Oglala Lakota County
Oglala Lakota County, formerly Shannon County, is one of 66 counties in the US state of South Dakota. Oglala Lakota County is 5423 km² and is located in the southwest of the state near the border with Nebraska, in a rugged and arid part of the Great Plains. Known for its unique landforms and rich fossil record, Badlands National Park is part of the county.
The county's history dates back to the 18th century when the Lakota Indians settled here. In the 19th century, American colonization put their habitat under pressure and the Lakota were relegated to reservations. In 1875, Shannon County was established on the Great Sioux Reservation, which in 1889 was reduced to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Native American nation. Until 1982, Shannon County had no government of its own. Powers are still outsourced to Fall River County. After a referendum, the county was renamed after the main population group in 2015.
One of the hamlets in Oglala Lakota County is Wounded Knee. There, on December 29, 1890, the Wounded Knee massacre took place, in which some 300 Lakota were killed. Wounded Knee marked the end of indigenous resistance to colonization. The same spot was occupied by the American Indian Movement for over two months in 1973.
In 2010, there were 13,586 people living in Oglala Lakota County, 96% of whom were Native Americans. The county has the poorest population in the country, which also suffers from serious health problems. No alcohol is sold; it is the only dry county in South Dakota. Since the 1970s, it has been one of the most Democratic-party voting counties in the United States.
The area has been inhabited by humans for several thousand years. Around 11,000 BC. South Dakota was inhabited by Paleo-Indians belonging to the Clovis culture. They hunted mammoths, mastodons, horses and American camels. Traces of slaughtered mammoths have been found nearby. When the megafauna of the last ice age around 8,000 BC. died out, the Clovis culture passed into the Folsom culture. The hunter-gatherers specialized in hunting bison. In the first millennium AD. the prairies and valley of the Missouri came under the influence of the cultures of the Northeast Forest areas, witness pottery, burial mounds and merchandise. Western South Dakota largely retained its archaic bison culture. The 18th century brought great changes. The Indians came into contact with Europeans and got their hands on firearms. At the same time, several Sioux peoples, hunter-gatherers from Minnesota, began a westward migration and expansion, hunted by the Ojibweg and Cree, among others. The Lakota split off from the Dakota. The Sioux, in turn, drove peoples that went back to the archaic culture, such as the Crow and Cheyenne, further west. When a smallpox epidemic struck the Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa in the 1770s, several Lakota tribes crossed the Missouri and settled in the High Plains and Black Hills, conquering them from the Cheyenne. In the first half of the 19th century, what is now Oglala Lakota County was inhabited by Mnikȟówožu (Minnicoujou) and Oóhenuŋpa (Oohenumpa) Lakota. The Oglála lived further south, in western Nebraska.
With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, an area of approximately 2.1 million square miles west of the Mississippi River came into American hands. The habitats of, among others, the Lakota now belonged to the United States. Formally, from 1803 to 1821, the area of Oglala Lakota County was successively covered by the Louisiana District, the Louisiana Territory, and the Missouri Territory. Then she lay in an unorganized territory for 40 years. During this period, from the 1830s onwards, more and more European Americans moved through the area. In 1834 Fort W . became