The Sioux (/suː/), also known as Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, are groups of Native American tribes and First Nations peoples in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or to any of the nation's many language dialects. The modern Sioux consist of two major divisions based on language divisions: the Dakota and Lakota.
The Santee Dakota (Isáŋyathi; "Knife") reside in the extreme east of the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa. The Yankton and Yanktonai Dakota (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ and Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna; "Village-at-the-end" and "Little village-at-the-end"), collectively also referred to by the endonym Wičhíyena, reside in the Minnesota River area. They are considered to be the middle Sioux, and have in the past been erroneously classified as Nakota. The actual Nakota are the Assiniboine and Stoney of Western Canada and Montana. The Lakota, also called Teton (Thítȟuŋwaŋ; possibly "Dwellers on the prairie"), are the westernmost Sioux, known for their hunting and warrior culture.
Today, the Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations, communities, and reserves in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Montana in the United States; and Manitoba, southern Saskatchewan, and Alberta in Canada.
|Regions with significant populations|
|US: (SD, MN, NE, MT, ND, IA, WI, IL, WY)|
Canada: (MB, SK)
|Sioux language (Lakota, Western Dakota, Eastern Dakota), Assiniboine, Stoney, English|
|Christianity (incl. syncretistic forms), traditional religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Assiniboine, Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda (Stoney), and other Siouan-speaking peoples|
The Sioux people refer to the Great Sioux Nation as the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (pronounced [oˈtʃʰetʰi ʃaˈkowĩ]), meaning "Seven Council Fires"). Each fire is a symbol of an oyate (people or nation). Today the seven nations that comprise the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ are the Thítȟuŋwaŋ (also known collectively as the Teton or Lakota), Bdewákaŋthuŋwaŋ, Waȟpéthuŋwaŋ, Waȟpékhute, and Sisíthuŋwaŋ (also known collectively as the Santee or Eastern Dakota) and Iháŋkthuŋwaŋ and Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna (also known collectively as the Yankton/Yanktonai or Western Dakota). They are also referred to as the Lakota or Dakota as based upon dialect differences. In any of the dialects, Lakota or Dakota translates to mean "friend" or "ally" referring to the alliances between the bands.
The name "Sioux" was adopted in English by the 1760s from French. It is abbreviated from Nadouessioux, first attested by Jean Nicolet in 1640. The name is sometimes said to be derived from an Ojibwe exonym for the Sioux meaning "little snakes" (compare nadowe "big snakes", used for the Iroquois). The spelling in -x is due to the French plural marker. The Proto-Algonquian form *na·towe·wa, meaning "Northern Iroquoian", has reflexes in several daughter languages that refer to a small rattlesnake (massasauga, Sistrurus). An alternative explanation is derivation from an (Algonquian) exonym na·towe·ssiw (plural na·towe·ssiwak), from a verb *-a·towe· meaning "to speak a foreign language". The current Ojibwe term for the Sioux and related groups is Bwaanag (singular Bwaan), meaning "roasters". Presumably, this refers to the style of cooking the Sioux used in the past.
In recent times, some of the tribes have formally or informally reclaimed traditional names: the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is also known as the Sičháŋǧu Oyáte, and the Oglala often use the name Oglála Lakȟóta Oyáte, rather than the English "Oglala Sioux Tribe" or OST. The alternative English spelling of Ogallala is considered improper.
The Sioux comprise three closely related language groups:
The earlier linguistic three-way division of the Sioux language identified Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota as dialects of a single language, where Lakota = Teton, Dakota = Santee-Sisseton and Nakota = Yankton-Yanktonai. However, the latest studies show that Yankton-Yanktonai never used the autonym Nakhóta, but pronounced their name roughly the same as the Santee (i.e. Dakȟóta).
These later studies identify Assiniboine and Stoney as two separate languages, with Sioux being the third language. Sioux has three similar dialects: Lakota, Western Dakota (Yankton-Yanktonai) and Eastern Dakota (Santee-Sisseton). Assiniboine and Stoney speakers refer to themselves as Nakhóta or Nakhóda (cf. Nakota).
The term Dakota has also been applied by anthropologists and governmental departments to refer to all Sioux groups, resulting in names such as Teton Dakota, Santee Dakota, etc. This was mainly because of the misrepresented translation of the Ottawa word from which Sioux is derived.
The Sioux are divided into three ethnic groups, the larger of which are divided into sub-groups, and further branched into bands. The earliest known European record of the Sioux identified them in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. After the introduction of the horse in the early 18th century, the Sioux dominated larger areas of land—from present day Central Canada to the Platte River, from Minnesota to the Yellowstone River, including the Powder River country.
The Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations and communities in North America: in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Montana in the United States; and in Manitoba, southern Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada. Today, many Sioux also live outside their reservations.
The Santee migrated north and westward from the Southeastern United States, first into Ohio, then to Minnesota. Some came up from the Santee River and Lake Marion, area of South Carolina. The Santee River was named after them, and some of their ancestors' ancient earthwork mounds have survived along the portion of the dammed-up river that forms Lake Marion. In the past, they were a Woodland people who thrived on hunting, fishing and farming.
