Arrow River Standing Stone Site
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 Ia-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, Ia-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.