Famous Sioux

Famous Sioux Chiefs, Medicine Men, and Leaders

Leaders of the Sioux tribes are some of the most recognized names in native American history. There are links to in depth profiles at the bottom of the page.

Historical Leaders

Šóta (Old Chief Smoke) — an original Oglala Lakota head chief

Thaóyate Dúta (Little Crow/His Red Nation) — Mdewakanton Dakota chief and warrior

Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull) — Famous Hunkpapa Lakota chief and holy man

Tȟašúŋke Witkó (Crazy Horse) — Famous Oglala Lakota warrior

Maȟpíya Ičáȟtagye (Touch the Clouds) – Minneconjou Lakota chief and warrior

Maȟpíya Lúta (Red Cloud) — Famous Oglala Lakota chief and spokesperson

Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) — Famous Oglala Lakota medicine and holy man

Ité Omáǧažu or Itonagaju (Rain-in-the-Face) — Hunkpapa Lakota war chief

Tȟáȟča Hušté (Lame Deer) — Mineconju Lakota holy man and spiritual preserver

Wi Sapa (Black Moon) — Miniconjou Lakota chief

Matȟó Héȟloǧeča (Hollow Horn Bear) — Sicangu (Brulé) Lakota leader

Phizí (Gall) — Hunkpapa Lakota war chief

Ógle Lúta (Red Shirt) — Oglala Lakota warrior and chief

Inkpaduta (Scarlet Point/Red End) — Wahpekute Dakota war chief

Waŋbdí Tháŋka (Big Eagle) — Mdewakanton Dakota chief

Tamaha (One Eye/Standing Moose) — Mdewekanton Dakota chief

Ota Kte (Luther Standing Bear aka Plenty Kill) — Oglala Lakota writer and actor

Numpkahapa (Two Strike) — Sicangu Lakota chief

Cetan Sápa (Black Hawk) — Itázipčho Lakota ledger artist

Tȟatȟóka Íŋyaŋke (Running Antelope) — Hunkpapa Lakota chief

Mato Watakpe (John Grass aka Charging Bear) — Sihasapa Lakota chief

Tȟatȟáŋka Ská (White Bull) — Miniconjou Lakota warrior and nephew of Sitting Bull

Wanbli Kte (Kill Eagle) — Sihasapa Lakota warrior and leader

Sunka Wakan To (Blue Horse) — Oglala chief, warrior, educator and statesman

Matȟó Wayúhi (Conquering Bear) — Sičháŋǧu Lakota chief

Čhetáŋ Kiŋyáŋ (Flying Hawk) — Oglala Lakota chief, philosopher, and historian

Matȟó Wanáȟtake (Kicking Bear) — Oglala born Miniconjou Lakota warrior and chief

Unpan Glešká (Spotted Elk aka Big Foot) — Miniconjou Lakota chief

Hehwongechat (Lone Horn) — Miniconjou Lakota chief

Kȟaŋǧí Yátapi (Crow King aka Medicine Bag That Burns) — Hunkpapa Lakota war chief

Wicasa Tankala (Little Big Man aka Charging Bear) — Oglala Lakota Warrior

Xunka Kuciyedano (Low Dog) — Oglala Lakota chief and warrior

Wašíčuŋ Tȟašúŋke (American Horse "The Younger") — Oglala Lakota Chief

Wašíčuŋ Tȟašúŋke (American Horse "The Elder") — Oglala Lakota Chief

Tȟašúŋke Kȟokípȟapi (Young Man Afraid Of His Horses) — Oglala Lakota Chief

Ištáȟba (Sleepy Eye) — Sisseton Dakota chief

Ohíyes’a (Charles Eastman) — Author, physician and reformer

Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington — World War II Fighter Ace and Medal of Honor recipient; 1/4 Sioux

Charging Thunder (1877–1929), Blackfoot Sioux chief who was part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1903, but remained in England when the show returned to America.

