Plants of the Oceti Sakowin

(click to visit pages)

Teaching Oceti Sakowin Essential Understanding One

This is an on-line, electronic herbarium that includes photographs of plants of cultural significance to the Oceti Sakowin. The herbarium specimens have all been collected by the students of South Dakota schools and will increase as more plants are added to the collection. Uses of these plants by Oceti Sakowin cultures will be included in the electronic herbarium, as will student research into any current, or recent, research into compounds produced by the plants.

The specimen labels include information from Rogers, Dilwyn J. 1980. Lakota Names and Traditional Uses of Native Plants by Sicangu (Brule) People in the Rosebud Area, South Dakota: A Study Based on Father Eugene Buechel’s Collection of Plants of Rosebud around 1920. Published by Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, St. Francis, S.D. which can be found at

Schools are invited to be part of the expansion of this collection by documenting uses of plants through interviews with family and other tribal members.  Of course many important plants do not yet appear, but if you have a story, please submit it to us. We will be able to add the specimen later.

If you have plant images, or other information that would enhance this project please contact the herbarium curator Robin Cochran Dirksen at

ESSENTIAL UNDERSTANDING 1: The original land base and natural resources of the Oceti Sakowin were under communal stewardship prior to immigrant settlement. The Oceti Sakowin tribes have a distinct and unique interrelationship with the environment that contributes to South Dakota.

Indicator 1: Analyze the land base and natural resources of the nine reservations in South Dakota.

Indicator 2: Analyze the interrelationships of the Oceti Sakowin people, places, and the environment as they relate to all reservations in South Dakota.