1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 14, 2020 1:30 PM by Lisha Penn

    Seeking information about the Dawes Act & Lake Traverse Reservation

    S Sandvig Newbie

      I would like to learn more about the circumstances surrounded the Dawes Act as it relates to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation (Lake Traverse) in South Dakota.  Specifically, how and when did white settlers get land that was not allotted to Indians.

        • Re: Seeking information about the Dawes Act & Lake Traverse Reservation
          Lisha Penn Tracker

          Dear S. Sandvig,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The Dawes Act, also known as the General Allotment Act, broadly created the allotment process nationwide, then it was applied on a case by case basis and not to all reservations. Some academic literature has the Lake Traverse Reservation formally allotted by a March 3, 1891 law, though it appears allotments may have been granted prior to then; and that was also when white settlers began obtaining what was formally treaty granted land after the set acreage allotments were made to tribal members. Records regarding the enactment of the law can be researched in several avenues, such as with NARA’s Center for Legislative Archives (LL) for Congressional records relating to the passage of the laws and within the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) headquarters records at the National Archives at Washington DC, though there is no specific series that one can find a quick answer.


          The reservation was administered by the Sisseton Agency of the BIA, the records of which dating back to 1875 are found at the National Archives at Kansas City (RM-KC). If you are researching a particular person or tract, you may wish to start with the series Land Allotment Registers, 1875-1891. For access to and/or copies, please contact  RM-KC via email at kansascity.archives@nara.gov.


          We recommend that you search Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate; Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate; South Dakota: Sisseton Reservation (Lake Traverse): PWNA Resources; and The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in North and South Dakota websites for additional information.


          We hope this is hopeful. Best of luck with your research!


          [Information provided by Cody White, Subject Matter Expert]