- Category: Sioux Nation
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The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is a member of the Isanti division of the Great Dakota (Sioux) Nation. Many of the Tribal members were relocated to the reservation after Little Crow’s War in Minnesota.
The Tribe was originally designated lands in present day Minnesota, North and South Dakota recognized in treaties with the United States. The current reservation is in South Dakota and was established under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The Tribe claims jurisdiction over all right-of-way, waterways, watercourses and streams running through any part of the reservation and to such others lands as may hereafter be added to the reservation under the laws of the United States.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe operates under a constitution and is governed by an Executive Committee, known as the Tribal Council. The Tribal Council consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and 4 additional Trustees who are elected by the tribal members. A Tribal Treasurer is appointed.
The Tribal President serves as the administrative head of the Tribe. The Tribal President, Officers and Trustees serve a term of 4 years and are elected from the reservation. The Tribe is governed by an Executive Committee elected by general council who are all qualified tribal voters, each even numbered year.. The majority of the population live in the community on trust land in Flandreau, SD.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation is located in the southeastern region of the state and borders the State of Minnesota on the east. The reservation is located in a region of South Dakota known as the Prairie Coteau, consisting primarily of undulating or gently rolling land. The Big Sioux River flows through the center of the area.
The headquarters of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is adjacent to the community of Flandreau in Moody County, South Dakota. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe maintains the right and responsibility to provide environmental authority in compliance with tribal and Federal law for protection of the land and resources within the exterior boundaries of the reservation through code development and regulatory mechanisms. The maintenance and protection of the land is very important to the Dakota people and our future generations.
The Isanti Dakota are members of the Great Dakota (Sioux) Nation and refer to themselves as Dakota which means friend or ally. The United States government took the word Sioux from (Nadowesioux), which comes from a Chippewa (Ojibway) word which means little snake or enemy. The French traders and trappers who worked with the Chippewa( Ojibway) people shortened the word to Sioux.
The Tribe is composed of descendants of the Isanti people. The Isanti is comprised of four bands (Mdewakanton, Wahpetowan, Wahpekute, and Sissetowan) that lived on the eastern side of the Great Sioux Nation. The Isanti speak the 'D' dialect of Siouan language. They were a river-plains people who did some farming as well as buffalo hunting.The Tribe consists mainly of descendants of the Mdewakanton band.
The oral tradition of our people relates that the Lakota and Dakota people were one nation. The Lakota people moved frequently and live in the west. The Dakota people still practice their sacred and traditional ceremonies which encompass the seven rites of Dakota Nation brought by the White Buffalo Calf Woman.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Reservation is located near Pipestone National Monument, the source of the stone used to make the sacred pipe for prayer, healing and ceremonies. This is a sacred site to all the Dakota Nation as it is the blood of our people remaining after a great flood at the change of one of the ages of Mother Earth. The area is protected from unauthorized removal of pipestone and desecration by the Tribal and the federal governments.
Social activities such as powwow, rodeos, and races are celebrated in the summer months. Special powwows are held for individuals who reached a certain stage in their lives such as graduation or acceptance into the armed forces with traditional honoring ceremonies, give aways, and feasts to celebrate their accomplishments. The oral tradition is still passed down from the elders to the youth.
The future of our people is in the hands of our children and our ability to sufficiently enable them to protection our resources, restore our economy and govern ourselves. The children of the Great Sioux Nation will bring us into the 21st century with pride.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, descendant of the Mdewakantonwan of the Great Dakota Nation which signed the 1805, 1851, 1858, 1863, and 1868 treaties with the U.S. government. At one time, The Great Dakota Nation extended from the Big Horn Mountains in the West to the west side of Wisconsin in the East. The Isanti Division is composed of four bands: Mdewakantonwan, Wahpetowan, Wahpekute, and Sissetowan. The Dakota inhabited the eastern part of the Nation in what is now Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
The Black Hills are located in the center the Great Sioux Nation. The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota/ Dakota people and today are considered an important part of our spiritual lives. A direct violation of the 1868 Treaty was committed in 1874 by General George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry. The 7th Cavalry entered the Black Hills and found gold in the Black Hills.
The Gold Rush started the conflict between the United States and Great Dakota Nation. The Great Dakota Nation opposed this violation of the treaty. The United States Government wanted to buy or rent the Black Hills from the Lakota people. The Great Dakota Nation has refused to sell or rent their sacred lands.
After Little Crow’s War in Minnesota in 1862, many of the Isanti people were scattered across the western parts of the Nation and Canada to escape persecution and live life in peace. Others shared a different fate as 38 men were hung in Mankato, Minnesota as punishment for the uprising. The remainder of the 300 were imprisoned.
The rest of the 1,200 survivors were rounded up and relocated to Fort Thompson and present-day Niobrara, Nebraska. Some of the Isanti moved to Fort Totten, North Dakota and Flandreau, South Dakota while the remainder live on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Reservation in northeastern South Dakota.
The 7th Cavalry under General George A. Custer was requested to bring the Sioux bands in and place them on the reservation lands. On June 25, 1876, the Battle of the Little Big Horn took place at Greasy Grass, Montana between the 7th Cavalry and Lakota Nation with their allies the Cheyenne and Arapahos. The Dakota Nation won a victory over General George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry.
The Great Dakota Nation scattered, some to Canada and others surrendered to the reservations. The United States Government demanded that the Dakota nation move to the reservations. The Allotment Act of 1887 allotted Indian lands in 160 acre lots to adult male heads of household and 80 acre lots to adult males to further divide the nation. The Act of 1889 broke up the Great Dakota Nation into smaller reservations, the remainder of which exist today at about one half their original size in 1889.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is a survivors of the wars and were granted trust status for their present reservation land under the authority of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.