Fire destroys tribal retreat center near Bear Butte

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s retreat center near Bear Butte.

The fire was reported early Thursday morning. Firefighters arrived to find the building engulfed in flames. No one was inside.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the cause. The ATF has jurisdiction over fire and arson on federal and tribal land.

Bear Butte, or Mato Paha in Lakota, is a spiritual site for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and other tribes of the Oceti Sakowin. It’s also sacred to the Cheyenne people. Indigenous people have visited Bear Butte for thousands of years.


June 4, 2021