1.a member of a group of North American Indian peoples who spoke a Siouan language and who ranged from Lake Michigan to the Rocky Mountains
SiouxSioux (?), prop. n. sing. & pl. (Ethnol.) A nation of American Indians; see Dakotas.
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Sioux Nation of Indians • University of Sioux Falls • Upper Sioux Agency State Park • Upper Sioux Indian Reservation • Waccamaw Sioux • Washington High School (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) • West Fork of the Little Sioux River • West High School (Sioux City, Iowa) • Whittier Middle School (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) • Yankton Sioux • Yankton Sioux Tribe
|Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa Lakota chief and holy man, circa 1885.|
|Regions with significant populations|
| United States (SD, MN, NE, MT, ND),
Canada (MB, SK, AB)
|Related ethnic groups|
The Sioux ( //) are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects. The Sioux comprise three major divisions based on Siouan dialect and subculture: Isáŋyathi or Isáŋathi ("Knife," originating from the name of a lake in present-day Minnesota), residing in the extreme east of the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa, and are often referred to as the Santee or Eastern Dakota; Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ and Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna ("Village-at-the-end" and "little village-at-the-end"), residing in the Minnesota River area, they are considered to be the middle Sioux, and are often referred to as the Yankton and the Yanktonai, or, collectively, as the Wičhíyena (endonym) or the Western Dakota (and have been erroneously classified as “Nakota”); Thítȟuŋwaŋ or Teton (uncertain, perhaps "Dwellers on the Prairie"; this name is archaic among the natives, who prefer to call themselves Lakȟóta), the westernmost Sioux, known for their hunting and warrior culture, are often referred to as the Lakota.
Today, the Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations, communities, and reserves in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Montana in the United States; and Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan in Canada.
The name "Sioux" is an abbreviated form of Nadouessioux borrowed into Canadian French from Nadoüessioüak from the early Odawa exonym: naadowesiwag "Sioux". Jean Nicolet recorded the use in 1640. The Proto-Algonquian form *na·towe·wa, meaning "Northern Iroquoian", has reflexes in several daughter languages that refer to a small rattlesnake (massasauga, Sistrurus). This information was interpreted by some that the Odawa borrowing was an insult. However, this Proto-Algonquian term most likely was ultimately derived from a form *-a·towe·, meaning simply "to speak a foreign language". - which would make it similar to the etymology of the Greek "Barbarian". Later this was extended in meaning in some Algonquian languages to refer to the massasauga. Thus, contrary to many accounts, the old Odawa word naadowesiwag did not equate the Sioux with snakes. This is not confirmed though, since usage over the previous decades has led to this term having negative connotations to those tribes to which it refers. This would explain why many tribes have rejected this term as an exonym.
Some of the tribes have formally or informally adopted 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 historical Sioux referred to the Great Sioux Nation as the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (pronounced [oˈtʃʰetʰi ʃaˈkowĩ]), meaning "Seven Council Fires". Each fire was a symbol of an oyate (people or nation). The seven nations that comprise the Sioux are: Bdewákaŋthuŋwaŋ (Mdewakanton), Waȟpéthuŋwaŋ (Wahpeton), Waȟpékhute (Wahpekute), Sisíthuŋwaŋ (Sisseton), the Iháŋkthuŋwaŋ (Yankton), Iháŋkthuŋwaŋna (Yanktonai), and the Thítȟuŋwaŋ (Teton or Lakota). 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.
Today the Teton, Santee, and Ihantowan/Ihanktowana are usually known, respectively, as the Lakota, Eastern Dakota, or Western Dakota. In any of the three main dialects, "Lakota" or "Dakota" translate to mean "friend," or more properly, "ally." Usage of Lakota or Dakota may then refer to the alliance that once bound the Great Sioux Nation.
The Dakota are first recorded to have resided at the source of the Mississippi River during the seventeenth century. By 1700 some 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 Sioux and French first met when the French were trying to get more tribes on their side against the British Forces. This was the first contact between these particular Sioux tribes and White traders. The Sioux and the French traded many things in peace, until the French started trading with the Sioux's rival tribes. This sparked a lot of unrest and the trading ceased. The first recorded meeting between these two was 1640. Eventually the Sioux were forced down to Mississippi at one point during the war with the French who were much stronger as a whole army.
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 witness 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 sentence of 284 of the warriors, while signing off on the execution of 38 Santee men by hanging on December 26, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota. It was the largest mass-execution in U.S. history.
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 Tribe 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 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 comprised a series of battles between the Lakota and allied tribes such as the Cheyenne against the United States military. 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 the Little Bighorn, Battle of Warbonnet Creek, Battle of Slim Buttes, Battle of Cedar Creek, and the Dull Knife Fight. The Great Sioux War of 1876-77 was also known as the Black Hills War, and was centered around the Lakota tribes of the Sioux, although several Native Americans believe that the primary target of the United States military was the Northern Cheyenne tribe. The series of battles occurred in Montana territory, Dakota territory, and Wyoming territory, and resulted in a victory for the United States military.
