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Pine Ridge Agency

(See also Red Cloud Agency and Upper Platte Agency)

Originally established as Red Cloud Agency in 1871, it was located on the North Platte River near Fort Laramie in eastern Wyoming and was primarily responsible for the Oglala band of the Lakota. In 1873 the agency moved to the White River near Camp Robinson in Nebraska; in 1877, to the Missouri River at the mouth of Medicine Creek in present day South Dakota; and in 1878, to White Clay Creek where it became know as Pine Ridge Agency.

Prominent among Oglala leaders were Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, American Horse, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, Little Wound, and Conquering Bear. These men defended their homelands against the encroachment of non-Indians in the latter part of the 19th Century and became famous for their efforts. In 1890 the Wounded Knee Massacre ended widespread, armed conflict between the United States government and the Lakota.

Today Pine Ridge Reservation is home to the 2nd largest American Indian population in the United States. Located in southwestern South Dakota, it has a land base of 1.7 million acres and stretches across Shannon and Jackson counties. Billy Mills, 1964 Olympic gold medal winner in the 10,000-meter race, was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation.