The societies of the Sioux are many such as the badger, owl, crow, brave heart and white horse. These did most of the governing of the tribe. To belong, one had to be invited after showing their bravery in battle. Each society met in a special tipi, often with a picture on the exterior identifying it. Generally the paraphernalia consisted of a pipe, lance, rattle, elaborate bridle and war whistle for its leader. Unique to the Lakota Cultural Museum, it has most of two society items, that of the Crow Owners and White Horse Owners. It had been assumed that nothing from the societies existed, since items were taken and burned when the Lakota surrendered to the agencies.
Several years ago the Cobell Payment of several thousand dollars to every Lakota was promised by the government due to improper handling for coal and oil leases. Most tribal members expected quick payment, but month after month the money did not come. Delay was due to the difficult task of tracking down each tribal member. Many Lakota counted upon this money to pay bills and, near Christmas and for birthdays, to give gifts. Since generosity is important, clans at Cherry Creek needed to buy gifts and sold a few items which had been saved from the early days. Some of their collections had been sold in the 1930s to the Pierre Cultural Center when times were difficult. After a year and a half, the Sits Down Talking and Knife clans decided to part with their inheritance to the Lakota Cultural Museum where documentation would be noted for each artifact. The elders of the clans realized that if they died, their treasured items would be pawned by their grandchildren, who had little regard for their history. It was better to sell and buy their grandchildren gifts and have documentation given to tell the story of their Lakota culture.