11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Missouri River Cultural and Sacred Sites

Year Listed: 2002
Location: South Dakota
Threat: Development, Road Construction

Significance

Crossing both the Dakotas and Montana, the upper Missouri River basin has been called home by Native American tribes since the last ice age, 12,500 years ago. Filled with important archeological sites and cultural resources, the 1,515-mile area includes ancestral villages, sacred sites, old homesteads and structures from the fur trading era. However, this land of great historic and spiritual significance is being destroyed by federal government reservoir and dam projects, which have altered water levels on the river, eroded the land and exposed the remains of tribal ancestors.