Volume 2: Midwest United States
North Dakota: ND-18

St. Michael Indian Mission
136 First Street
St. Michael, ND 58370 (physical address)
P.O. Box 958
Devil’s Lake, ND 58301 (postal address)

Phone: 701-766-4151

History: St. Michael Church (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), St. Michael, Fort Totten Reservation, has been a predominantly Dakota Indian parish administered by diocesan priests (Sioux Falls/ Dakota Vicariate, 1874-1878, Fargo, 1980-) and Benedictines.


Rev. Louis Bonin established and administered Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel and School (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) near present-day St. Michael Mission, Fort Totten or Spirit Lake/ Devil’s Lake Reservation, St. Michael  

1884-1980s (transferred to Fargo Diocese)

Benedictines established and administered St. Michael Mission (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota)

1929-1971 (transferred to a Native community corporation)

The Soeurs grises de Québec (Beauport, Québec) established and staffed Little Flower School (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) at St. Michael's


Diocesan priests have administered St. Michael’s

Seven Dolors was the center of evangelization on the Spirit Lake/ Fort Totten Reservation, 1884-1929. With the opening of Little Flower School, 1929, the center shifted to St. Michael's with Benedictines residing at both St. Michael's and Seven Dolors, 1949-1980s. The Benedictines at St. Michael's, and the diocesan priests who followed them, have attended these missions among the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Indians:

1929-1949 (became a parish)

Seven Dolors Mission, Fort Totten, Fort Totten Reservation

1929-1949 (transferred to Seven Dolors, Fort Totten)

St. Jerome Mission, Crow Hill, Fort Totten Reservation

1929-1950 (no longer Native)

St. James Mission, Warwick, Fort Totten Reservation


Christ the King Mission, Tokio, Fort Totten Reservation

1936-1961 (closed)

East End station

1936-1961 (closed)

Graham's Island station


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1874-ongoing, undated

Volume: At least 5.5 cubic feet

Description: The records at St. Michael Mission were not organized according to a classification scheme when examined by a Marquette University archivist, 1980. Consequently, the description is by record type. 


/1 Sacramental records

Inclusive dates: 1874-ongoing

Volume: At least 13 volumes

Description: Baptisms, 1874-ongoing, marriages, 1908-ongoing, deaths, 1920-ongoing, first communions and confirmations, 1914-ongoing; the sacramental records of baptisms, 1874-1907, first communions, 1914-1952, and confirmations, 1914-1968, are copies; the original books for the baptisms, 1874-1907, marriages, 1875-1907, and deaths, 1905-1920, are at Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, South Dakota 


/2 Minutes of St. Michael's Indian Mission, Inc.

Inclusive dates: 1956-ongoing

Volume: 1 folder


/3 Financial records

Inclusive dates: 1971, undated

Volume: 1 folder

Description: Relate to land transfers, such as deeds, abstracts, and patents. 


/4 Northern Lights

Inclusive dates: 1932-1970

Volume: .3 cubic foot

Description: Mission publication.


/5 Subject file

Inclusive dates: 1930s-ongoing (bulk: 1960s-ongoing)

Volume: 4.0 cubic feet

Description: Relate primarily to financial matters.


Unless noted otherwise, the repository named above holds (or held) the records described and not the Marquette University Archives. However, Marquette’s holdings, e.g. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, include related records about these Native and Catholic groups and places.


Archival materials from the Raynor Memorial Libraries

Marquette Archives