Migrations of Ojibwe from the east in the 17th and 18th centuries, with muskets supplied by the French and British, pushed the Dakota further into Minnesota and west and southward. The US gave the name "Dakota Territory" to the northern expanse west of the Mississippi River and up to its headwaters. Today, the Santee live on reservations, reserves, and communities in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Canada. However, after the Dakota war of 1862 many Santee were sent to Crow Creek Indian Reservation and in 1864 some from the Crow Creek Reservation were sent to the Santee Sioux Reservation.
The Iháŋkthuŋwaŋ-Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna, also known by the anglicized spelling Yankton (Iháŋkthuŋwaŋ: "End village") and Yanktonai (Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna: "Little end village") divisions consist of two bands or two of the seven council fires. According to Nasunatanka and Matononpa in 1880, the Yanktonai are divided into two sub-groups known as the Upper Yanktonai and the Lower Yanktonai (Hunkpatina). Today, most of the Yanktons live on the Yankton Indian Reservation in southeastern South Dakota. Some Yankton live on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation and Crow Creek Indian Reservation. The Yanktonai are divided into Lower Yanktonai, who occupy the Crow Creek Reservation; and Upper Yanktonai, who live in the northern part of Standing Rock Indian Reservation, on the Spirit Lake Tribe in central North Dakota, and in the eastern half of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana. In addition, they reside at several Canadian reserves, including Birdtail, Oak Lake, and Moose Woods.
The Sioux likely obtained horses sometime during the seventeenth century (although some historians date the arrival of horses in South Dakota to 1720, and credit the Cheyenne with introducing horse culture to the Lakota). The Teton (Lakota) division of the Sioux emerged as a result of this introduction. Dominating the northern Great Plains with their light cavalry, the western Sioux quickly expanded their territory further to the Rocky Mountains (which they call Heska, "white mountains"). The Lakota once subsisted on the bison hunt, and on corn. They acquired corn mostly through trade with the eastern Sioux and their linguistic cousins, the Mandan and Hidatsa along the Missouri River. The name Teton or Thítȟuŋwaŋ is archaic among the people, who prefer to call themselves Lakȟóta. Today, the Lakota are the largest and westernmost of the three groups, occupying lands in both North and South Dakota.
In the late 19th century, railroads wanted to build tracks through Indian lands. The railroad companies hired hunters to exterminate the bison herds, the Plains Indians' primary food supply. The Dakota and Lakota were forced to accept US-defined reservations in exchange for the rest of their lands and farming and ranching of domestic cattle, as opposed to a nomadic, hunting economy. During the first years of the Reservation Era, the Sioux people depended upon annual federal payments guaranteed by treaty for survival.
Today, half of all enrolled Sioux in the United States live off reservation. Enrolled members in any of the Sioux tribes in the United States are required to have ancestry that is at least 1/4 degree Sioux (the equivalent to one grandparent).
|Fort Peck Indian Reservation||Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes||Hunkpapa, Upper Yanktonai (Pabaksa), Sisseton, Wahpeton, and the Hudesabina (Red Bottom), Wadopabina (Canoe Paddler), Wadopahnatonwan (Canoe Paddlers Who Live on the Prairie), Sahiyaiyeskabi (Plains Cree-Speakers), Inyantonwanbina (Stone People), and Fat Horse Band of the Assiniboine||Montana, US|
|Spirit Lake Reservation
(Formerly Devil's Lake Reservation)
|Spirit Lake Tribe
(Mni Wakan Oyate)
|Wahpeton, Sisseton, Upper Yanktonai||North Dakota, US|
|Standing Rock Indian Reservation||Standing Rock Sioux Tribe||Upper Yanktonai, Hunkpapa||North Dakota, South Dakota, US|
|Lake Traverse Indian Reservation||Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate||Sisseton, Wahpeton||South Dakota, US|
|Flandreau Indian Reservation||Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Wahpeton||South Dakota, US|
|Cheyenne River Indian Reservation||Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe||Minneconjou, Blackfoot, Two Kettle, Sans Arc||South Dakota, US|
|Crow Creek Indian Reservation||Crow Creek Sioux Tribe||Lower Yanktonai||South Dakota, US|
|Lower Brule Indian Reservation||Lower Brule Sioux Tribe||Brulé||South Dakota, US|
|Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation||Yankton Sioux Tribe||Yankton||South Dakota, US|
|Pine Ridge Indian Reservation||Oglala Lakota||Oglala, few Brulé||South Dakota, US|
|Rosebud Indian Reservation||Rosebud Sioux Tribe (also as Sicangu Lakota or Upper Brulé Sioux Nation)
|Sićangu (Brulé), few Oglala||South Dakota, US|
|Upper Sioux Indian Reservation||Upper Sioux Community
|Mdewakanton, Sisseton, Wahpeton||Minnesota, US|
|Lower Sioux Indian Reservation||Lower Sioux Indian Community||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Minnesota, US|
|Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation
(Formerly Prior Lake Indian Reservation)
|Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Minnesota, US|
|Prairie Island Indian Community||Prairie Island Indian Community||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Minnesota, US|
|Santee Indian Reservation||Santee Sioux Nation||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Nebraska, US|
|Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve*||Sioux Valley First Nation||Sisseton, Mdewakanton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute||Manitoba, Canada|
|Dakota Plains Indian Reserve 6A||Dakota Plains First Nation||Wahpeton, Sisseton||Manitoba, Canada|
|Dakota Tipi 1 Reserve||Dakota Tipi First Nation||Wahpeton||Manitoba, Canada|
|Birdtail Creek 57 Reserve, Birdtail Hay Lands 57A Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve*||Birdtail Sioux First Nation||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Yanktonai||Manitoba, Canada|
|Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation, Oak Lake 59A Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve*||Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation||Wahpekute, Wahpeton, Yanktonai||Manitoba, Canada|
|Standing Buffalo 78 Reserve||Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation||Sisseton, Wahpeton||Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Whitecap Reserve||Whitecap Dakota First Nation||Wahpeton, Sisseton||Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Wood Mountain 160 Reserve, Treaty Four Reserve Grounds Indian Reserve No. 77*||Wood Mountain||Assiniboine (Nakota), Hunkpapa||Saskatchewan, Canada|
The Sioux tribe, like many North American tribal religions, "were performative, oral, and variable within each community as each generation drew upon its tradition in order to create its own religious forms, derived from experience". "Aboriginal Indian Religions, North of Mexico, were locally produced modes of relationships between communities of associated individuals and their ultimate sources of life... wind, sun, thunderers, animals, corn, etc". Sioux Nation religious beliefs revolve around the Wakan Tanka, which is synonymous with the Great Spirit. Two of their central religious ceremonies are the Sun Dance and the Ghost Dance. The Sioux Nation was one of the few Native American peoples who practiced the Sun Dance and the Ghost Dance.
The Seven Council Fires would assemble each summer to hold council, renew kinships, decide tribal matters, and participate in the Sun Dance. The seven divisions would select four leaders known as Wičháša Yatápika from among the leaders of each division. Being one of the four leaders was considered the highest honor for a leader; however, the annual gathering meant the majority of tribal administration was cared for by the usual leaders of each division. The last meeting of the Seven Council Fires was in 1850. The historical political organization was based on individual participation and the cooperation of many to sustain the tribe's way of life. Leaders were chosen based upon noble birth and demonstrations of chiefly virtues, such as bravery, fortitude, generosity, and wisdom.
The Dakota are first recorded to have resided at the source of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes during the seventeenth century. They were dispersed west in 1659 due to warfare with the Iroquois. By 1700 the Dakota Sioux were living in Wisconsin and Minnesota, at this time they exterminated the Wicosawan, another Siouan people in 1710. A split of branch known as the Lakota had migrated to present-day South Dakota. Late in the 17th century, the Dakota entered into an alliance with French merchants. The French were trying to gain advantage in the struggle for the North American fur trade against the English, who had recently established the Hudson's Bay Company.
The first recorded encounter between the Sioux and the French occurred when Radisson and Groseilliers reached what is now Wisconsin during the winter of 1659–60. Later visiting French traders and missionaries included Claude-Jean Allouez, Daniel Greysolon Duluth, and Pierre-Charles Le Sueur who wintered with Dakota bands in early 1700. In 1736 a group of Sioux killed Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye and twenty other men on an island in Lake of the Woods. However, trade with the French continued until the French gave up North America in 1763.
The Pawnee Indians had a long tradition of living in present-day Nebraska. Their first land cession to the United States took place in 1833 when they sold land south of the Platte River. The Massacre Canyon battlefield near Republican River is located within this area. Forty years and two land cessions later, the tribe lived in a small reservation on old Pawnee land, present-day Nance County. The Pawnees had kept a right to hunt buffalo on their vast, ancient range between the Loup, Platte and Republican rivers in Nebraska and south into northern Kansas, now territory of the United States. They had suffered continual attacks by the Lakota that increased violently in the early 1840s.  The Lakota lived north of the Pawnee. In 1868 they had entered into a treaty with the United States and agreed to live in the Great Sioux Reservation in present-day South Dakota. By Article 11 they (also) received a right to hunt along the Republican, almost 200 miles south of the reservation. Both the Pawnee and the Lakota complained regularly over attacks by the other tribe. An attempt to make peace in 1871 with the United States as intermediary came to nothing.
The Massacre Canyon battle took place in Nebraska on August 5, 1873 near the Republican River. It was one of the last hostilities between the Pawnee and the Lakota and the last battle/massacre between Great Plains Indians in North America. The massacre occurred when a large Oglala/Brulé Sioux war party of over 1,500 warriors led by Two Strike, Little Wound, and Spotted Tail attacked a band of Pawnee during their summer buffalo hunt. In the ensuing rout more than 75–100 Pawnees were killed, men with mostly women and children, the victims suffering mutilation and some set on fire.
