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Wakpamni lake community


Wakpamni Lake Community (WLC) – Government

The Wakpamni Lake Community (WLC) government is a local subsidiary municipal tribal government of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, located in the south eastern corner of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Below is a more complete outline of our tribal governmental structure:

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is a federally recognized tribe, in accordance with Section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, and as adopted by a federally approved Constitution and By-Laws, approved on December 20, 1935. 


We are the Oglala, meaning “to scatter one's own,” and are one of the seven Titowan Lakota bands which comprise the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires). 


Our treaty land base, created in 1868 by the Treaty of Fort Laramie – the Great Sioux Reservation –originally covered all the area west of the Missouri River in South Dakota, part of northern Nebraska, and part of eastern Montana. 


The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was established in 1889 by the United States’ unilateral disestablishment and partition of the Great Sioux Nation. We have never relinquished our claim to the entire Great Sioux Reservation, including the sacred Black Hills (He Sapa).


Our Reservation covers approximately 3 million acres (roughly the size of Connecticut) and our nation has more than 45,000 enrolled citizens. Thus, the Oglala Sioux Tribe is responsible for a large area over which it has authority and control. The Oglala Sioux Tribe’s treaty rights and unique political relationship with the United States are set forth in a series of treaties through 1868, including the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 (11 Stat. 749) and the 1868 Sioux Nation Treaty (15 Stat. 635). 


Due in part to our remote location, there are few opportunities to develop a local economy or job opportunities for our people. The lack of good roads, reliable communications systems, and other necessary infrastructure further impedes economic development, job creation, and a good quality of life on our Reservation. These circumstances also contribute to the many social challenges that our people currently face, which include extreme poverty, alcohol and substance abuse, inadequate health care, and high crime rates. 


But where we struggle with these modern ills, we remain rich in culture and language. The Oglala Lakota have a long strong warrior lineage which continues to this day. We have large concentrations of traditional Lakota speakers, host many Lakota immersion schools and cultural preservation movements, and are home to many of our Lakota oyate’s spiritual leaders, ceremony and knowledge keepers. 


As designed in the Oglala Tribal Constitution, there are nine “District” governments within the OST governmental structure, the Districts are akin to perhaps a county or parish located within a state government structure. Each District has their own powers of governance and economic development and delegated authority through the Constitution and implementing statutes. Each District elects at least two Representatives to serve on the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council. In addition, each District has its own government and governance structure with its own elected District President, Vice-President, etc. The nine District Governments within the Oglala Sioux Tribe are:


  1. Eagle Nest District

  2. Lacreek District

  3. Medicine Root District

  4. Oglala District 

  5. Pass Creek District

  6. Pine Ridge District

  7. Porcupine District

  8. Wakpamni District 

  9. Wounded Knee District

Wakpamni District

Within each District government there are numerous “Communities.” Each community would be akin to a municipality, within a county, within a state government. Each Community also has its own powers of governance and economic development and delegated authority through the Oglala Sioux Tribal Constitution and implementing statutes. Each Community has its own governance structure with its own elected Community President, Vice-President, etc. The six Communities within the Wakpamni District are:


  1. #4 Payabya

  2. Calico

  3. Red Cloud

  4. Slim Buttes

  5. Wakpamni Lake Community 

  6. Wolf Creek


The Wakpamni Lake Community was formally re-confirmed in 1978 as one of the six local tribal municipal Community governments located within the Wakpamni District, under the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST Resolution 78-101; January 23, 1978).


The Wakpamni Lake Community is a modern governmental body woven together by many traditional  Tiospayes or traditional family groups (such as the Two Lance, Blue Bird, Yellow Hair, Lone Hill, Feather on Head, Has No Horse, Charging Thunder, Ghost Bear, Little Commander, and many more, families). The Wakpamni Lake Community prides itself on having one of the largest remaining concentrations of fluent Lakota speakers and traditional Lakota practitioners. We take our commitment to protect these elders and our traditional Lakota culture and values very seriously.


Traditionally our decisions were made by heads of the tiospayes and we were a matriarchal society – and while we must now operate within a modern structure, the Wakpamni Lake Community works hard to incorporate traditional Lakota values into all aspects of our work. Currently the board members of the Wakpamni Lake Community are each the matriarchal heads of their respective tiospayes (large family group). The Wakpamni Lake Community created and wholly-owns the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation (WLCC) as its economic development arm. 

Wakpamni Lake Community

Creating Positive Healthy Social Opportunities

  • Bingo

  • Powwow

  • Traditional Horse Races 

  • Community Sports 

  • Creating safe community gathering places

    • Community Hall (Red Church)

    • Youth Center

    • New community center (in development)

Preserving & Promoting Lakota Language and Culture

Restoring Community Self-Sufficiency 

  • Food Sovereignty Initiativ​e

Improving Community Health

  • Health and Wellness Facility (in development)

  • Food Sovereignty Initiative 

  • Organized athletics 

Protecting our Community & Elders

  • Winter snow removal 

  • COVID support and e-commerce initiatives 

  • Elder Ramp & Deck project

  • Elder Food Delivery

  • WLC Tribal Fire Department (in development)

Direct Community Member Assistance

Economic Development & Job Creation 

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