Dakota Datebook

Standing Rock

Saturday, December 11, 2010


On this date in 1886, the Winona Times reported that the Indians of the Standing Rock Reservation had gathered for a ceremony to dedicate the sacred rock. The rock had been mounted on a pedestal at the request of Major James McLaughlin, the agent at the time. Sitting Bull stated that only the purest man in all the tribes could offer the prayers and paint the stone. After some deliberation, Fire Cloud of Fire Heart’s band was chosen. In an hour long ceremony he painted the rock and offered prayers. He thanked the Great Spirit and the rock on behalf of his nation for the recent period of peace and prayed that it might last forever. Ironically, five years later, almost to the day, Sitting Bull lay dead, a victim of the hysteria created by the Ghost Dance.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Bottineau Pioneer December 23, 1886

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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