The Pawnee were traveling along the west bank of the canyon, which runs south to the Republican River, when they were attacked. "A census taken at the Pawnee Agency in September, according [to] Agent Burgess. . ." (see "Massacre Canyon Monument" article in External Links section) found that "71 Pawnee warriors were killed, and 102 women and children killed", the victims brutally mutilated and scalped and others even set on fire" although Trail Agent John Williamson's account states 156 Pawnee died (page 388). It is likely the death toll would have been higher, for Williamson noted ". . . a company of United States cavalry emerge[d] from the timber. When the Sioux saw the soldiers approaching they beat a hasty retreat." (page 387), although "Recently discovered military documents disproved the old theory" per the "Massacre Canyon Monument" article. This massacre is by some considered one of the factors that led to the Pawnees' decision to move to a reservation in Indian Territory in what is today Oklahoma. The Pawnee disagree.
By 1862, shortly after a failed crop the year before and a winter starvation, the federal payment was late. The local traders would not issue any more credit to the Santee and one trader, Andrew Myrick, went so far as to say, "If they're hungry, let them eat grass." On August 17, 1862 the Dakota War began when a few Santee men murdered a white farmer and most of his family. They inspired further attacks on white settlements along the Minnesota River. The Santee attacked the trading post. Later, settlers found Myrick among the dead with his mouth stuffed full of grass.
On November 5, 1862 in Minnesota, in courts-martial, 303 Santee Sioux were found guilty of rape and murder of hundreds of American settlers. They were sentenced to be hanged. No attorneys or witnesses were allowed as a defense for the accused, and many were convicted in less than five minutes of court time with the judge. President Abraham Lincoln commuted the death sentences of 284 of the warriors, while signing off on the hanging of 38 Santee men on December 26, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota. It was the largest mass-execution in U.S. history, on US soil.
Afterwards, the US suspended treaty annuities to the Dakota for four years and awarded the money to the white victims and their families. The men remanded by order of President Lincoln were sent to a prison in Iowa, where more than half died.
During and after the revolt, many Santee and their kin fled Minnesota and Eastern Dakota to Canada, or settled in the James River Valley in a short-lived reservation before being forced to move to Crow Creek Reservation on the east bank of the Missouri. A few joined the Yanktonai and moved further west to join with the Lakota bands to continue their struggle against the United States military.
Others were able to remain in Minnesota and the east, in small reservations existing into the 21st century, including Sisseton-Wahpeton, Flandreau, and Devils Lake (Spirit Lake or Fort Totten) Reservations in the Dakotas. Some ended up in Nebraska, where the Santee Sioux Reservation today has a reservation on the south bank of the Missouri.
Those who fled to Canada now have descendants residing on nine small Dakota Reserves, five of which are located in Manitoba (Sioux Valley, Long Plain, Dakota Tipi, Birdtail Creek, and Oak Lake [Pipestone]) and the remaining four (Standing Buffalo, Moose Woods [White Cap], Round Plain [Wahpeton], and Wood Mountain) in Saskatchewan.
Red Cloud's War (also referred to as the Bozeman War) was an armed conflict between the Lakota and the United States Army in the Wyoming Territory and the Montana Territory from 1866 to 1868. The war was fought over control of the Powder River Country in north central Wyoming.
The war is named after Red Cloud, a prominent Sioux chief who led the war against the United States following encroachment into the area by the U.S. military. The war ended with the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Sioux victory in the war led to their temporarily preserving their control of the Powder River country.
The Great Sioux War of 1876, also known as the Black Hills War, was a series of battles and negotiations which occurred in 1876 and 1877 between the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and the United States. The cause of the war was the desire of the U.S. government to obtain ownership of the Black Hills. Gold had been discovered in the Black Hills, settlers began to encroach onto Native American lands, and the Sioux and Cheyenne refused to cede ownership to the U.S. Traditionally, the United States military and historians place the Lakota at the center of the story, especially given their numbers, but some Indians believe the Cheyenne were the primary target of the U.S. campaign.
The earliest engagement was the Battle of Powder River, and the final battle was the Wolf Mountain. Included are the Battle of the Rosebud, Battle of Warbonnet Creek, Battle of Slim Buttes, Battle of Cedar Creek, and the Dull Knife Fight.
Among the many battles and skirmishes of the war was the Battle of the Little Bighorn, often known as Custer's Last Stand, the most storied of the many encounters between the U.S. army and mounted Plains Indians. The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and also commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of US forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It took place on June 25–26, 1876, along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory.
The fight was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, and had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). The US 7th Cavalry, a force of 700 men, suffered a major defeat while under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (formerly a brevetted major general during the American Civil War). Five of the 7th Cavalry's twelve companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law. The total US casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (six died later from their wounds), including four Crow Indian scouts and at least two Arikara Indian scouts. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument honors those who fought on both sides.
That Indian victory notwithstanding, the U.S. leveraged national resources to force the Indians to surrender, primarily by attacking and destroying their encampments and property. The Great Sioux War took place under the presidencies of Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes. The Agreement of 1877 (19 Stat. 254, enacted February 28, 1877) officially annexed Sioux land and permanently established Indian reservations.
