Sioux Indians include the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota divisions


Last Updated: 10 months

Souix Indians, or the great Sioux Nation as they are also known, are divided into three main divisions: the Lakota, the Dakota, and the Nakota. These divisions are based on the language dialects spoken.

The Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations and communities in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and also in Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan in Canada.

Santee Sioux (Dakota)

The Santee people migrated north and westward from the south and east into Ohio then to Minnesota. The Santee were a woodland people who thrived on hunting, fishing and subsistence farming.

Migrations of Anishinaabe/Chippewa people from the east in the 17th and 18th centuries, with muskets supplied by the French and British, pushed the Santee further into Minnesota and west and southward, giving the name “Dakota Territory” to the northern expanse west of the Mississippi and up to its headwaters.

Yankton-Yanktonai Sioux (Nakota)

The Ihanktowan-Ihanktowana, or the Yankton (“campers at the end”) and Yanktonai (“lesser campers at the end”) divisions consist of two bands or two of the seven council fires. According to Nasunatanka and Matononpa in 1880, the Yanktonai are divided into two sub-groups known as the Upper Yanktonai and the lower Yanktonai (Hunkpatina). The Yankton-Yanktonai moved into northern Minnesota. In the 1700s, they were recorded as living in the Mankato region of Minnesota.

Teton Sioux (Lakota)

The western Santee obtained horses, probably in the 17th century (although some historians date the arrival of horses in South Dakota to 1720), and moved further west, onto the Great Plains, becoming the Titonwan tribe, subsisting on the buffalo herds and corn-trade with their linguistic cousins, the Mandan and Hidatsa along the Missouri.

The Sioux are divided into ethnic groups, the larger of which are divided into sub-groups, and further branched into bands. The Yankton-Yanktonai, the smallest division, reside on the Yankton reservation in South Dakota and the Northern portion of Standing Rock Reservation, while the Santee live mostly in Minnesota and Nebraska, but include bands in the Sisseton-Wahpeton, Flandreau, and Crow Creek Reservations in South Dakota. The Lakota are the westernmost of the three groups, occupying lands in both North and South Dakota.

  • Santee Sioux division (Dakota)
    • Mdewakantonwan (“Dwellers of Spirit Lake”)
      notable persons: Taoyateduta
    • Sisitonwan (Sisseton, “Dwellers of the Fish Grounds”)
    • Wahpekute (“Leaf Shooters”)
      notable persons: Inkpaduta
    • Wahpetonwan (“Dwellers among the Leaves”)
  • Yankton-Yanktonai division (Nakota)
    • Ihanktonwan (Yankton, “End Village”)
    • Ihanktonwana (Yanktonai, “Little End Village”)
      notable persons: Wanata
    • Stone sub-division (Nakoda)
      • Assiniboine
      • Stoney
  • Titonwan/Teton division (Lakota) (“Dwellers on the Prairie”)
    • Oglala (“Those who Scatter their own”)
      notable persons: Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Black Elk and Billy Mills (Olympian)
    • Hunkpapa (meaning “Those who Camp by the Door” or “Wanderers”)
      notable persons: Sitting Bull
    • Sihasapa (Blackfoot Sioux – not to be confused with the Algonquian-speaking Blackfeet)
    • Minniconjou (“Those who Plant by the Stream”)
      notable persons: Lone Horn, Touch the Clouds
    • Sicangu (French: Brulé) (“Burnt Thighs”)
    • Itazipacola (French: Sans Arcs “Without Bows”)
    • Oohenonpa (“Two Kettles” or “Two Boilings”)


Reserves and First Nations

Today, one half of all enrolled Sioux in the United States live off the reservation. Also, to be an enrolled member in any of the Sioux tribes in the United States, 1/4 degree blood quantum is required.

In Canada, the Canadian government calls tribal communities “First Nations.” In Canada reservations are called “Reserves.”

