Paleontology Program


Standing Rock Paleontology

Native Americans in the area were familiar with fossils long before the presence of the Wasicu and developed stories about dinosaurs (Thunder Beings and Water Monsters) that have been passed down from generation to generation.

The first recorded occurrence of fossils on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was during the expedition of Lewis and Clark along the Missouri River.  Information they collected about fossils as well as actual fossils were given to Thomas Jefferson for more research.  He shipped some of the fossils to Europe for more study.  At that time, there was no known information about dinosaurs.

The first major geological and paleontological expedition occurred in 1853-1854 by Meeks and Hayden.  Since then, geologists and paleontologists have been drawn to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation because of its diverse and adundant paleontological resources.

Unfortunately, the majority of the expeditions involved the illegal taking of the Tribe's fossil resources.  
Most recently, thousands of fossils were returned to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that were collected under questionable circumstances. 

Today, the Tribe seeks to collect fossils on Tribal lands for preservation, protection and for future generations to study. 



Allen Shaw
1341 92nd St.
P.O. Box D
Fort Yates, ND 58538
(701) 854-8649


No News Available