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Watch - East River, West River

Dakota Pathways

East River, West River

Take an exciting journey through more than a thousand years of South Dakota history with this Emmy Award-winning twenty-episode series. From our state’s ancient beginnings through contemporary times, Dakota Pathways: A History brings the stories of South Dakota’s people and places to life.

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East River, West River Even before statehood, the Missouri River divided the state and her people into two distinct regions, East River and West River.

With farming in the east and ranching in the west, South Dakota has always had a split personality. The East River area is more like the eastern United States and the West River area is more like the wild west. Even the weather changes east to west. More rain in the east makes raising crops easier. Less rain in the west makes raising cattle more common. This program looks at the history of the state and how the East River, West River split has affected the growth of the state.

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