Reserve/Reservation Community Bands residing Location
Fort Peck Indian Reservation Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes Hunkpapa, Lower Yanktonai, Wahpekute, Sisseton, Wahpeton, Assiniboine (Canoe Paddler, Red Bottom) Montana, USA
Spirit Lake Reservation

(Formerly Devil’s Lake Reservation)

Spirit Lake Tribe

(Mni Wakan Oyate)

Wahpeton, Sisseton, Upper Yanktonai North Dakota, USA
Standing Rock Indian Reservation Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Upper Yanktonai, Hunkpapa, Blackfoot North Dakota, South DakotaUSA
Lake Traverse Indian Reservation Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sisseton, Wahpeton South Dakota, USA
Flandreau Indian Reservation Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Wahpeton South Dakota, USA
Cheyenne River Indian Reservation Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Minneconjou, Blackfoot, Two Kettle, Sans Arc South Dakota, USA
Crow Creek Indian Reservation Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Lower Yanktonai South Dakota, USA
Lower Brule Indian Reservation Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Brulé South Dakota, USA
Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation Yankton Sioux Tribe Yankton South Dakota, USA
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Oglala Sioux Tribe Oglala, few Brulé South Dakota, USA
Rosebud Indian Reservation Rosebud Sioux Tribe (also as Sicangu Lakota or Upper Brulé Sioux Nation)

(Sicangu Oyate)

Sicangu, few Oglala South Dakota, USA
Upper Sioux Indian Reservation Upper Sioux Community

(Pejuhutazizi Oyate)

Mdewakanton, Sisseton, Wahpeton Minnesota, USA
Lower Sioux Indian Reservation Lower Sioux Indian Community Mdewakanton, Wahpekute Minnesota, USA
Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation

(Formerly Prior Lake Indian Reservation)

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Mdewakanton, Wahpekute Minnesota, USA
Prairie Island Indian Community Prairie Island Indian Community Mdewakanton, Wahpekute Minnesota, USA
Mille Lacs Lake Indian Reservation Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (Mille Lacs Indians, St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Minnesota) Ojibwa, Mdewakanton Minnesota, USA
St. Croix Indian Reservation St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Ojibwa, Mdewakanton Wisconsin, USA
Santee Indian Reservation Santee Sioux Nation Mdewakanton, Wahpekute Nebraska, USA
Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve* Sioux Valley First Nation Sisseton, Mdewakanton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute Manitoba, Canada
Dakota Plains Indian Reserve 6A Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation Wahpeton, Sisseton Manitoba, Canada
Dakota Tipi 1 Reserve Dakota Tipi First Nation Wahpeton Manitoba, Canada
Birdtail Creek 57 Reserve, Birdtail Hay Lands 57A Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve* Birdtail Sioux First Nation Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Yanktonai Manitoba, Canada
Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation Reserve, Oak Lake 59A Reserve, Fishing Station 62A Reserve* Canupawakpa Dakota Nation Wahpekute, Wahpeton, Yanktonai Manitoba, Canada
Standing Buffalo 78 Reserve Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation Sisseton, Wahpeton Saskatchewan, Canada
Whitecap Reserve Whitecap Dakota First Nation Wahpeton, Sisseton Saskatchewan, Canada
  Dakota Plains Wahpeton First Nation Wahpeton Saskatchewan, Canada
Wood Mountain 160 Reserve, Treaty Four Reserve Grounds Indian Reservation 77* Wood Mountain Hunkpapa Saskatchewan, Canada
Carry the Kettle Nakota First Nation Indian Reserves, Assiniboine 76 Reserve, Treaty Four Reserve Grounds Indian Reservation 77* Carry the Kettle First Nation Assiniboine Saskatchewan, Canada
Little Black Bear 84 Reserve, Treaty Four Reserve Grounds Indian Reservation 77* Little Black Bear Cree-Assiniboine First Nation Cree, Assiniboine Saskatchewan, Canada
Mosquito 109 Reserve, Grizzly Bear’s Head 110 & Lean Man 111 Reserves, Mosquito, Grizzly Bear’s Head, Lean Man Treaty Land Entitlement Indian Reserve 1, Golden Eagle Indian Reserve Mosquito, Grizzly Bears Head, Lean Man First Nations (Mosquito, Grizzly Bear’s Head, Lean Man) Assiniboine, Cree Saskatchewan, Canada
White Bear 70 Reserve, Treaty Four Reserve Grounds Indian Reservation 77* White Bear First Nation Assiniboine, Cree, Ojibwa Saskatchewan, Canada
Stoney 142-143-144 Reserves, Stoney 142B Reserve, Big Horn 144A Reserve, Eden Valley 216 Reserve Bearpaw, Chiniki and Wesley Stoney Alberta, Canada
* Reserves shared with other First Nations