The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe »
The Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservation was originally a part of the Great Sioux Nation, which was set aside under the Treaty of 1868. The area occupied by the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota and Nakota) was so great that for better administration the Federal Government deemed it advisable to recognize general divisions of the Sioux people. The four bands of the Lakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation in 1891 represent: the Minneconjou, Sans Arc, Blackfeet, and Two Kettle.
Today the Cheyenne River Reservation is located in the two organized counties of Dewey and Ziebach, and is comprised of over 2.8 million acres, similar in size to the state of Connecticut. The tribal headquarters is located in Eagle Butte, South Dakota and an 18 member Tribal Council including three Executives, govern the tribe. Primary and general elections are held every two and four years, and coincide with the US National Election cycle.
According to the 1995 Bureau of Indian Affairs Report on Service Population, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has approximately 11,825 enrolled members, of which 8,510 live on or adjacent to the reservation. The same report shows 3,310 non-members residing on the reservation for a total Indian population of 11,820. The 1990 Census reported a total of 2,643 non-Indian persons living on the CRST reservation. The grand total population of the Indian and non-Indian is approximately 14,463. A labor analysis reflects that the Indian labor force within the reservation is 6,516 and the resulting unemployment rate is over 5,000, or 75%.
CRST Business Success
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is known for its continuous progression in many areas, including:
- Economic Development
- Health & Welfare
- Natural Resources
In battling many of the obstacles that face rural tribes and communities, the Tribe works continuously to keep pace with advancing technology. The initial key in that effort was the 1958 establishment of the first Native American owned telecommunication company, the CRST Telephone Authority. This company has thrived to become a leader in Native American business in many aspects, including management and financial stability. CRST Telephone Authority is the head of a diverse company structure that consists of an internet service provider, authorized cellular dealer, paging service, fiber optic expansion, broadcast satellite/cable television service, retail office supplier, and bulk fuel delivery service.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is proud to have over 40 years experience in the ownership and operation of multiple businesses, ranging from telecommunications to service facilities such as a motel and grocery store. These businesses provide not only crucial services to communities that are remotely located, but also employ residents as well as distribute the profits to the Tribal Council. As an example, during the winter of 1996, one of the harshest winters of the century, the CRST Telephone Authority distributed to the Tribal Council over $275,000 in profits from its business activity during the previous year. These monies were used to provide basic necessities to tribal members in need: fuel, food and transportation. This cash influx allowed the Tribal Council to meet the basic needs of dozens of tribal families without reliance upon other disaster relief programs or loans.
Through 40 plus years of progression, the CRST Telephone Authority had worked hard to provide its customers the most modern state of the art telecommunications services available in the United States. The service area today consists of 4,600 square miles consisting of over 3,200 telephone subscribers. With modern technology and advancing telecommunications in place, the CRST Telephone Authority places a foundation for success of its sister company LTI.
A further benefit of the relationship between the CRST Telephone Authority and LTI is the successful business management structure. The LTI Board of Directors and Manager serve both firms. LTI is the tribe's new answer to keeping this progressive momentum, and assisting with much needed economic development of the reservation, in terms of providing career path jobs. Utilizing the successful operation the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the CRST Telephone Authority as a foundation, LTI is in an excellent position to realize success at a young age.
Please visit the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Official Web Site.
Please visit the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority Web Site.