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Indian Country

The District of South Dakota has been an “Indian country district” since territorial days. What is now South Dakota was and is home to several different tribes that are commonly and collectively referred to as the “Sioux.”

AUSA Troy Morley
Tribal Liaison AUSA Troy Morley

In the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, all of the land west of the Missouri River, in what is now South Dakota, was designated as the “Great Sioux Reservation.” In 1889, Dakota Territory was divided into the separate states of North and South Dakota. At the same time, the remaining land of the Great Sioux Reservation was divided into smaller, separate reservations for various Sioux tribes.

These reservations, along with those created east of the Missouri River, exist today as nine distinct Indian reservations within the District of South Dakota.

South Dakota United States Attorney's Office

South Dakota’s enabling legislation and state constitution disclaimed state court criminal jurisdiction for cases arising in Indian country. An effort by the state legislature to assert Indian country jurisdiction in 1961 was unsuccessful, and South Dakota remains a non-Public Law 280 state.

The volume of criminal cases arising in Indian country is relatively high. Between 50-60 percent of the criminal caseload for the United States Attorney’s Office is comprised of Indian country offenses.

The District is rural in nature. It encompasses the entire state of South Dakota which has a total of 77,116 square miles, of which over 12 percent are reservation or trust lands. Census data puts the state population at 812,383, and a conservative estimate places the number of Native American residents at 68,976 (8.57 percent). The vast majority of the Native American population resides on the District’s nine Indian reservations – each with its own history, culture, characteristics, and law enforcement challenges.

Troy Morley

The US Attorney’s office for the District of South Dakota is pleased to announce that Troy Morley has been named as the Tribal Liaison for the District of South Dakota. Troy joined the US Attorney’s office in 2012 and has been working in Indian Country since joining the office.

AUSA Morley and USA Seiler
AUSA Morley and USA Seiler

Troy was involved in the formation of a working group to study reentry alternatives with the States of North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Troy also worked on a reentry project with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, as well as worked with Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribe in implementing a pilot program to exercise the special domestic violence jurisdiction. 

Troy completed his undergraduate studies at UNLV and received his law degree with distinction from the University of North Dakota. In addition to his experience in private practice before joining the US Attorney’s office, Troy previously served as Special Judge to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, where he is an enrolled member. He is also a veteran of the United States Navy and was a member of the Commission to Study Racial and Ethnic Bias in the North Dakota Court System.




Useful Information and Websites for each tribe:


The Cheyenne River Indian Reservation was created by the United States in 1889 by breaking up the Great Sioux Reservation, and is the home of the federally recognized Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (CRST) or Cheyenne River Lakota Nation (Oyate). The members include representatives from four of the traditional seven bands of the Lakota, also known as Teton Sioux: the Minneconjou, Two Kettle (Oohenunpa), Sans Arc (Itazipco) and Blackfoot (Sihásapa).The reservation covers almost all of Dewey and Ziebach counties in South Dakota. In addition, many small parcels of off-reservation trust land are located in Stanley, Haakon, and Meade counties.  The total land area is 4,266.987 square miles (11,051.447 km²), making it the fourth-largest Indian reservation in land area in the United States. 2000 census reported a population of 8,470 persons. Its largest community is unincorporated North Eagle Butte, while adjacent Eagle Butte is its largest incorporated city.

Contact Information:

Chairman – 605 964-4155

Police – 605 964-4567

Courts ­­– 605 964-3737



The Crow Creek Indian Reservation (Lakota: 'Kȟaŋğí Wakpá Oyáŋke'[1]) is located in parts of Buffalo, Hughes, and Hyde counties on the east bank of the Missouri River in central South Dakota in the United States. It has a land area of 421.658 square miles (1,092.09 km2) and a 2000 census population of 2,225 persons. The major town and capital of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe is Fort Thompson.

The town is located adjacent to the Big Bend Dam, which holds back Big Bend Reservoir (also known as Lake Sharpe), one of the four Missouri Mainstream reservoirs constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Pick-Sloan Plan. Authorized in 1944 for flood control and hydropower, the dam and lake were completed in the 1960s.

The people of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe are mostly descendants of the Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe of south and central Minnesota, who settled on the reservation after escape or exile from Minnesota following the Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota. Some Yankton and lower Yanktonai Dakota also reside on the reservation. Although considered to be a part of the Great Sioux Reservation by some writers, the Crow Creek Reservation, established in 1862, has always been separate.

