legend of native americans indians

legend of native americans indians



The Dakota people are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government in North America. They compose two of the three main subcultures of the Sioux /?su?/people, and are typically divided into the Eastern Dakota and the Western Dakota.


The Eastern Dakota are the Santee (Isá?yathi or Isá?-athi; "knife" + "encampment", ″dwells at the place of knife flint″), who reside in the eastern Dakotas, central Minnesota and northern Iowa. They have federally recognized tribes established in several places.

The Western Dakota are the Yankton, and the Yanktonai (Ihá?kt?u?wa? and Ihá?kt?u?wa?na; "Village-at-the-end" and "Little village-at-the-end"), who reside in the Missouri River area. The Yankton-Yanktonai are collectively also referred to by the endonym Wi?híyena (″Those Who Speak Like Men″). They also have distinct federally recognized tribes.

In the past the Western Dakota have been erroneously classified as Nakota, a branch of the Sioux who moved further west. The latter are now located in Montana and across the border in Canada, where they are known as Stoney.

The word Dakota means "ally" in the Dakota language, and their autonyms include Ik?é Wi?hášta ("Indian people") and Dakhóta Oyáte ("Dakota people"


astern and Western Dakota are two of the three groupings belonging to the Sioux nation (also called Dakota in a broad sense), the third being the Lakota (Thít?u?wa? or Teton). The three groupings speak dialects that are still relatively mutually intelligible. This is referred to as a common language, Dakota-Lakota, or Sioux.

The other two languages of the Dakotan dialect continuum, Assiniboine and Stoney (spoken by the Nakota or Nakoda peoples), have grown widely or completely unintelligible to Dakota and Lakota speakers.

The Dakota include the following bands:


Zitkala-Sa (1876—1938), Yankton author, photographed by Joseph Keiley

Santee division (Eastern Dakota) (Isá?yathi, meaning "knife camp"

Mdewakanton (Bdewékha?thu?wa? "Spirit Lake Village" or "people of the mystic lake"

notable persons: Taoyateduta

Sisseton (Sisíthu?wa?, translating to "swamp/lake/fish scale village"

Wahpekute (Wa?pékhute, "Leaf Archers"

notable persons: Inkpaduta

Wahpeton (Wa?péthu?wa?, "Leaf Village"

Yankton-Yanktonai division (Western Dakota) (Wi?híyena)

Yankton (Ihá?kthu?wa?, "End Village")

Yanktonai (Ihá?kthu?wa?na, "Little End Village")

Upper Yanktonai

Hú?kpathina or Lower Yanktonai

The majority of the Santee live on reservations, reserves, and communities in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Canada[specify]. However some of those in the north woods of Minnesota remain at the Otttertail lake and Inspiration Peak areas. They were never sent to reservations as they were protected by settlers whom they had befriended.

After the Dakota War of 1862, many Santee were sent to Crow Creek Indian Reservation; in 1864 some from the Crow Creek Reservation were sent to the Santee Sioux Reservation.

The Bdewáka?thu?wa? (Mdewakanton) live predominantly at the Prairie Island and Shakopee reservations in Minnesota.

Most of the Yankton live on the Yankton Indian Reservation in southeastern South Dakota. Some Yankton live on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation and Crow Creek Reservation, which is also occupied by the Lower Yanktonai.

The Upper Yanktonai live in the northern part of Standing Rock Reservation, on the Spirit Lake Reservation in central North Dakota, and in the eastern half of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana. In addition, they reside at several Canadian reserves, including Birdtail, Oak Lake, and Whitecap (formerly Moose Woods).


First contacts with Europeans

The Dakota lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the 17th century. By 1700 some had migrated to present-day South Dakota. Late in the 17th century, the Dakota entered into an alliance with French merchants.The French were trying to gain advantage in the struggle for the North American fur trade against the English, who had recently established the Hudson's Bay Company.

Dakota War of 1862

Dakota War of 1862


Siege of New Ulm, August 19, 1862.


By 1862, shortly after a failed crop the year before and a winter starvation, the federal payment was late. The local traders would not issue any more credit to the Santee and one trader, Andrew Myrick, went so far as to say, "If they're hungry, let them eat grass." On August 17, 1862 the Dakota War began when a few Santee men murdered a white farmer and most of his family. They inspired further attacks on white settlements along the Minnesota River. The Santee attacked the trading post. Later settlers found Myrick among the dead with his mouth stuffed full of grass.

On November 5, 1862 in Minnesota, in courts-martial, 303 Santee Dakota were found guilty of rape and murder of hundreds of American settlers. They were sentenced to be hanged. No attorneys or witness were allowed as a defense for the accused, and many were convicted in less than five minutes of court time with the judge. President Abraham Lincolncommuted the death sentence of 284 of the warriors, while signing off on the execution of 38 Santee men by hanging on December 26, 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota. Forty-three-year-old Alexander Wilkin commanded the executions, which together amounted to the largest single mass execution in U.S. history.

Afterwards, the US suspended treaty annuities to the Dakota for four years and awarded the money to the white victims and their families. The men remanded by order of President Lincoln were sent to a prison in Iowa, where more than half died.

During and after the revolt, many Santee and their kin fled Minnesota and Eastern Dakota to Canada, or settled in the James River Valley in a short-lived reservation before being forced to move to Crow Creek Reservation on the east bank of the Missouri. A few joined the Yanktonai and moved further west to join with the Lakota bands to continue their struggle against the United States military.

Others were able to remain in Minnesota and the east, in small reservations existing into the 21st century, including Sisseton-Wahpeton, Flandreau, and Devils Lake (Spirit Lake or Fort Totten) Reservations in the Dakotas. Some ended up in Nebraska, where the Santee Sioux Tribe today has a reservation on the south bank of the Missouri.

Those who fled to Canada now have descendants residing on nine small Dakota Reserves, five of which are located in Manitoba (Sioux Valley, Dakota Plains, Dakota Tipi, Birdtail Creek, and Oak Lake [Pipestone]) and the remaining four (Standing Buffalo, Moose Woods [White Cap], Round Plain [Wahpeton], and Wood Mountain) in Saskatchewan.

Reserves and First Nations

In Minnesota, the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota in 1851 left the Dakota with a reservation 20 miles (32 km) wide on each side of the Minnesota River.

In Canada, the Canadian government recognizes the tribal community as First Nations. The land holdings of these First Nations are called Indian Reserves.



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