The massacre at Wounded Knee Creek was the last major armed conflict between the Lakota and the United States. It was described as a "massacre" by General Nelson A. Miles in a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
On December 29, 1890, five hundred troops of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, supported by four Hotchkiss guns (a lightweight artillery piece capable of rapid fire), surrounded an encampment of the Lakota bands of the Miniconjou and Hunkpapa with orders to escort them to the railroad for transport to Omaha, Nebraska.
By the time it was over, 25 troopers and more than 150 Lakota Sioux lay dead, including men, women, and children. It remains unknown which side was responsible for the first shot; some of the soldiers are believed to have been the victims of "friendly fire" because the shooting took place at point-blank range in chaotic conditions. Around 150 Lakota are believed to have fled the chaos, many of whom may have died from hypothermia.
The Wounded Knee incident began February 27, 1973 when the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota was seized by followers of the American Indian Movement. The occupiers controlled the town for 71 days while various state and federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Marshals Service laid siege. Two members of A.I.M. were killed by gunfire during the incident.
The Lakota Freedom Delegation, a group of controversial Native American activists, declared on December 19, 2007 the Lakota were withdrawing from all treaties signed with the United States to regain sovereignty over their nation. One of the activists, Russell Means, claimed that the action is legal and cites natural, international and US law. The group considers Lakota to be a sovereign nation, although as yet the state is generally unrecognized. The proposed borders reclaim thousands of square kilometres of North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. It is to be noted that not all leaders of the Lakota Tribal Governments support or recognize the declaration.
Throughout the decades, thousands of Native American children were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to boarding schools with a primary objective of assimilating Native American children and youth into Euro-American culture, while at the same time providing a basic education in Euro-American subject matters. Many children lost knowledge of their culture and languages, as well as faced physical and sexual abuse at these schools. In 1978, the government tried to put an end to these boarding schools (and placement into foster families) with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which says except in the rarest circumstances, Native American children must be placed with their relatives or tribes. It also says states must do everything it can to keep native families together.
In 2011, the Lakota made national news when NPR's investigative series called Lost Children, Shattered Families aired. It exposed what many critics consider to be the "kidnapping" of Lakota children from their homes by the state of South Dakota's Department of Social Services. The NPR investigation found South Dakota has the most cases which fail to abide by the ICWA. In South Dakota, Native American children make up less than 15 percent of the child population, yet they make up more than half of the children in foster care. The state receives thousands of dollars from the federal government for every child it takes from a family, and in some cases the state gets even more money if the child is Native American.
Lakota activists Madonna Thunder Hawk and Chase Iron Eyes worked with the Lakota People's Law Project as they sought to end what they claimed were unlawful seizures of Native American Lakota children in South Dakota, and stop the state practice of placing these children in non-Native homes. They are currently working to redirect federal funding away from the state of South Dakota's Department of Social Systems to a new tribal foster care programs. In 2015, in response to the investigative reports by NPR, the Lakota People's Law Project as well as the coalition of all nine Lakota/Dakota reservations in South Dakota, the Bureau of Indian Affairs updated the ICWA guidelines to give more strength to tribes to intervene on behalf of the children, stating, "The updated guidelines establish that an Indian child, parent or Indian custodian, or tribe may petition to invalidate an action if the Act or guidelines have been violated, regardless of which party’s rights were violated. This approach promotes compliance with ICWA and reflects that ICWA is intended to protect the rights of each of these parties." The new guidelines also not only prevent courts from taking children away based on socioeconomic status but give a strict definition of what is to be considered harmful living conditions. Previously, the state of South Dakota used "being poor" as harmful.
In the summer of 2016, Sioux Indians and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began a protest against construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, also known as the Bakken pipeline, which, if completed, is designed to carry hydrofracked crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to the oil storage and transfer hub of Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline travels only half a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and is designed to pass underneath the Missouri River and upstream of the reservation, causing many concerns over the tribe's drinking water safety, environmental protection, and harmful impacts on culture. The pipeline company claims that the pipeline will provide jobs, reduce American dependence on foreign oil and reduce the price of gas.
The conflict sparked a nationwide debate and much news media coverage. Thousands of indigenous and non-indigenous supporters joined the protest, and several camp sites were set up south of the construction zone. The protest was peaceful, and alcohol, drugs and firearms were not allowed at the campsite or the protest site. On August 23, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe released a list of 87 tribal governments who wrote resolutions, proclamations and letters of support stating their solidarity with Standing Rock and the Sioux people. Since then, many more Native American organizations, environmental groups and civil rights groups have joined the effort in North Dakota, including the Black Lives Matter movement, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka, and many more. The Washington Post called it a "National movement for Native Americans."
Contemporary Sioux people are listed under the tribes to which they belong.
The Bell H-13 Sioux was a single-engine single-rotor light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter. Westland Aircraft manufactured the Sioux under license for the British military as the Sioux AH.1 and HT.2.CFS Sioux Lookout
Canadian Forces Station Sioux Lookout (ADC ID: C-16) is a closed General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 3.7 miles (6.0 km) west of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. It was closed in 1987.