He married Josephine, an American horse trainer who had just given birth to their first child, Bessie, and together they settled in Darwen, before moving to Gorton.

His name became George Edward Williams, after registering with the British immigration authorities to enable him to find work. Williams ended up working at the Belle Vue Zoo as an elephant keeper. He died from pneumonia on July 28, 1929.

His interment was at Gorton's cemetery.

Ota Kte (Luther Standing Bear) — Author, educator, philosopher and actor

Zitkala-Ša (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin) — Author, educator, musician and political activist

Horse's Ghost - A Sioux Chief in Montana at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation who argued for Native American rights with members of President Taft's administration.

Bigfoot (Not the same as Spotted Elk)

Little Thunder

Big Mouth

Red Thunder (also known as Shappa, the Beaver)


Wizikute (a.k.a. Pine Shooter)

Red Fish

Crow Dog

Red Bird (Zitkaduta)

Big Curly

John Otherday (Aagpetu-tokecha)


Walking Buffalo (Tatankamani)

Wamditanka (Great War Eagle)

Gray Iron

Shakopee (Shakpe, 'six')

Mankato (M-ak'-to, Blue Earth)

Old Mankato

Billy Mills - A famous Sioux Olympian athlete.

Napeshneeduta (Red Man Who Flees Not)

Famous Contemporary Sioux

Ella Carla Deloria (Anpetu Wastewin), Yankton Sioux (1888-1971), Author

Vine Deloria, Author

Susan La Flesche, Sioux (1865-1915)

Russell Means - (Nov. 10, 1939-Oct. 29, 2012) Extensive obituary. According to the New York times, he was the most famous Indian "since Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull." Russell Means Timeline

Theodore “Ted” Lyle Means (1946 - November 23, 2011, Lakota) was very active in the American Indian Movement's 71 day occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. 

Ellen Moves Camp, Oglala Sioux (September 25, 1930 - April 5, 2008) was known, along with Gladys Bissonnette, as the “Grandmas of the American Indian Movement." 

Chaske Spencer (born March 9, 1975) -  Native American actor of Lakota, Nez Perce, Cherokee, Creek, French, and Dutch descent. He is a member of the Fort Peck tribe.

Chief Red Fox - Silent Film Actor. He was a nephew of the famous Sioux leader Chief Crazy Horse.  He was six years old at the time of Custer's Last Stand and gives a chilling account of it in his memoirs.

Floyd Red Crow Westerman - Actor, musician, activist

Floyd Red Crow Westerman passes to the spirit world

Sioux Tribes:

Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (F)

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation(South Dakota)(F)

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation

Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota

Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Reservation

Santee Sioux Nation

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota (F)

Spirit Lake Tribe (F)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North & South Dakota (F)

Upper Sioux Community

Yankton Sioux Tribe


Article Index:

American Horse (Oglalla Sioux)

One of the wittiest and shrewdest of the Sioux chiefs was American Horse, who succeeded to the name and position of an uncle, killed in the battle of Slim Buttes in 1876.  The younger American Horse was born a little … Continue reading

Charles Eastman’s account of Chief Sitting Bull

The following is Charles Eastman’s account of Chief Sitting Bull. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and … Continue reading

Chief Gall, “Man Who Goes in the Middle”

Chief Gall
Huηkpapa Lakota
(ca. 1840-1895)

“Man Who Goes in the Middle,” or Pizi, a Hunkpapa Sioux chief, was one of the major Indian field commanders at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Anglo Americans know him as Chief Gall.

Chief Hump, Minniconjou Lakota
Crazy Horse (Tashunkewitko), Oglala Sioux
Edgar Bear Runner, Oglala Sioux
Rain-in-the-Face (Itonagaju), Hunkpapa Sioux
Red Cloud (Mahpiya Luta), Oglalla Sioux
Red Tomahawk, Sitting Bull’s Assassin
Spotted Tail, Brule Sioux
Two Strike (Nomkahpa), Sioux
Wesley Bad Heart Bull