GUIDE TO CATHOLIC RECORDS ABOUT NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE U.S.
Volume 2: Midwest United States
North Dakota: ND-8

Catholic Indian Mission of Standing Rock Reservation. St. Peter Church
P.O. Box 639
Fort Yates, ND 58538

Phone: 701-854-3473
Email: See website

History: The Catholic Indian Mission of Standing Rock Reservation comprises six entities in the Diocese of Bismarck (Archives: Bismarck, North Dakota): St. Peter Church and St. Bernard School, Fort Yates; St. Philomena Church, Selfridge; St. Elizabeth Church, Canon Ball; Sacred Heart Church, Solen; and St. James Church, Porcupine.

Standing Rock Reservation churches and schools in North and South Dakota:

1876-1879

Benedictines (St. Meinrad Abbey) (Archives: St. Meinrad, Indiana) began to evangelize the Standing Rock Reservation (Hunkpapa Lakota)

1877-1878

Benedictines established and staffed a school for boys and girls (Hunkpapa Lakota) at Fort Yates, North Dakota

1878-1881

Benedictine Sisters (Archives: Ferdinand, Indiana) staffed the Fort Yates Government Indian School (Hunkpapa Lakota), Fort Yates, North Dakota

1879-1980s

Benedictines established and administered St. Peter Mission, Fort Yates

1879-1906

Benedictines under Rev. Martin Kenel, O.S.B. [Benedictines], established and administered the Indian Farm School/ St. Benedict Mission School (Hunkpapa Lakota), Kenel, South Dakota

1879-1906

Benedictine Sisters (Archives: Ferdinand, Indiana, and Yankton, South Dakota) also staffed the Indian Farm School  

1880-1971 (closed) 

Benedictines (Conception Abbey) (Archives: Conception, Missouri) established and administered Church of the Assumption of Our Lady/ St. Benedict Mission (Hunkpapa Lakota), Kenel, South Dakota, which was destroyed by fire

1881-1924

Benedictine Sisters staffed various Standing Rock Reservation government Indian schools (Hunkpapa Lakota)

1883-1919 (closed)

U.S. government administered the Indian Farm School, Kenel, South Dakota

1924-1961

Benedictine Sisters established and staffed St. Bernard School, Fort Yates, North Dakota, with some Benedictine Sisters serving various ministries to 1981

1960s-1980s

Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (Archives: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana) served the parish with pastoral ministry and summertime religious education

1980s

Several School Sisters of Notre Dame of various provinces served St. Bernard School as teachers and administrators

1980s-present

Bismarck diocesan priests have administered the Standing Rock Catholic churches – St. Peter’s, Fort Yates, St. Philomena, Selfridge, St. Elizabeth’s, Cannonball, St. James, Porcupine, and Sacred Heart, Solen, plus St. Bernard School, Fort Yates

Benedictines at St. Peter’s and St. Benedict’s attended to the following Native American (Hunkpapa Lakota) missions and stations on the Standing Rock Reservation, North and South Dakota.

1882-1890 (became a mission)

Cannonball station, North Dakota

1887-1890 (became a mission)

Bullhead station, North Dakota

1887-1918 (transferred to St. Bernard's, McLaughlin, South Dakota)

St. Bede Mission, Wakpala, South Dakota  

1890-1908 (transferred to St. John's, Odense, North Dakota)

St. Elizabeth Mission, Cannonball, North Dakota

1890-1918 (transferred to St. Bernard's, McLaughlin, South Dakota)

St. Aloysius Mission, Bullhead, South Dakota 

1896-1910 (became a parish)

St. James Mission, Porcupine, North Dakota

1896-1926 (transferred to St. Bede's, Wakpala, South Dakota) 

St. Edward Mission, Mad Bears Camp, South Dakota

1910-1920 (transferred to Sacred Heart, Solen, North Dakota) 

St. Elizabeth Mission, Cannonball, North Dakota

1912-1921 (transferred to St. Philomena's, Selfridge, North Dakota)

St. James Mission, Porcupine, North Dakota

 

1938-1980s

St. Elizabeth Mission, Cannonball, North Dakota

1956-1980s

St. James Mission, Porcupine, North Dakota

Benedictines at St. Peter’s and St. Benedict’s attended to the following Native American missions and stations elsewhere in South Dakota:

1879-1883 (transferred to Jesuits, Rosebud Reservation)

Rosebud Reservation station (Brulé Lakota)

