South Dakota is home to nine American Indian tribes, a fact that presents opportunities for adventurous travelers who are willing to go off the beaten path, take a drive and experience different cultures. Following are some of those opportunities for I-90 travelers.
Yankton Sioux Reservation: Take a detour south of Interstate 90 in southeastern South Dakota and visit the area of the Yankton Sioux Reservation, which features Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River, the historic Fort Randall Chapel (preserved from a former military fort), Fort Randall Casino, and many nearby state parks and recreation areas.
Lower Brule Reservation: On the western bank of the Missouri River in central South Dakota is the Lower Brule Reservation, which features the Golden Buffalo Casino and the Buffalo Interpretive Center, which teaches the story of the buffalo, its importance and significance in the North American Indian cultures of the Great Plains, and its relationship to the people of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.
Pine Ridge Reservation: In southwestern South Dakota, visitors to the Badlands can drive a bit farther to visit the Pine Ridge Reservation. Those interested in history may want to see the Wounded Knee Massacre Site.
Native American Scenic Byway: The byway takes travelers on a journey north to south across the entire state of South Dakota. The total distance of the route is approximately 450 miles. The byway passes through five reservation and tribal lands including Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Lower Brule, Crow Creek, and Yankton. Passing through the heart of the Great Sioux Nation in central South Dakota, visitors will experience not only the tribal history and culture, but breathtaking views as well. Much of the route follows the Missouri River, which provides views of bountiful wildlife, diverse landscapes and stunning vistas of rolling hills and river bluffs. Memorial markers, interpretive signs, and monuments commemorate the heritage of the Lakota and Dakota nations and allow visitors to learn history from the Native American and early settlers points of view. A few of the sites along the byway include Sakakawea and Sitting Bull Monuments, Mobridge; Fort Manual, Kennel; and Fischers Lilly Park, Fort Pierre, where Lewis and Clark met with Native Americans.