Sioux called themselves Dakota or
Lakota, which means "People of Peace". (There are slight differences
the Dakota and the Lakota Sioux languages.) There are three principal
tribes: the Yankton, the Teton and the Santee. Those tribes are made up
of various clans, such as the Oglala, the Hunkpapa and the Brule.
Europeans first met the Sioux,
the Sioux lived on the headwaters of the Mississippi River. At that
they had an Eastern Woodlands culture. Then they were pushed west to
Plains -- the territory today known as North Dakota, South Dakota,
and Nebraska. There are various accounts of how they were pushed west.
In one account, their Chippewa neighbors got guns before the Sioux did,
and drove them west. In other accounts, the Whites pushed them west. In
my opinion, there is probably some truth in both accounts. As Whites
and pushed west, they pushed various native peoples west. I read
that as various tribes were pushed west, they began pushing into each
and began competing for land and living area. In this way, the Sioux
have found themselves being forced west by both the Whites, and by the
forced migration of other native peoples.
Sioux quickly adapted themselves
to the nomadic life of the Plains tribes, hunting buffalo and living in
tepees. They also became famous for their bravery and fighting ability.
the middle and late 1800's whites
overran Sioux grounds: The buffalo hunters slaughtered herds of
only the hides and leaving the meat to rot on the prairie; Gold seekers
swarmed into sacred Paha Sapa (the Black Hills of South Dakota) as they
sought their fortunes. This caused conflicts to arise between the Sioux
and the Whites. Some Sioux agreed to live on reservations in 1862, but
later left because of poor living conditions. Army troops would then
them down in attempts to force them into reservation life. Wars between
the Sioux and the army lasted until 1890, when troops succeeded in
them to live on reservations.
the early reservation days many
attempts were made to strip the Sioux of their culture. Children were
from their families and sent to White boarding schools, to take away
language and culture and train them in White ways. The Sioux were
and punished for practicing their culture and speaking their own
Nevertheless many have managed to keep it. Since the 1970's the Sioux
been developing a stronger voice in deciding their own welfare and
Through heavy efforts from groups such as AIM, the Sioux have regained
some of their rights to perform ceremonies.
Sioux are very different from
the stereo-types we often see on TV and in movies. They live all across
the United States, and even overseas. Of the Sioux who live on
most live on the reservations in South Dakota. Fewer numbers of Sioux
on reservations in North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska. Many Sioux
in other parts of the United States, and around the world. As a result,
there are many caucasion-looking people who have Sioux ancestry. A
back I received e-mail from someone who has lived in England all their
life who, to their surprise, found they were part Sioux. Many Sioux
their living as bankers, teachers, lawyers, social workers, members of
the armed forces, business owners, and by various other occupations,
more information, see History
of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota.
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