Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

One of several Reservations in South Dakota, Pine Ridge & Rosebud Indian Reservation is second largest Reservation after Navajo Reservation. Below is information about populations of each Reservation and their communities. We know Pine Ridge and Rosebud are Chippewa Reservations because of what Father Belcourt wrote to Major Woods in 1849. Belcourt described Pembina Chippewa District to Woods in detail. Below is excerpt from Belcourts letter to Woods:

We understand here, that the district or department called Pembina, comprises all of the country or basin which is irrigated or traversed by the tributaries of the Red River, south of the line of the 49th parallel of latitude. The prairie, rivers, and lakes which extend to the height of land of the Mississippi, and the immense plains which feed innumerable herds of bison to the westward and from which the Chippewa and half breeds of this region obtain their subsistence, contains within their limits a country about 400 miles from north to south and more than five hundred miles from east to west.

Pembina Chippewa District commenced in United States at 49th parallel of latitude or Canada-United States border and extended 400 miles south to a location about 25 miles south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Height of land of Mississippi Belcourt wrote of, may be located at White Earth Reservation. It's about 14 miles west of headwaters of Mississippi River. So from a location some 6 miles southeast of Naytahwaush, Pembina Chippewa District extended over 500 miles west into central Montana and to where Wind River Reservation is located in Wyoming. Pine Ridge and Rosebud are well within Pembina Chippewa District. East of Pembina Chippewa District are Chippewa's of Mississippi. These Chippewa's are Plains Ojibwa's. Belcourt was referring specifically to those Chippewa's who lived west of Woodland Chippewa's. However, Belcourt did not include whites who were under Chippewa subjugation. They also obtained their food from buffalo. During War of 1812, whites and their Eskimo allies, invaded southern Manitoba yet were defeated by Ojibway Soldiers. Ojibway leaders granted them some land along Assiniboine River in Manitoba and Red River between what is now Winnipeg, Manitoba and Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was known as Red River Colony. In 1862, Ojibway Soldiers were instructed to attack Red River Colony after Ojibway leaders tired of hostile American representatives at negotiations held near what is now Grand Forks, North Dakota, in August of 1862. They also attacked whites in southern Minnesota. In 1863, Ojibway leaders signed Old Crossing Treaty which ended that war and also ceded their land in Red River Valley, in Minnesota and North Dakota. However, they continued to subjugate that part of Red River Colony in Manitoba, until 1870 when Louis Riel led a rebellion against Ojibway rule. Ojibway leaders allowed Red River Colony to become independant in 1870.

An interesting subject about Pine Ridge-Rosebud Indian Reservation, is a population controversy. One estimate puts population of Pine Ridge District at over 15,000, while another at over 40,000. At Rosebud District, population estimates ranges from over 10,000 to over 20,000. At Rosebud Reservations website their estimate is at over 20,000. They also claim over 24,000 citizens. Originally, Pine Ridge-Rosebud Indian Reservation covered over 9,000 sq. mi. but United States stole most of their Reservations. A map from 1891 of Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservation, shows correct size. After stealing most of Pine Ridge-Rosebud Indian Reservation, Pine Ridge-Rosebud Indian Reservation, was left with most of Pine Ridge Reservation and a small area of Rosebud Reservation.

Important and reliable maps of South Dakota after 1907, do not show Rosebud Reservation. It would stay that way for quite some time. In fact, in 1911 a map clearly shows a new Rosebud Reservation (present day Rosebud Reservation). It covers Mellette and Todd Counties in South Dakota. That 1911 map shows Rosebud Reservations correct size. However, they still claim Rosebud Reservation is located in Todd County. Even after 1911, maps did not show Rosebud Reservation.

Whites make up around 10% of Pine Ridge District's population. Whites also own (over 600,000 acres or near 1,000 sq. mi.) much of Pine Ridge Reservations land. Pine Ridge District covers all of Shannon County, most of Jackson County, south of White River that is, and all of Bennet County. At Rosebud District, whites make up 10% of their population. Whites own 100,000s of acres (much of the 2,701 sq. mi. Rosebud District covers) of Rosebud District's land. In all, whites own over 1,000 sq. mi. of Pine Ridge-Rosebud Reservation's 7,054 sq. mi. However, throughout Pine Ridge District and Rosebud District (Rosebud District is made up of Mellette and Todd Counties) Native Americans completely surround whites. Whites are a tiny minority on Pine Ridge-Rosebud Reservation.

Below are demographics of these Reservations. Average household size according to official reports is near 4.0 but could be higher. There are a total of 6,304 housing units on these Reservations, with renter occupied units majority, while owner occupied units less. Only one of these Reservations settlements is located in Tripp County which was originally a part of this Reservation. That is Ideal. This Reservation still owns some land in Tripp County. And Tripp County has a Native American population of around 600. About half live in Winner which is the county seat.

Demographics of Pine Ridge-Rosebud Reservation

Covers 7,054 sq. mi. - Pine Ridge 4,353 sq. mi. (3,468 sq. mi. after land loss) - Rosebud 2,701 sq. mi. (1,970 sq. mi., after land loss).

Population at Pine Ridge is 18,830 according to 2010 census. Of that, 1,840 are white (they make up 10% of Pine Ridge population), 9 are black, 27 are Asian and 401 are Mexican. At Rosebud, population is 10,869 according to 2010 census. Of that, 1,001 are white (they make up near 10% of Rosebud population), 16 are black, 18 are Asian and 245 are Mexican. Total population is 29,699. It does not include populations from Bennett and Mellette Counties.

Language is fabricated Lakota (Dakota is derived from Ojibwa word for alliance which is wi-do-ko-da-wi-win)

Pine Ridge District Communities
East Pine Ridge
East Wanblee
Long Valley
Manderson - Whitehorse Creek
North Pine Ridge
North Porcupine
Pine Ridge
Potato Creek
Red Shirt
Sharps Corner
Wounded Knee

Rosebud District Communities
He Dog
North St. Francis
Ring Thunder
Spring Creek
St. Francis
Two Strike
White Horse
White River

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