Contact Information:

Chairman – 605 245-2221

Police – 605 245-2805

Courts ­­– 605 245-2325



The Flandreau Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation, belonging to the federally recognized Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. They are Santee Dakota people, part of the Sioux tribe of Native Americans. The reservation is located in Flandreau Township in central Moody County in eastern South Dakota, near the city of Flandreau. In 1934, the Tribe was recognized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Today the Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation is located on 5,000 acres (20 km2) of land in South Dakota. The reservation has approximately 700 enrolled members living on the reservation.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe has an Executive Committee that includes a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Treasurer is NOT elected and is an appointed, non-voting member of the Executive Committee. Elected Executives serve 4 year terms; elections are staggered. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe has 4 elected Tribal Trustees that are voted for at- large by FSST members. Trustees serve 4 year terms; elections are staggered.

Contact Information:

President – 605 997-3891

Police – 605 573-4190

Courts – 605 997-3593



The Lower Brulé Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation that belongs to the Lower Brulé Lakota Tribe. It is located on the west bank of the Missouri River in Lyman and Stanley Counties in central South Dakota in the United States. It is adjacent to the Crow Creek Indian Reservation on the east bank of the river. The Kul Wicasa Oyate (lower…men…nation), the Lower Brulé Sioux, are members of the Sicangu (Burnt Thigh), one of the bands of the Lakota Tribe. Tribal headquarters are in Lower Brule and its land area is 207.19 square miles (536.62 km2).

The Tribe was chartered under the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934. Its constitution was ratified on July 11, 1936. Tribal affairs are conducted by a six-member Tribal Council who are elected to serve two-year terms. Council offices include the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary/treasurer, and three Council members. The Tribal Council Chairman serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Administrative head of the Tribe. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary-Treasurer, and the three Council Member positions are elected at large.

Contact Information:

Chairman – 605 473-5561

Police – 605 473-5444

Courts – 605 473-2005



The Rosebud Indian Reservation (RIR) is the home of the federally recognized Sicangu Oyate (the Upper Brulé Sioux Nation) - also known as Sicangu Lakota, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST), a branch of the Lakota people. The Lakota name Sicangu Oyate translates into English as "Burnt Thigh Nation"; the French term "Brulé Sioux" is also used.

The Rosebud Indian Reservation was established in 1889 after the United States' partition of the Great Sioux Reservation. Created in 1868 by the Treaty of Fort Laramie, the Great Sioux Reservation originally covered all of West River, South Dakota (the area west of the Missouri River), as well as part of northern Nebraska and eastern Montana.

The reservation includes all of Todd County, South Dakota, and communities and lands in the four adjacent counties. located in south central South Dakota, and presently includes within its recognized border all of Todd County, an unincorporated county of South Dakota. However, the Oyate also has communities and extensive lands and populations in the four adjacent counties, which were once within the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) boundaries: Tripp, Lyman, Mellette, and Gregory counties, all in South Dakota. Mellette County, especially, has extensive off-reservation trust land, comprising 33.35 percent of its land area, where 40.23 percent of the Sicangu Oyate population lives.

The total land area of the reservation and its trust lands is 1,970.362 square miles (5,103.214 km²) with a population of 10,469 in the 2000 census. The main reservation (Todd County) has a land area of 1,388.124 square miles (3,595.225 km²) and a population of 9,050.

Under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the federally recognized Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) re-established self-government. It adopted a constitution and bylaws, to take back many responsibilities for internal management from the BIA. It followed the model of elected government: president, vice-president, and representative council, adopted by many Native American nations.

Contact Information:

President – 605 747-2381

Police – 605 747-2266

Courts – 605 747-2278



The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke in Lakota, also called Pine Ridge Agency) is an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Originally included within the territory of the Great Sioux Reservation, Pine Ridge was established in 1889 in the southwest corner of South Dakota on the Nebraska border. Today it consists of 3,468.85 square miles (8,984.306 km2) of land area and is the eighth-largest reservation in the United States. The reservation encompasses the entirety of Oglala Lakota County, the southern half of Jackson County and the northwest portion of Bennett County. The 2000 census population of the reservation was 15,521.

The reservation is governed by the eighteen-member Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, who are elected officials rather than traditional clan life leaders, in accordance with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The Executive Officers of the Council are the President (also called Chairman), Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Primary elections are held in October and the General election in November.

The President and Vice-President are elected at large by voters to a term of office of 2 years; the Secretary and Treasurer are appointed by the Tribal Council. Council members serve a term of two years. There are nine election districts on the reservation. One representative is elected for each 1,000 tribe members.