It was operated as part of the Pinetree Line network controlled by NORAD.Dakota War of 1862
The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, the Dakota Uprising, the Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow's War, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of Dakota (also known as the eastern 'Sioux'). It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota, four years after its admission as a state. Throughout the late 1850s in the lead-up to the war, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. During the war, the Dakota made extensive attacks on hundreds of settlers and immigrants, which resulted in settler deaths, and caused many to flee the area. Intense desire for immediate revenge ended with soldiers capturing hundreds of Dakota men and interning their families. A military tribunal quickly tried the men, sentencing 303 to death for their crimes. President Lincoln would later commute the sentence of 264 of them. The mass hanging of 38 Dakota men was conducted on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota; it was the largest mass execution in United States history.
Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862, the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.On August 17, 1862, one young Dakota with a hunting party of three others killed five settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, although in President Abraham Lincoln's second annual address, he said that no fewer than 800 men, women, and children had died.
Over the next several months, continued battles of the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands. By late December 1862, US soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, including women, children and elderly men in addition to warriors, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing by a military court, 38 Dakota men were hanged on December 26, 1862 in Mankato in the largest one-day mass execution in American history. In April 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations. Additionally, the Ho-Chunk people living on reservation lands near Mankato were expelled from Minnesota as a result of the war.Dakota people
The Dakota (pronounced [daˈkˣota], Dakota language: Dakȟóta/Dakhóta) are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government in North America. They compose two of the three main subcultures of the Sioux people, and are typically divided into the Eastern Dakota and the Western Dakota.
The Eastern Dakota are the Santee (Isáŋyathi or Isáŋ-athi; "knife" + "encampment", ″dwells at the place of knife flint″), who reside in the eastern Dakotas, central Minnesota and northern Iowa. They have federally recognized tribes established in several places.
The Western Dakota are the Yankton, and the Yanktonai (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ and Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna; "Village-at-the-end" and "Little village-at-the-end"), who reside in the Upper Missouri River area. The Yankton-Yanktonai are collectively also referred to by the endonym Wičhíyena (″Those Who Speak Like Men″). They also have distinct federally recognized tribes.
In the past the Western Dakota have been erroneously classified as Nakota, a branch of the Sioux who moved further west. The latter are now located in Montana and across the border in Canada, where they are known as Stoney.Great Sioux War of 1876
The Great Sioux War of 1876, also known as the Black Hills War, was a series of battles and negotiations which occurred in 1876 and 1877 between the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and the United States. The cause of the war was the desire of the U.S. government to obtain ownership of the Black Hills. Gold had been discovered in the Black Hills, settlers began to encroach onto Native American lands, and the Sioux and Cheyenne refused to cede ownership to the U.S. Traditionally, the United States military and historians place the Lakota at the center of the story, especially given their numbers, but some Indians believe the Cheyenne were the primary target of the U.S. campaign.Among the many battles and skirmishes of the war was the Battle of the Little Bighorn, often known as Custer's Last Stand, the most storied of the many encounters between the U.S. army and mounted Plains Indians. That Indian victory notwithstanding, the U.S. leveraged national resources to force the Indians to surrender, primarily by attacking and destroying their encampments and property. The Great Sioux War took place under the presidencies of Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes. The Agreement of 1877 (19 Stat. 254, enacted February 28, 1877) officially annexed Sioux land and permanently established Indian reservations.Lakota people
The Lakota (pronounced [laˈkˣota], Lakota language: Lakȟóta) are a Native American tribe. Also known as the Teton Sioux (from Thítȟuŋwaŋ), they are one of the three Sioux tribes of Plains. Their current lands are in North and South Dakota. They speak Lakȟótiyapi—the Lakota language, the westernmost of three closely related languages that belong to the Siouan language family.
The seven bands or "sub-tribes" of the Lakota are:
Sičháŋǧu (Brulé, Burned Thighs)
Oglála ("They Scatter Their Own")
Itázipčho (Sans Arc, Without Bows)
Húŋkpapȟa (Hunkpapa, "End Village", Camps at the End of the Camp Circle)
Mnikȟówožu (Miniconjou, "Plant Near Water", Planters by the Water)
Sihásapa ("Blackfeet, or Blackfoot")
Oóhenuŋpa (Two Kettles)Notable Lakota persons include Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull) from the Húnkpapȟa band; Touch the Clouds from the Miniconjou band Maȟpíya Lúta (Red Cloud), Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk), Siŋté Glešká (Spotted Tail), Billy Mills, and the legendary Tȟašúŋke Witkó, Crazy Horse from the Oglala and Miniconjou Band.Oglala
The Oglala (pronounced [oɡəˈlala], meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota people who, along with the Dakota, make up the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires). A majority of the Oglala live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the eighth-largest Native American reservation in the United States.
