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Benjamin Reifel

Benjamin Reifel

Benjamin Reifel
Benjamin Reifel

Born to a Sioux mother and a German American father, Benjamin Reifel was the first congressman from the Sioux nation. After graduating from South Dakota State, Reifel worked for the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs where he helped tribes set up their government. In 1960, Reifel was the first American Indian from South Dakota to serve in Congress. Throughout his career, Benjamin worked to better schools and hospitals on Indian reservations. He also advocated for reservation and county schools be merged as one so that Native and non-Native children would be educated together.

Additional Resource(s):

Image Citation:

“The Life of Ben Reifel.” South Dakota State University, https://www.sdstate.edu/sdsu-archives-and-special-collections/life-ben-reifel.