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South Dakota Local Business Directory

Much of South Dakota was included in the Louisiana Purchase; at the time of the transfer from France to the U.S., most of this area had not yet been mapped or fully explored by European settlers. The Lewis and Clark Expedition set forth in May 1804 and made its way across Nebraska and South Dakota during the early stages of the trip. By 1817, a fur trading post had been established in South Dakota. This marked the beginning of a wave of settlements that encroached on areas claimed by the Native American inhabitants of this region.

The Black Hills of South Dakota hold spiritual significance for the Lakota Sioux, one of the original tribal inhabitants of the area before the arrival of European settlers. To clear the way for further expansion, the U.S. agreed with the Sioux in 1868 to include the Black Hills in the territory reserved for these Native Americans. When gold was discovered in these hills, however, the previous assurances and treaties signed by the U.S. government were rendered null and void. War broke out, and the Sioux were forcibly removed from their sacred lands.

Today, these historic hills and mining sites are popular as tourist destinations. South Dakota residents find employment in service industry jobs, on military bases and in the financial sector. Eight percent of the population of South Dakota is of Native American heritage; many of these residents live on the seven Indian reservations located within the borders of the state.

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