Contact Information:

President – 605 867-8487

Police – 605 867-5076

Courts – 605 867-5151



The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, formerly Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe/Dakota Nation, is a federally recognized tribe comprising two bands and two sub-divisions of the Isanti or Santee Dakota people. They are located on the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeast South Dakota. The Lake Traverse Indian Reservation is the homeland of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, a branch of the Santee Dakota group of Native Americans. The reservation is located in parts of five counties in extreme northeastern South Dakota and parts of two counties in southeastern North Dakota, United States. Over 60 percent of its land area lies in Roberts County, South Dakota, but there are lesser amounts in Marshall, Day, Grant, and Codington counties in South Dakota, as well as Sargent and Richland counties in North Dakota. Its resident population of 10,408 persons was counted during the 2000 census. The Department of Interior indicates there are 108,589 acres (169.67 square miles) of trust land for the SWO.

The current enrollment of the tribe is approximately 12,000 members spread among seven districts located across the reservation. There were 9,894 living on the reservation circa 2004. In 1934 the federal government urged the tribe to adopt the provisions of the Wheeler-Howard Act, also known as the Indian Reorganization Act. By 1946 the tribe had reorganized, establishing the current system of bylaws and elected tribal government at Agency Village. It gained self-government again as the federally recognized Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. The authority was based in the Lake Traverse Treaty of 1867. All elected representatives, including executive committee members and council members, serve two year terms. Elections are not staggered.

From 1946-2002, the federally recognized tribe was known as the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. For a brief period in 1994, they identified as the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Nation. During their 2002 tribal general elections, they approved a measure changing the name to Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, the latter word in the Dakota language meaning "people or nation".

Contact Information:

Chairman – 605 698-3911

Police – 605 698-7661

Courts ­­– 605 698-7629



The Standing Rock Indian Reservation is located in North Dakota and South Dakota in the United States, and is occupied by ethnic Hunkpapa Lakota, Sihasapa Lakota and Yanktonai Dakota. The sixth-largest Native American reservation in land area in the US, Standing Rock includes all of Sioux County, North Dakota, and all of Corson County, South Dakota, plus slivers of northern Dewey and Ziebach counties in South Dakota, along their northern county lines at Highway 20.

The reservation has a land area of 3,571.9 sqare miles (9,251.2 km2) and a population of 8,217 as of the 2010 census. The largest communities on the reservation are Fort Yates, Cannon Ball and McLaughlin.

According to its constitution, Standing Rock's governing body is the elected 17-member Tribal Council, including the Tribal Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and 14 representatives. As of 2016, the current chairman is David Archambault II. Elections provide for staggered replacement of members. Six members are elected at-large and eight from the regional single-member districts.

Contact Information:

Chairman – 701 854-8500

Police – 701 854-7241

Courts ­­– 701 854-7244



The Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is a federally recognized tribe of Yankton Western Dakota people, located in South Dakota. Their Dakota name is Ihanktonwan Dakota Oyate, meaning "People of the End Village."The tribe's headquarters are in Wagner, South Dakota[4] and it is governed by a democratically-elected non-IRA tribal council. Its original constitution was ratified in 1891.

It is the only Dakota/Lakota tribe in South Dakota without that did not agree to comply with the Indian Reorganization Act and retains its traditional government. The tribe's reservation is the Yankton Indian Reservation, established in 1853 in Charles Mix County, South Dakota. The tribe has a land base of 36,741 acres (57.4 square miles). The reservation has approximately 11,000 enrolled members.

The Yankton Sioux Tribe has four Executive Positions, including: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. All four positions serve 2 year terms and elections are not staggered. The Yankton Sioux Tribe does not have any districts, and Council Representatives are voted for “At-large.” Council Representatives serve 2 year terms.

Contact Information:

Chairman – 605 384-3641

Police – 605 384-5691

Courts ­­– 605 384-5578



Contact Information

The following Assistant United States Attorneys are presently assigned to the following South Dakota Reservations (tracks Annual Report information)



Ann Hoffman

Sioux Falls



Jeremy Jehangiri

Sioux Falls


Standing Rock

Carl Thunem



Lower Brule

Crow Creek

Troy Morley



Cheyenne River

Jay Miller

Cameron Cook




Kirk Albertson

Abby Roesler



Pine Ridge

Eric Kelderman

Sarah Collins

Kathryn Rich

Ben Patterson

Megan Poppen

Rapid City



Updated March 8, 2023