Arrow River Standing Stone Site near Hamiota.
High atop a hillside overlooking the Arrow River is a stone
monolith with historic meaning. Called the Arrow River Standing Stone
Site it is the only First Nations gravesite in Manitoba that is marked
with a stone monolith. The stone, near the community of Hamiota, is
approximately 1.5 metres tall and half a metre wide. At one point the
site had the remains of a respected Dakota Elder named la-char-ke. The
location of this site is not unusual, however, as Manitoba's Dakota
Sioux were traditionally buried atop high hills. The remains of this
particular Elder were eventually removed and reburied at a nearby Dakota
First Nation. But the monolith remained. And even when the land where
the stone is situated became part of the homestead in 1896,
la-char-ke's descendants still annually visited the site and
performed ritual ceremonies. In 1962, the Arrow River Standing Stone
Site became a provincially designated heritage site, which encompasses
both the stone and the one-acre piece of land on which it is located.
Though cultivated farmland now surrounds the site, it still is regarded
as possessing great integrity as it is free of major disturbances. And
it represents the co-existence in the area between First Nations people
and homesteaders of the late 19th century.