CRST History

Cheyenne river sioux

About the Cheyenne River Sioux Flag…

  • The blue represents the thunder clouds above the world where live the thunder birds who control the four winds.
  • The rainbow is for the Cheyenne River Sioux people, who are keepers of the Most Sacred Calf Pipe, a gift from the White Buffalo Calf Maiden.
  • The eagle feathers at the edges of the rim of the world represent the spotted eagle, who is the protector of all Lakota.
  • The two pipes fused together are for unity. One pipe is for the Lakota, the other for all the other Indian Nations.
  • The yellow hoops represent the Sacred Hoop, which shall not be broken.
  • The Sacred Calf Pipe Bundle in red represents Wakan Tanka – The Great Mystery.
  • All the colors of the Lakota are visible. The red, yellow, black, and white represent the four major races. The blue is for heaven and the green for Mother Earth.


Cheyenne River Indian ReservationThe Cheyenne River Indian Reservation was created by the United States in 1889 by breaking up the Great Sioux Reservation  following its victory over the wars in the 1870s.

The terms of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) concluded in 1868 granted the Lakota a single large reservation that covered parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, and four other states. After conclusion of the Indian Wars in the 1870s, the US government confiscated about one half of this reservation and assigned bands to five distinct reservations in the area. Many notable Lakota chiefs settled here, most notably Touch the Clouds, who lived here until his death in 1905.

The government dammed the Missouri River for electrical power and flood control. Started in 1948, the project resulted in the submerging of an additional 8 percent of the land area of the Reservation.

Chief Sitting Bull lived on the Cheyenne River Reservation. He was fond of the Grand River area which in the 1880s, was the boundary between the Cheyenne River Reservation and the Standing Rock Reservation. In 1890, the United States became very concerned about chief Sitting Bull who they learned was going to lead an exodus off the Reservation. What troubled chief Sitting Bull was the breakup of the huge Reservation promised by treaty.

Spys were sent to keep a watch on the psychic who followed the Seven Fires Prophecy. Several hundred Indians were commencing to gather near the Grand River on the Cheyenne River Reservation in December of 1890. Chief Sitting Bull had a history of leading diasporas away from the whites and the leaders of the United States were fully aware of that and chief Sitting Bull’s appeal to the Indians. A force of 39 Indian policemen and 4 volunteers, were sent to chief Sitting Bulls residence near the Grand River on December 16, 1890, to arrest him. They were going to halt the exodus.

At first chief Sitting Bull cooperated but became angry once led out of his residence and noticed around 50 of his soldiers were there to support him. During some point while outside of chief Sitting Bulls residence, a battle commenced in which the legendary leader was assassinated. A total of 18 casualties occurred in the battle. Among the killed were chief Sitting Bull and his son. Of the 18 casualties, 14 were killed.

Chief Sitting Bulls half brother, Big Foot, assumed the role of leading the exodus off the Cheyenne River Reservation. Since they were heading south, it could indicate chief Big Foot was possibly attempting to flee to Mexico. They were captured on December 28, 1890 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, about 30 miles to the east of the settlement of Pine Ridge. They numbered about 350 in all. Next day they were massacred by over 500 white soldiers. Near 200 Indians were killed and wounded during the massacre. Around 150 were killed. The exodus was stopped. However, that did not stop other diasporas. If chief Big Foot was only leading the Indians to the Pine Ridge Reservation, in all likelihood the United States would not have carried out the massacre. Chief Big Foot may have been passing through the Pine Ridge Reservation to join with other Indians who wanted to flee towards the south, or possibly towards the west. However, their southerly movements indicate they had plans centered on some southern location.

Those who survived the massacre either settled down to live on the Pine Ridge Reservation or returned to the Cheyenne River Reservation. Since then the Cheyenne River Reservations northern border has changed. It is no longer the Grand River. However, the present day settlements located along the Grand River, are predominantly Algonquian.

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