The Oglala are a federally recognized tribe whose official title is the Oglala Sioux Tribe (previously called the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota). However, many Oglala reject the term "Sioux" due to the hypothesis (among other possible theories) that its origin may be a derogatory word meaning "snake" in the language of the Ojibwe, who were among the historical enemies of the Lakota. They are also known as Oglala Lakota.Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Lakota: Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Originally included within the territory of the Great Sioux Reservation, Pine Ridge was created by the Act of March 2, 1889, 25 Stat. 888. in the southwest corner of South Dakota on the Nebraska border. Today it consists of 3,468.85 sq mi (8,984.3 km2) of land area and is the second-largest reservation in the United States, larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
The reservation encompasses the entirety of Oglala Lakota County and Bennett County, the southern half of Jackson County, and a small section of Sheridan County added by Executive Order No. 2980 of February 20, 1904. Of the 3,142 counties in the United States, these are among the poorest. Only 84,000 acres (340 km2) of land are suitable for agriculture. The 2000 census population of the reservation was 15,521; but a study conducted by Colorado State University and accepted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has estimated the resident population to reach 28,787.Pine Ridge is the site of several events that mark milestones in the history between the Sioux of the area and the United States (U.S.) government. Stronghold Table—a mesa in what is today the Oglala-administered portion of Badlands National Park—was the location of the last of the Ghost Dances. The U.S. authorities' attempt to repress this movement eventually led to the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29, 1890. A mixed band of Miniconjou Lakota and Hunkpapa Sioux, led by Chief Spotted Elk, sought sanctuary at Pine Ridge after fleeing the Standing Rock Agency, where Sitting Bull had been killed during efforts to arrest him. The families were intercepted by a heavily armed detachment of the Seventh Cavalry, which attacked them, killing many women and children as well as warriors. This was the last large engagement between U.S. forces and Native Americans and marked the end of the western frontier.
Changes accumulated in the last quarter of the 20th century; in 1971 the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) started Oglala Lakota College, a tribal college, which offers 4-year degrees. In 1973 decades of discontent at the Pine Ridge Reservation resulted in a grassroots protest that escalated into the Wounded Knee Incident, gaining national attention. Members of the Oglala Lakota, the American Indian Movement and supporters occupied the town in defiance of federal and state law enforcement in a protest that turned into an armed standoff lasting 71 days. This event inspired American Indians across the country and gradually led to changes at the reservation, with a revival of some cultural traditions. In 1981 the Lakota Tim Giago started the Lakota Times at Pine Ridge; he published it until selling it in 1998.
Located at the southern end of the Badlands, the reservation is part of the mixed grass prairie, an ecological transition zone between the short-grass and tall-grass prairies; all are part of the Great Plains. A great variety of plant and animal life flourishes on and adjacent to the reservation, including the endangered black-footed ferret. The area is also important in the field of paleontology; it contains deposits of Pierre Shale formed on the seafloor of the Western Interior Seaway, evidence of the marine Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, and one of the largest deposits of fossils of extinct mammals from the Oligocene epoch.Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City () is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, which makes it the fourth largest city in Iowa. The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County. Sioux City is located at the navigational head of the Missouri River. The city is home to several cultural points of interest including the Sioux City Public Museum, Sioux City Art Center and Sergeant Floyd Monument, which is a National Historic Landmark. The city is also home to Chris Larsen Park, commonly referred to as “the Riverfront,” includes the Anderson Dance Pavilion, Sergeant Floyd Riverboat Museum and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
Sioux City is the primary city of the five-county Sioux City, IA–NE–SD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 168,825 in 2010 and a slight increase to an estimated 168,921 in 2012. The Sioux City–Vermillion, IA–NE–SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 182,675 as of 2010 and has grown to an estimated population of 183,052 as of 2012.Sioux City is at the navigational head, or the most upstream point to which general cargo ships can travel, of the Missouri River, about 95 miles (153 km) north of the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area. Sioux City and the surrounding areas of northwestern Iowa, northeastern Nebraska and southeastern South Dakota are sometimes referred to as Siouxland, especially by local media and residents
It is also a part of the Sioux Falls-Sioux City Designated Market Area (DMA), a larger media market region that covers parts of four states and has a population of 1,043,450.Sioux City Air National Guard Base
Sioux City Air National Guard Base is a United States Air Force base, located at Sioux Gateway Airport It is located 7.2 miles (11.6 km) south-southeast of Sioux City, Iowa. On 25 May 2002, the airport was named "Colonel Bud Day Field" in honor of United States Air Force Colonel George Everette "Bud" Day, a Sioux City, Iowa native and is the only person ever awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross.Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls () (Lakota: Íŋyaŋ Okábleča Otȟúŋwahe; "Stone Shatter City") is the most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the 143rd-most populous city in the United States. It is the county seat of Minnehaha County and also extends into Lincoln County to the south, proximate with the Minnesota state line. It is the 47th-fastest-growing city in the United States and the fastest-growing metro area in South Dakota, with a population increase of 22% between 2000 and 2010.As of 2019, Sioux Falls had an estimated population of 187,200. The metropolitan population of 259,094 accounts for 29% of South Dakota's population. It is also the primary city of the Sioux Falls-Sioux City Designated Market Area (DMA), a larger media market region that covers parts of four states and has a population of 1,043,450. Chartered in 1856 on the banks of the Big Sioux River, the city is situated in the rolling hills at the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 29.Sioux Falls Skyforce
The Sioux Falls Skyforce are an American professional basketball team that plays in the NBA G League. They are based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and currently play at Heritage Court in the Sanford Pentagon, a place they have called home since the 2013–14 season.
