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Lower Brulé Indian Reservation
Lower Brule
Lower Brule
Location of Lower Brulé Indian Reservation, South Dakota
Location of Lower Brulé Indian Reservation, South Dakota
Country United States
State South Dakota
Counties Lyman / Stanley
 • Type Tribal Council
 • Total 207.189 sq mi (536.617 km2)
 • Total 1,308
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
Website Lower Brulé Sioux Tribe Official Website
Hoop dance

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 is in Lower Brule.


The Sioux consist of a group of self-governing tribes speaking one of three dialects of the Siouan language: Dakota, Nakota and Lakota. The Dakota or Santee, known variously to themselves as Mdewakantonwan, Wahpetowan, Wahpekute, or Sisseton, range from the Ohio River valley to South Dakota. The Dakota or Nakota, known as the Ihanktonwan/Yankton or Yanktonai/Ihanktonwanna, range from eastern Minnesota to the Missouri River valley. The Lakota, or Western Teton/Tituwan Sioux, consisting of the Oglala, Mniconjou, Sicangu, Sihasapa, Oohenunpa, Hunkpapa, and Itazipco, traditionally ranged from lands east of the Missouri River valley to the Rocky Mountains. A common history and language, a strong respect for the land and nature, the common use of Pipestone and the reverence held for the stone, and ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, Sweat lodge, and Vision Quest bind these peoples together.

The name 'Brule' comes from the French word brûlé (burnt), the name French fur traders used for the Sicangu in the late 17th century. The Sicangu divided into the Lower Brule and the Heyata Wicasa, or Upper Brule, in the late 18th century. The Lower Brule favored lands where the White River empties into the Missouri River, while the Upper Brule lived further south and west.

In 2013, the tribe requested that the KELO-TV station not replace a fallen transmission tower on Medicine Butte. Medicine Butte is near the town of Reliance, and rises about 200 feet above the prairie. The butte is sacred to the Brulé. KELO-TV agreed and placed a new tower elsewhere.


Major employers are the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Golden Buffalo Casino, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Indian Health Service.


Commercial airline, freight, and train services are available in Pierre. The town of Chamberlain provides the nearest landing strip and bus service. Truck service is available locally, and most retail businesses on the reservation receive service from suppliers in distributor-owned trucks. There are charter buses and limousines serving patrons of the Golden Buffalo Casino, and Greyhound Bus terminals are located in Chamberlain and Pierre. River City Transit runs a daily bus/van transportation service between Lower Brule and Pierre.

Notable tribal members

  • Chief Iron Nation (1815–1894) led the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe through some of its most challenging years. He worked diligently, both as a warrior and statesman, to ensure the survival of his people. Iron Nation signed the treaty to establish the Great Sioux Reservation in 1868. He has been described as a just and noble leader.
  • Michael Jandreau (1943-2015) helped lead the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe during difficult years of transition immediately prior to, and forty continuous years after, the passage of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. Jandreau was elected to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribal Council an unprecedented twenty-two (22) consecutive two-year terms, and served as Chairman for eighteen (18) terms, although his final term lasted only six months as he died while in office.

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