Ernie LaPointe was born in 1948 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota with his half-sister Marlene Little Spotted Horse. Their late mother Angelique LaPointe Spotted Horse was a housewife. His late father Claude LaPointe farmed in Pine Ridge and worked in a lumber yard in Rapid City.Ernie attended the public school system in Rapid City. When he was 10 years old, his mother died of cancer. At age 17 his father died of a heart attack. He lived with his (half) Sister Marlene until he was 18 and old enough to join the military. He was stationed in Korea, Turkey, and Germany, and all over the United States. Mr. LaPointe did one tour in Vietnam in 1970-71. He received an honorable discharge from the Army in 1972.
On his Mother’s side he is the Great Grandson of Sitting Bull and Seen By Her Nation Woman. Mr. LaPointe can point out a long line of chiefs on his Mother’s as well as on his Father’s side. His Grandfather, Spotted Horse was the son of Hunts Enemy and the Grandson of Chief Charging Bear. His Great Grandmother’s (Tokala Win LaPointe) brother was Chief Painted Horse.
Mr. LaPointe met his wife, Sonja, at a pow wow in Rapid City, SD; they will be married for 13 years in April 2008. Mr. LaPointe is a Sun Dancer and lives the traditional way of the Lakota and follows the rules of the sacred pipe.
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