Mato Luzahan Tawicoti/Swift Bear Community History

This information was taken from various sources: Birth of the Rosebud Country by Lawrence Antoine, 1975; Lakota Archives and Historical Reserch Center Rosebud Sioux Tribe Sites Project, Prepared with a FY 93 Historic Preservation Fund Grant from the National Park Service, 1995.Trails and Forts: History of Exploration and Settlement by Milo Koskan, 2005; Map accompanying the Rosebud Indian Reservation Annual Report, 1885.

Churches: St. Ignatius Catholic Church was originally located on the hill north of the present cemetery and across the road. A tornado knocked it off its foundations and it slid down a ravine. It was then moved down to the river and later moved into White River in the 1960s. St. Philips Episcopal Church was located north of White River.

Buildings: A nurses station was built in White River. In 1911 a postoffice was built in White River which continues to serve the communities of Swift Bear and Horse Creek.

Families: Eleven families moved into the White River public housing low-rent project: Francis Bordeaux Jr., Francis Bordeaux Sr., Solomon Williams, Ernest Bordeaux Jr., Ernest Bordeaux Sr., Emmet Bordeaux, Bertha Smith, Elizabeth Arrow, Mildred Janis, Edith White Bear, and Theresa Runs Above. (Rosebud Sioux Herald, March 14, 1966)

Issue Station: The White River issue station was located along the river across from the Catholic buildings. It was where the old transitionals were at Lower Swift Bear. When it was no longer used for rations the building became a dance hall.

Location: Swift Bear is located in and around White River, SD. In 1882 he moved his band to Ponca Creek south of present day Burke, SD then in 1885 Swift Bear's camp was located on the west bank of the Missouri River a few miles south of Fort Randall on the north bank of the Niobara River. Swift Bear's camp finally settled near White River.

Origins: Swift Bear or Mato Luzahan (1827 – 1909) was the son of Lone Dog and Gray Buffalo Woman. His grandfather was Red War Bonnet a Sisseton Chief. His sister Red Cormorant Woman, or Marie, married James Bordeaux. His daughter Maud died at Carlisle Boarding School, Dec. 13, 1880.


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