1879-1884 (transferred to Jesuits, Rosebud Reservation)

Pine Ridge Reservation station (Oglala Lakota)

1883-1892 (transferred to Immaculate Conception, Stephan)

Cheyenne River Agency station (Sans Arc)

1885-1910 (closed)

St. Francis De Sales School (Sans Arc), Flying Boy's Camp station

1910-1916 (closed)

Flying Boy's Camp station (Sans Arc)

1913-1918 (transferred to St. Bernard's, McLaughlin)

St. Ambrose Mission (Sans Arc), Black Horse 

1916-1918 (transferred to St. Bernard's, McLaughlin)

Sacred Heart Mission (Sans Arc), Little Eagle 

 

Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1868, 1876-ongoing

Volume: At least 13.0 cubic feet

Description: The records at St. Peter Mission and St. Bernard School were not organized according to a classification scheme when reviewed by a Marquette University archivist, 1980. Consequently, this description is by record type.

 

/1 Sacramental records

Inclusive dates: 1868, 1876-ongoing

Volume: At least 31 volumes

Description:

A. Fort Yates, St. Peter Church, 1868, 1876-ongoing: baptisms, 1868, 1876-1921, 1940-ongoing, marriages, 1876-ongoing, deaths, 1881-ongoing, first communions, 1878-ongoing, and confirmations, 1880-ongoing

B. Kenel, Assumption/ St. Benedict Church, 1879-1971: baptisms and marriages,1879-1971, deaths, 1880-1971, first communions, 1882-1971, and confirmations, 1883-1971

C. Cannonball, St. Elizabeth Mission, 1868, 1877-ongoing: baptisms, 1868, 1877-ongoing, marriages, 1883-, deaths, 1881-ongoing, first communions, 1892-ongoing, and confirmations, 1892-ongoing

D. Bullhead, St. Aloysius Mission, 1911-1940: baptisms, 1911-1940 and marriages, 1911-1926

E. Porcupine, St. James Mission, 1908-ongoing: baptisms, 1908-ongoing, marriages, 1909-ongoing, deaths, 1922-1933, 1943-ongoing, first communions, 1922, 1935, 1944-ongoing, and confirmations, 1945-ongoing

 

/2 "Status Animarium" or census records

Inclusive dates: 1878-1960s

Volume: 7 volumes

Description:

A. Fort Yates, St. Peter Church, 1896-1906, 1913-1940, 2 volumes: includes names, birth and death dates, and dates when sacraments were administered

B. Kenel, Assumption/ St. Benedict Church, 1878-1960s, 3 volumes: includes names, birth and death dates, and dates when sacraments were administered

C. Cannonball, St. Elizabeth Mission, 1887-1908, 1 volume: includes names, birth and death dates, and dates when the sacraments were administered

D. Porcupine, St. James Mission, 1877-1919, 1 volume: includes names, birth and death dates, and dates when the sacraments were administered

 

/3 Sodality membership lists

Inclusive dates: 1886-1947

Volume: 8 volumes

Description:

A. Wakpala, St. Bede Mission, 1894-1910, 2 volumes: members of St. Joseph's and St. Mary's Societies

B. Bullhead, St. Aloysius Mission, 1894-1907, 2 volumes: members of St. Joseph and St. Mary Societies

C. Kenel, Assumption/ St. Benedict Mission, 1886-1947, 1 volume: membership in the Scapular of Mount Carmel

D. Fort Yates, St. Peter Mission, 1896-1935, 3 volumes: membership in the Scapular of Mount Carmel and in Promoters of Apostleship of Prayer in League with the Sacred Heart

 

/4 Financial records

Inclusive dates: 1890-1948

Volume: 5 volumes

Description: include financial journals of St. Peter Church, 1890-1948, 2 volumes, and financial journals for all Native missions on the Standing Rock Reservation, 1915-1936, 3 volumes 

 

/5 Farm School records

Inclusive dates: 1889-1905

Volume: 1 volume

Description: Register of students who attended the Farm School 

 

/6 St. Bernard School records

Inclusive dates: 1925-ongoing

Volume: At least 8.0 cubic feet

Description:

A. "Teacher Registers," 1925-1963, 38 volumes: student reports of attendance and grades

B. Student files, 1964-ongoing, 4 cubic feet: arranged alphabetically by surname; includes attendance reports, grades, biographical information, and progress reports

 

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.

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