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Great Sioux Nation - Page 2

Regional and State DVD's

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The Dakota

The Dakota Sioux, also called the Santee Sioux, originally migrated northeast into Ohio and Minnesota. The name "Santee" comes from camping for long periods in a place where they collected stone for making knives  Woodland people, they thrived on hunting, fishing and some farming. It was from the Dakota, that the Lakota stemmed, moving further west into the great plains.

There are four bands in the Dakota tribe, who primarily live in South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota, including:

  • Mdewakantonwon

  • Wahpeton

  • Wahpekute

  • Sisseton

 

Major Sioux Battles, courtesy the History Channel

 

Fort Buford, North Dakota : site of Sitting Bull surrender 1881.
Fort Laramie, Wyoming: Site of Treaty of 1868.
Battle of Little Bighorn,
Montana, 1876.
Wounded Knee,
South Dakota , 1890
Battle of Wolf Mountain,
Montana: Site of Crazy Horse surrender 1877.

 

In the 19th century, the railroads hired hunters to exterminate the buffalo herds, in order to force the tribes onto reservations. As the buffalo quickly came almost extinct, both the Dakota and Lakota were forced to accept white-defined reservations in exchange for the rest of their lands. Domestic cattle and corn were given to the Sioux in exchange for buffalo, making the Sioux dependent upon the government for food and payments  guaranteed by treaty.

In 1862, after a failed crop the year before and a winter starvation, the federal payment was late to arrive. The local traders would not issue any more credit to the Dakota and the local federal agent told the Dakota that they were free to eat grass. As a result on August 17, 1862, the Sioux Uprising began when a few Dakota men attacked a white farmer, igniting further attacks on white settlements along the Minnesota River. The US Army put the revolt down, then later tried and condemned 303 Dakota for war crimes. President Abraham Lincoln remanded the death sentence of 285 of the warriors, signing off on the execution of 38 Dakota men by hanging on December 29, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota, the largest mass execution in US history.

The Nakota

The Nakota, also known as the Yanktonai or Yankton Sioux, split from the Dakota and moved to the prairies in the region that is now southeast South Dakota. They were divided into three bands: Yankton who are now on the Yankton Reservation in South Dakota; the Upper Yanktonai who are split between the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota and the Devil's Lake Reservation in North Dakota; and the Lower Yanktonai who are split between the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota and the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana.

Modern Sioux

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sioux Indians were entitled to an award of $17.5 million, plus 5% interest per year since 1877, totaling about $106 million in compensation for the unjust taking of the Black Hills and in direct contravention of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Sioux have refused to take the money and sits in a trust fund in Washington, collecting interest.

 

Today, there is division among the Sioux as to whether to claim the money, therefore relinquishing their rights to the Black Hills forever, or to press for the return of the Black Hills.

 

Sioux Hunter

Sioux Indians on horseback.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!

 

The Great Sioux Nation covers 2,782 square miles in South Dakota and neighboring states. Constituting one of the largest Native American groups, the Sioux primarily live on reservations in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is the second largest in the United States. Many are engaged in farming and ranching, including the raising of bison. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux have a large casino on their reservation in Minnesota, but Oglala efforts to establish one at impoverished Pine Ridge have met with only partial success. Indian Country Today, a successful Native American newspaper, was started at Pine Ridge in 1981; it is now based in Rapid City, South Dakota In 1990 there were more than 100,000 Sioux in the United States and more than 10,000 in Canada.

 

On many reservations, there is violence, drunkenness, apathy and despair. School drop-outs rates range from 45 to 62%. Suicide among the indigenous people is twice the US national average and unemployment runs around 80%.

 

The Lakota have formed The Alliance of Tribal Tourism Advocates, whose goal is to enhance prospects of tourism development in accordance with the nation organizations, beliefs and priorities. In 1999, Shannon County, South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota on Pine Ridge Reservation,  was identified as the poorest place in the country.

 

Kathy Weiser/Legends of America,  updated August, 2010.

 

 

 

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

 

ALSO SEE:

 

Fort Laramie Treaty

Myths & Legends of the Sioux

Native American People

Native American Tribes

Sioux Indian Wars

Sioux Gallery

Timeline of Events

Totems & Their Meanings

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