The Lakota Sioux were not the first people in the area now called "the land of the Sioux." The Lakotas displaced people of the Arikara tribe, whose earth lodge villages lined the bluffs along the Missouri River in the 18th century. Traces of the fortresses that guarded their villages still remain.
Present day residents include the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribes, which occupy a majority of land on the west side of Lake Oahe.
Significant historical sites surround Lake Oahe, including the Fort Manuel Trading Post where Sacajawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who served as a guide for Lewis and Clark, is said to be buried.
The grave site of the Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull is also nearby, as is the old military post of Fort Sully.
People travel from all over to participate in recreational activities on the 461,000 acres of land and water that comprise the project.
Guests are encouraged to have fun and are reminded that care should be taken to preserve the lands and waters for future visitors. There are 51 recreation areas around the reservoir including highly developed campgrounds and day use areas, moderately developed areas and primitive areas. Recreation opportunities at the lake include camping, picnicking, fishing, hunting, boating, water skiing, swimming, bird-watching, hiking, biking, and photography.
The story of Oahe focuses on people - from the early Native American tribes, to the fur traders and pioneers, to those who manage, operate and use the facility today. All play an important role in shaping and developing this region.