unique because of the sovereign status of both the federal government and individual tribal nations. Native Americans represent the only group in the United States that has a formalized relationship enshrined and stipulated within the Constitution, treaties, legislation, judicial decisions, Executive Orders, and policy. The National Park Service as an Executive Branch agency has a duty to carry out these mandates, legally, politically, ethically, and morally.

Associated Tribes of Badlands National Park - Badlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (1)

Badlands' Responsibility to Indigenous Nations

At Badlands, these obligations in at least three focus areas:

One area of focus is with respect to the specific land status of the southern Unit of the park. The South Unit of the park is entirely on Tribal Trust land, meaning the land there is held in trust by the Federal Government for the use and benefit of the tribal members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. In 1976, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the park and tribal government that outlined priorities and mutually beneficial items that both parties would seek to implement for the betterment of the American public and the citizens of the Oglala Lakota nation. These priorities include items such as, recruitment, fee revenue distribution, bison management, and others.

Another area of focus is to the signatories of the Ft. Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868. A popular misconception is that these treaties were invalidated by successive US violations. One such violation was the illegal seizure of the Black Hills, the illegality of which was affirmed in 1980 by the US Supreme Court. Despite these violations, the treaties remain law and Federal agencies have a responsibility to faithfully collaborate with Indigenous nations in ways that support treaty obligations.

And yet another final area of focus is to all nations who have histories associated with the natural and cultural landscapes of the park. This often falls under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and other related legislation such as the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act. The park is required to consult with all tribes, in good faith, regarding any changes to the natural and cultural landscape that may impact anything relating to a nation's association with the site. This included, but is not limited to, construction, archaeological survey, etc.

Below is a list of all Associated Tribes with Badlands National Park, along with links to their webpages and present-day locations.

Associated Tribes

Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes

Webpage: Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes

Location: Fort Peck Reservation, Montana

Blackfeet Tribe

Webpage: Blackfeet Tribe

Location: Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Montana

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Location: Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota

Crow Tribe

Webpage: Crow Tribe

Location: Crow Indian Reservation, Montana

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Location: Flandreau Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Location: Lower Brule Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Northern Arapaho Tribe

Webpage: Northern Arapaho Tribe

Location: Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming

Northern Cheyenne Tribe

Webpage: Northern Cheyenne Tribe

Location: Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Oglala Sioux Tribe

Location: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Omaha Tribe

Webpage: Omaha Tribe

Location: Omaha Reservation, Nebraska

Ponca Tribe

Webpage: Ponca Tribe

Location: Niobrara, Nebraska

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Location: Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Santee Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Santee Sioux Tribe

Location: Santee Sioux Reservation, Nebraska

Sisseton-Whapeton Oyate

Webpage: Sisseton-Whapeton Oyate

Location: Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota & North Dakota

Southern Cheyenne and Eastern Arapaho Tribes

Webpage: Southern Cheyenne and Eastern Arapaho Tribes

Location: Concho, Oklahoma

Spirit Lake Dakota Nation

Webpage: Spirit Lake Dakota Nation

Location: Spirit Lake Dakota Reservation, North Dakota

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Location: Standing Rock Indian Reservation, South Dakota & North Dakota

Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara

Webpage: Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara

Location: Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, North Dakota

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Webpage: Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa

Location: Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, North Dakota

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Webpage: The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Location: Winnebago Indian Reservation, Nebraska

Yankton Sioux Tribe

Webpage: Yankton Sioux Tribe

Location: Yankton Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Learning Resources

Indigenous Stories of the Midwest

Learn more about the ancestral homelands of many Midwest American Indian tribes.

South Unit

The South Unit of the park is entirely within the boundaries of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Tribes and the NPS

Access the main page for the National Park Service and tribes, outlining responsibilities and programs designed to serve tribal partners.

Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Learn about the Tribal Historic Preservation Program and how it assists tribes in preserving historic properties and cultural traditions.

Curious about the human history of Badlands National Park? Learn more about the history and culture embedded in the Badlands.

Bison Conservation Initiative

Learn about ongoing bison reintroduction programs and their relationship to our tribal partners.

Associated Tribes of Badlands National Park - Badlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (2024)
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