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The area along the Missouri River is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, cultural sites, memorials, Native American traditions and more — not to mention Interpretive Centers dedicated to Lewis and Clark as they made their legendary expedition up the river.

Key Historical Landmarks and Interpretive Centers include:

The Lewis and Clark Lake Regional Visitor Center near Yankton is where you'll find the story of the Calumet Bluff Council and the Upper Missouri native people.

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The Lewis and Clark Information Center in Chamberlain is built on the site of the Corps of Discovery camp. Here you can climb aboard a replica of the 55-foot keelboat used by the expedition.

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The Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre is where you'll find an original Jefferson Peace and Friendship Medal that Lewis and Clark presented to tribes they met along the way. Not your typical museum structure, this one is built into the side of a hill, and much of it is underground. A contemporary version of a traditional Native American dwelling, this beautiful building features Native American (mostly the Sioux tribes) and pioneer exhibits, with many rare artifacts tracing the history of South Dakota.

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Fort Pierre Chouteau was once one of the most important fur trade forts on the western frontier. There are no longer any visible remains of the fort, but there is a marker positioned where it used to stand just north of Fort Pierre.

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The Dakota Sunset Museum in Gettysburg is an amazing look into history. This museum has a Civil War exhibit honoring the more than 200 veterans who settled in north central South Dakota. In addition visitors can also view a 1900s barbershop, a country school, a fully-equipped blacksmith shop, a Native American blanket dress from the 1870s and more! The Museum also features a 40-ton Medicine Rock embedded with a human footprint and handprint.

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The Verendrye Site and Monument located in Fort Pierre is one of the only verifiable sites associated with the first Europeans to explore this region. In 1742 Frenchman Pierre Gaultier De La Verendrye and his sons buried a lead plate commemorating their exploration of the area. In 1913 the plate was discovered by high school students and is now on Display at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

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To learn more about Lewis and Clark, and discover places to visit while following the trail, visit

Learn More About Lewis & Clark Country

Native American History

Rich, Native American history weaves its way through the area, where six of the nine South Dakota tribes currently border the river banks. A few of the highlights include a replica of an actual Arikara lodge near Gettysburg, the Akta Lakota Museum at the St. Joseph Indian School in Chamberlain and the Sacagawea and Sitting Bull monuments near Mobridge.

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From the Native American Scenic Byway (Highway 50 and BIA 47) cutting through the heart of the Lakota Sioux Nation to scattered pioneer villages and homesteads, visitors can take a journey of discovery when they follow the river across South Dakota.

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For more information and resources about Native American culture, history, and activities in South Dakota we encourage our visitors to check out the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance website at

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Six of the nine South Dakota tribes currently border the river bank and the 101 mile Native American Scenic Byway journeys through the heart of the Lakota Sioux Nation. Our Native American roots run deep along the river. Many of these tribes host public pow wow exhibitions where you can witness a tribal tradition for yourself.

Native American Powow

Cheyenne Eagle Butte School Traditional Pow Wow

Eagle Butte School

Presentation College Graduation Pow Wow

Eagle Butte College Campus

Kenel Memorial Day Pow Wow

Kenel, South Dakota

Fort Randall Casino and Hotel Pow Wow

Pickstown, Fort Randall Casino

No events


Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Annual Fair, Rodeo and Pow Wow

Lower Brule

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Annual Pow Wow

Fort Thompson

Annual Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Fair, Rodeo and Pow Wow

Eagle Butte

United States Tribes Pow Wow

Fort Pierre

Annual American Indian Day and Pow Wow Celebration

Chamberlain, St. Joseph’s Indian School

No events

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Veterans Day Pow Wow

Second or third week in November

Lower Brule

Aerial view of Missouri River

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