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South Dakota (/- dəˈktə/ ; Sioux: Dakȟóta itókaga, pronounced [daˈkˣota iˈtokaga]) is a U.S. state in the North Central region of the United States. It is also part of the Great Plains. South Dakota is named after the Dakota Sioux Native American tribe, which comprises a large portion of the population with nine reservations currently in the state and have historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the 17th largest by area, but the 5th least populous, and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. They are the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union; President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the statehood papers before signing them so that no one could tell which became a state first. Pierre is the state capital, and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 192,200, is South Dakota's most populous city.

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota (to the north), Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest). The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River".

Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri River, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, is in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome. (Full article...)

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Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park (Lakota: Makȟóšiča) is an American national park located in southwestern South Dakota. The park protects 242,756 acres (379.3 sq mi; 982.4 km2) of sharply eroded buttes and pinnacles, along with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The National Park Service manages the park, with the South Unit being co-managed with the Oglala Lakota tribe.

The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,144 acres (100.2 sq mi; 259.6 km2) of the park's North Unit as a designated wilderness area, and is one site where the black-footed ferret, one of the most endangered mammals in the world, was reintroduced to the wild. The South Unit, or Stronghold District, includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances, a former United States Air Force bomb and gunnery range, and Red Shirt Table, the park's highest point at 3,340 feet (1,020 m). (Full article...)
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Eagle Woman That All Look At (Lakota: Waŋblí Ayútepiwiŋ, also known as Matilda Picotte Galpin; 1820 – December 18, 1888) was a Lakota activist, diplomat, trader, and translator, who was known for her efforts mediating the conflicts between white settlers, the United States government, and the Sioux. She is credited with being the only woman recognized as a chief among the Sioux.

Eagle Woman's early diplomacy was for peace, while her efforts after the relocations to reservations focused on convincing the Sioux to adapt to the new era and compromise. She materially supported the Sioux when the U.S. government forced tribes to sustain themselves on barren reservation lands. She was in part responsible for the party of leaders sent to sign the Second Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868, though she opposed the Standing Rock treaty of 1876, and became the first woman to sign a treaty with the United States government in 1882. (Full article...)

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Largest cities

Cities in South Dakota, with their populations (as of July 1, 2020, as enumerated by the 2020 United States census):

2020 rank City 2020 census[1] 2010 census[2] Change County
1 Sioux Falls † 192,517 153,888 +25.10% Minnehaha
2 Rapid City † 74,703 67,956 +9.93% Pennington
3 Aberdeen † 28,495 26,091 +9.21% Brown
4 Brookings † 23,377 22,056 +5.99% Brookings
5 Watertown † 22,655 21,482 +5.46% Codington
6 Mitchell † 15,660 15,254 +2.66% Davison
7 Yankton † 15,411 14,454 +6.62% Yankton
8 Huron † 14,263 12,592 +13.27% Beadle
9 Pierre ‡ 14,091 13,646 +3.26% Hughes
10 Spearfish 12,193 10,494 +16.19% Lawrence
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State capital and county seat
See List of cities in South Dakota for a full list.


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  1. ^ "2020 Census Results". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder2. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved October 29, 2012.[dead link]