The Skyforce began in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) in 1989. They played their home games at Sioux Falls Arena from then until the move to the Pentagon in 2013. They participated in four CBA championship finals, winning the championship trophy in 1996 (defeating the Fort Wayne Fury, four games to one) and 2005 (defeating the Rockford Lightning three games to one).Siouxland
Siouxland is a vernacular region that encompasses the entire Big Sioux River drainage basin in the U.S. states of South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.A "vernacular region" is a distinctive area where the inhabitants collectively consider themselves interconnected by a shared history, mutual interests, and a common identity. Such regions are "intellectual inventions" and a form of shorthand to identify things, people, and places. Vernacular regions reflect a "sense of place," but rarely coincide with established jurisdictional borders.The lower Big Sioux River drainage basin stretches from Sioux City, Iowa, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, an area that includes much of northwestern Iowa, the northeast corner of Nebraska, the southeast corner of South Dakota, and the extreme southwest corner of Minnesota.
The term "Siouxland" was coined by author Frederick Manfred in 1946. Manfred was born in Doon, Iowa, a small town in Lyon County.South Dakota
South Dakota ( (listen)) is a U.S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city.
South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota (to the north), Minnesota (to the east), Iowa (to the southeast), Nebraska (to the south), Wyoming (to the west), and Montana (to the northwest). The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River".Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, are in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome.
Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming.
While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still strongly influence the state's culture.South Sioux City, Nebraska
South Sioux City is a city in Dakota County, Nebraska, United States. It is located immediately across the Missouri River from Sioux City, Iowa, and is part of the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 13,353, making it the 14th largest city in Nebraska.Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)
The Treaty of Fort Laramie (also the Sioux Treaty of 1868) was an agreement between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota and Arapaho Nation, following the failure of the first Fort Laramie treaty, signed in 1851.
The treaty was divided into 17 articles. It established the Great Sioux Reservation including ownership of the Black Hills, and set aside additional lands as "unceded Indian territory" in areas of South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska, and possibly Montana. It established that the US government would hold authority to punish not only white settlers who committed crimes against the tribes, but also tribe members who committed crimes and who were to be delivered to the government rather than face charges in tribal courts. It stipulated that the government would abandon forts along the Bozeman Trail, and included a number of provisions designed to encourage a transition to farming, and move the tribes "closer to the white man's way of life." The treaty protected specified rights of third parties not partaking in the negotiations, and effectively ended Red Cloud's War.
It was negotiated by members of the government-appointed Indian Peace Commission, and signed between April and November 1868 at and near Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territory, with the final signatories being Red Cloud himself and others who accompanied him. Animosities over the agreement arose quickly, with neither side fully honoring the terms. Open war again broke out in 1876, and the US government unilaterally annexed native land protected under the treaty in 1877.
The treaty formed the basis of the 1980 Supreme Court case, United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, in which the court ruled that tribal lands covered under the treaty had been taken illegally by the US government, and the tribe was owed compensation plus interest. As of 2018 this amounted to more than $1 billion. The Sioux have refused the payment, demanding instead the return of their land.USS Sioux (AT-75)
USS Sioux (AT-75) was a Navajo-class fleet tug of the United States Navy that saw service during World War II, and in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.The ship was laid down on 14 February 1942 by United Engineering Co. of San Francisco, California, at Mare Island Navy Yard. Sioux was launched on 27 May 1942 sponsored by Mrs. Evelyn H. Sims of Jefferson, Texas, the mother of five sons serving in the Navy. USS Sioux commissioned on 6 December 1942, Lt (jg.) L. M. Jahnsen in command.United States Hockey League
The United States Hockey League (USHL) is the top junior ice hockey league sanctioned by USA Hockey. The USHL has 17 member teams located in the Midwestern United States, consisting of players who are 20 years of age and younger. The USHL is strictly amateur, allowing former players to compete in NCAA college hockey.
The 2018 Clark Cup Championship was won by the Fargo Force, their first league championship. The Tri-City Storm won the Anderson Cup as the 2018–19 regular season champions, their second in franchise history.Wounded Knee Massacre
The Wounded Knee Massacre (also called the Battle of Wounded Knee) occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
The previous day, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk's band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them 5 miles (8.0 km) westward to Wounded Knee Creek, where they made camp. The remainder of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth, arrived and surrounded the encampment. The regiment was supported by a battery of four Hotchkiss mountain guns.On the morning of December 29, the U.S. Cavalry troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it. Simultaneously, an old man was performing a ritual called the Ghost Dance. Black Coyote's rifle went off at that point, and the U.S. army began shooting at the Native Americans. The disarmed Lakota warriors did their best to fight back.By the time the massacre was over, between 250 and 300 men, women, and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men and 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five soldiers also died, and 39 were wounded (6 of the wounded later died). At least twenty soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor. In 2001, the National Congress of American Indians passed two resolutions condemning the military awards and called on the U.S. government to rescind them.The Wounded Knee Battlefield, site of the massacre, has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1990, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a resolution on the historical centennial formally expressing "deep regret" for the massacre.