The Sioux lived in the northern Great Plains in lands that are today the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Tribes travelled all over the plains, however, and sometimes ended up in other states for periods of time.
The ancestral Sioux most likely lived in the Central Mississippi Valley region and later in Minnesota, for at least two or three thousand years. The ancestors of the Sioux arrived in the northwoods of central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin from the Central Mississippi River shortly before 800 AD.
The Sioux tribe are known for their hunting and warrior culture. They have been in conflict with the White Settlers and the US Army. Warfare became the central part of the Plains of the Indian Culture. The Sioux tribe were admired for their great courage and exceptional physical strength.
The Sioux are a confederacy of several tribes that speak three different dialects, the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. The Lakota, also called the Teton Sioux, are comprised of seven tribal bands and are the largest and most western of the three groups, occupying lands in both North and South Dakota.
Subdivisions Lakota (also known as Lakȟóta, Thítȟuŋwaŋ, Teton, and Teton Sioux ) Northern Lakota (Húŋkpapȟa, Sihásapa) Western Dakota (also known as Yankton – Yanktonai or Dakȟóta, and erroneously classified, for a very long time, as ” Nakota “) Yankton (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ) Eastern Dakota (also known as Santee -Sisseton or Dakhóta)
There are about 150,000 Sioux.
Religion was part of everyday life for the Sioux. They believed everything had a spirit. There were underwater spirits who controlled all animals and plants. High in the sky, they believed there were spirits called Thunderbirds.
Quahadis were the hardest, fiercest, least yielding component of a tribe that had long had the reputation as the most violent and warlike on the continent; if they ran low on water, they were known to drink the contents of a dead horse’s stomach, something even the toughest Texas Ranger would not do.
Lakota ( Lakȟótiyapi ), also referred to as Lakhota, Teton or Teton Sioux, is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes.
The Sioux, and other Native Americans, smoked tobacco. Many tribal people smoked tobacco daily, but some mixed tobacco with honey or herbs when smoking a pipe for religious or ceremonial purposes.
Many Sioux children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian children had more chores and less time to play, just like early colonists’ children. But they did have dolls and toys to play with, and older boys in some bands liked to play lacrosse.
Great Plains Indians were deemed “ Sioux ” by French trappers who abbreviated a Chippewa term. The Chippewa were not allies of the Plains people, and the term “ Sioux ” translates to enemy or little snakes.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
Oglala Lakota County, contained entirely within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation, has the lowest per capita income ($8,768) in the country, and ranks as the “poorest” county in the nation. Oglala Lakota County ranked last in the state of South Dakota for quality of life and health behaviors.
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.