Thursday, December 1, 2016

South Dakota: A Far & Different Land From New England

Greetings Fellow Geographers,

For this map-blog assignment, I decided to create a map via Google Maps' 'My Maps' option and focus on South Dakota, a place I have not been to before, but will have the opportunity coming next spring.
My focus for this map was to highlight the American Indian reservation lands within South Dakota and plot  locations of interest that connect to these reservations and the Sioux Native American tribes.

Why choose South Dakota out of no-where you may ask? This past month I had applied and was accepted to participate in the BSU Community Service Center's Alternative Spring Break program, was of a lucky few picked to be a part of the ASB's trip to the Sioux YMCA in Dupree, South Dakota. This will be the first time I will be able to immerse myself within Native American culture, visit a reservation and also experience this part of the country. To help spread more information about the Sioux, reservations and the vast space of lands west of the Mississippi River, I thought creating a map to show where I'll be visiting next spring would be helpful. Considering most New Englanders are not familiar with most of the interior of the United States, I thought this map would be beneficial to my classmates.

The map has two layers, one that highlights the areas in South Dakota that myself and my small group of classmates who will be traveling with will mostly be aware of. The other highlights the other Sioux lands bounded in reservations today, as well as an outline of what was the "Great Sioux Reservation", the first treaty-partitioned land made by the U.S. government in the late 19th century.

The first layer includes the Cheyenne River Reservation, the Sioux land my ASB group will visit and live within for the week of spring break. We will be located in the town of Dupree and serve at the Sioux YMCA, which are both located with individual markers. The town of Eagle Butte, just to the north is located, along with the Cheyenne River Cultural Center, which is the center of the reservation's administration.
The first layer also highlights the Standing Rock Reservation, which is another Sioux reservation land that borders Cheyenne River Reservation within South Dakota and continues into North Dakota. This land should be of some familiarity to most Americans, as there has been a substantial protest near the Sacred Stone Camp (also spotted on my map) for several months against a proposed oil pipeline that would affect sacred lands to the Sioux. I simply added these locations to help show the proximity of the two reservations.
The Black Hills and Badlands National Parks are plotted to show nearby non-Native attractions (although both are sacred to Native Americans) and the Mt. Rushmore & Crazy Horse Monuments. My ASB group may have time to visit one of these locations, or other natural attractions before we begin our service week.

I hope this map helps you learn more about South Dakota and the Sioux people! - SB

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