The Dakota Indians managed in their own fashion to fit the values of their old traditions and rituals into Christianity. The Niobrara Convocation served the same social function as the old Sun Dance, when friends and relatives came together in the summer from all directions. The convocation custom of the Indians from the different reservations camping together was not unlike the traditional spots held in the camp circle by the various tribes.

That They May Have Life, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, 10

The first Convocation was held on October 5-6, 1870, at Santee, Nebraska. Bishop Clarkson of Nebraska and Dakota issued a call to the clergy of the Dakota field for a meeting to be held for the purpose of organizing an Indian Missionary Convocation. Each chapel was to be represented by two lay delegates.

The Niobrara Convocation grew to be a loved and much looked forward to annual event in South Dakota. Non-Indian Episcopalians and persons from other denominations, as well as government officials and even President Calvin Coolidge visited. The gathering was frequently honored by visitations of numerous Presiding Bishops.

Only three times in its history did the Niobrara Convocation not convene: in 1876, because of Bishop Hare’s poor health; in 1901, because of the danger of small-pox contagion; and 1945, because of conditions during World War II when gas and tire rationing and enforced slower speed limits made travel difficult.

 — That They May Have Life, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, 78


(All within 50 miles)

Fort Randall Casino       **(605) 487-7871       

10 miles West                                                                                $50.85 if paying cash
38538 SD Highway 46                                                                    they require a $100 deposit when making the reservation
Lake Andes, SD 57356

**Let the motel know you are making a reservation for Niobrara Convocation 

Wagner Lakeside Motel  **(605) 384-5464                                    $73.60                     $90.85 

1 mile West 
710 W SD Highway 46
Wagner, SD 57380

**Let the motel know you are making a reservation for Niobrara Convocation 

Fort Randall Inn (605) 487-7801                                                        $56.00                          $68.00

13 miles West
116 W US Highway 18
Pickstown, SD 57367

Dakota Inn (605) 487-7404                                                                     $63.00                       $73.00 

13 miles West
320 E US Highway 18
Pickstown, SD 57367


Landing Strip Motel (605) 487-7680                                                     $42.00                         $59.00 

16 miles Northwest
723 Us Highway 281
Lake Andes, SD 57356


Ohiya Casino & Resort (402) 857-3860                                                         Rates are on-line 

43 Miles Southeast
53142 Hwy 12
Niobrara NE 68760


North Vue Motel (605) 286-3202                                                                  $51.30                         $62.35 

16 miles East
509 Poplar St
Avon SD 57315

Upcoming Convocations