Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation


Last Updated: 3 years

The Sisseton–Wahpeton Oyate are two combined bands and two sub-divisions of the Isanti or Santee Dakota (Sioux) people located on the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeast South Dakota.

Official Tribal Name: Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation

Phone:   605.698.3911
Fax: 605.742.0265

Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Sisseton, meaning “People of the Fish Village(s)” (Sissetonwan)
Wahpeton, meaning “People Dwelling among the Leaves” (Wahpetonwan)
Oyate, meaning “people or nation.”
Santee or Isanti

Common Name:

 Eastern Dakota, Santee Sioux, Isanti Sioux

Meaning of Common Name

Dakotah is the preferred identification (and spelling) of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands. Dakota is commonly reported to mean “friend or ally” in English. This is actually incorrect. The real definition of Lakota is “those who consider themselves kindred.” The Da syllable in Dakota means “like (or related) [to Lakota].”

Dakotah derives from the word ‘WoDakotah,” meaning “harmony – a condition of being at peace with oneself and in harmony with one another and with nature. A condition of lifestyle patterned after the natural order of nature.”

See this detailed explanation of Sioux Names.

Alternate names / Alternate spellings:

Name in other languages:

Region: Great Plains

State(s) Today:  South Dakota

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy: Sioux Nation


Reservation: Lake Traverse Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land

The Lake Traverse Reservation is located in the Northeastern part of South Dakota and a small portion of southeastern corner of North Dakota. The reservation boundaries extend across seven counties two in North and five in South Dakota.
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Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today: 13,177 tribal members

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

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Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

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Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Legends / Oral Stories:

Create your own reality
Lakota Star Knoledge
Legend of the Talking Feather
The End of the World according to Lakota legend
The Legend of Devil’s Tower
The White Buffalo Woman
Tunkasila, Grandfather Rock
Unktomi and the arrowheads

Art & Crafts:





Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

The Sioux Drum

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs

Tribal College:  Sisseton Wahpeton College

Sioux Chiefs & Famous People:

Chief Standing Buffalo

Chief Maza Sa  

Arthur Amiotte, (Oglala Lakota)-Painter, Sculptor, Author, Historian  

Bryan Akipa, flutist (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate)

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

Descendants Remember Battle of Little Big Horn 

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