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 U.S. 7th Cavalry, 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. The first shot (that started this Massacre) between the Sioux and the US was shot, but no one really knows who shot it, and how it was shot; accident or on purpose.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.
In the Sioux community, people usually marry between 12-15 years old. Before you get married, you are not allowed to be alone with your bride. The couple would meet in front of the woman's parents's teepee, where a blanket would be put over the two and there, you could talk in private (when in public.)Woman and men are perceived to have equal power and decision making. The men are usually chiefs of politics, war leaders or warriors. The woman are in charge food, the house and other items. The older woman were actually very respected in the community.
Later in the 19th century, the railroads hired hunters to exterminate the buffalo herds, the Indians' primary food supply. The Santee and Lakota were forced to accept white-defined reservations in exchange for the rest of their lands, and domestic cattle and corn in exchange for buffalo. They became dependent upon annual federal payments guaranteed by treaty.
In Minnesota, the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota in 1851 left the Sioux with a reservation twenty miles (32 km) wide on each side of the Minnesota River. Today, one half of all enrolled Sioux in the United States live off the 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 Paddlerrs Who Live on the Prairie), Sahiyaiyeskabi (Plains Cree-Speakers), Inyantonwanbina (Stone People) and Fat Horse Band of the Assiniboine||Montana, USA|
|Spirit Lake Reservation
(Formerly Devil's Lake Reservation)
|Spirit Lake Tribe
(Mni Wakan Oyate)
|Wahpeton, Sisseton, Upper Yanktonai||North Dakota, USA|
|Standing Rock Indian Reservation||Standing Rock Sioux Tribe||Upper Yanktonai, Hunkpapa||North Dakota, South Dakota, USA|
|Lake Traverse Indian Reservation||Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate||Sisseton, Wahpeton||South Dakota, USA|
|Flandreau Indian Reservation||Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Wahpeton||South Dakota, USA|
|Cheyenne River Indian Reservation||Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe||Minneconjou, Blackfoot, Two Kettle, Sans Arc||South Dakota, USA|
|Crow Creek Indian Reservation||Crow Creek Sioux Tribe||Lower Yanktonai||South Dakota, USA|
|Lower Brule Indian Reservation||Lower Brule Sioux Tribe||Brulé||South Dakota, USA|
|Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation||Yankton Sioux Tribe||Yankton||South Dakota, USA|
|Pine Ridge Indian Reservation||Oglala Lakota||Oglala, few Brulé||South Dakota, USA|
|Rosebud Indian Reservation||Rosebud Sioux Tribe (also as Sicangu Lakota or Upper Brulé Sioux Nation)
|Sićangu (Brulé), few Oglala||South Dakota, USA|
|Upper Sioux Indian Reservation||Upper Sioux Community
|Mdewakanton, Sisseton, Wahpeton||Minnesota, USA|
|Lower Sioux Indian Reservation||Lower Sioux Indian Community||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Minnesota, USA|
|Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation
(Formerly Prior Lake Indian Reservation)
|Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Minnesota, USA|
|Prairie Island Indian Community||Prairie Island Indian Community||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Minnesota, USA|
|Santee Indian Reservation||Santee Sioux Nation||Mdewakanton, Wahpekute||Nebraska, USA|
|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 Wahpeton 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 Reserve, Oak Lake 59A Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve*||Canupawakpa Dakota 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|
|Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation||Wahpeton||Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Wood Mountain 160 Reserve, Treaty Four Reserve Grounds Indian Reservation 77*||Wood Mountain||Hunkpapa||Saskatchewan, Canada|
Beginning in the late 1960s, young Native Americans began to agitate for improved conditions, respect for their civil rights, and better programs in education and economic development. Dramatic protests were conceived, such as the occupation of Alcatraz Island in California.
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 F.B.I. and the United States Marshals Service laid siege. Two members of A.I.M. were killed by gunfire during the incident.
The Lakotah Freedom Delegation, a group of controversial Native American activists, declared on December 19, 2007 the Lakotah were withdrawing from all treaties signed with the United States to regain sovereignty over their nation. One of the activists, Russell Means, claims that the action is legal and cites Natural, International and U.S. law. The group considers Lakotah 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.
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 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. they usually lived in ti-pis such as shown in the picture, that they would all set up together as a tribe.
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.
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 Santee migrated north and westward from the Southeast 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 subsistence farming.
Migrations of Anishinaabe/Chippewa (Ojibwe) people 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.
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).
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 buffalo 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.
The Sioux are divided into three ethnic groups, the larger of which are divided into sub-groups, and further branched into bands.
Today, many Sioux also live outside their reservations.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sioux|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Sioux.|
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