CBS Sunday Morning – A winter wonderland, at Good Earth State Park in South Dakota. Videographer: Kevin Kjergaard.
Good Earth State Park southeast of Sioux Falls is an important cultural and historical site as well as a unique nature retreat adjacent to the most developed and populated part of our state. The site itself is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States. The river, abundant wildlife, fertile flood plains, availability of pipestone (catlinite) and protection from winds made the area an important gathering place for seasonal ceremonies and a significant trading center for many tribal peoples from 1300-1700 A.D.
During this time, occupants were primarily Oneota Tradition Peoples, including Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otoe, but many other tribes were attracted and participated in trading agricultural product as well as hides, pelts and pipestone (catlinite).
This is the largest Oneota cultural site discovered to date in the upper Midwest. There are two other significant Oneota cultural sites located respectively in southwest Iowa and central Missouri.