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Home > History > Sioux Nation

Sioux Nation

This page describes the origin of the name "Sioux" and also describes their ancestral range.


Sioux (Lakota) Nation

Meaning of Name

The name Sioux has proven difficult to translate. Some contend it represents a small kind of rattlesnake, while others claim it represents "those who speak a foreign language." Still others translate it to "enemy" or "mysterious voice." The name Sioux is the collective name of the Lakota (Santee), Dakota (Yankton), and Nakota (Teton) tribes.


The Dakotas, particularly the Black Hills of South Dakota, were the heart of Sioux territory. In addition, the Sioux inhabited other parts of the northern Great Plains including parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, eastern Montana and eastern Wyoming.

Buffalo on the Great Plains

American Bison


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