A Lakota statesman’s gift to a U.S. Indian Agent roughly 140 years ago was officially donated to the South Dakota Historical Society during an event Wednesday morning at Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre. Chief (Sinte Gleska) Spotted Tail and Major Cicero Newell became good friends in the 1870s. As a sign of that friendship, Spotted Tail gave a headdress, clothing, moccasins and other accessories to Newell. In 2022, Newell and his son Eric called Chief John Spotted Tail, wanting to return the items.
Spotted Tail said the next morning, he and his wife Tamara Stands and Looks Back-Spotted Tail packed their vehicle and started the drive to Washington state to see if the sacred artifacts were authentic. Once confirmed, the items were repatriated to the Spotted Tail family in August
of 2022. He said the family donated the items to the South Dakota Historical Society in order to share them “with all who wish to learn from and honor our shared history, ensuring that the legacy of our people endures for all present and future generations.”