Sioux Nation Tribes

What was the Sioux Nation?

The Sioux Nation was a group of Native American tribes. The three main tribes which were a part of this group were the Eastern Dakota, the Western Dakota and the Lakota.

The Sioux Nation were fierce warriors and in the 19th century, they fought many bloody wars against the US government. They were able to defeat US armies in a number of battles.

Where did the Sioux Indians live?

The Sioux Nation lived in the northern Great Plains region. Their homeland was the present-day states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

However, most of the Sioux people had a nomadic lifestyle. They didn’t stay at one place for long and kept moving around. This was because hunting bison was their main occupation and their major source of food.

So they moved with the bison herds, following them and hunting them in different parts of the Great Plains region.

Importance of Black Hills for Sioux Nation

The Black Hills in South Dakota are considered a sacred place by the Sioux Nation. The Sioux believed that they originated in one of the caves of the Black Hills.

For this reason, the area was considered very significant in the Sioux religion and culture. Unfortunately, it was also the ownership of Black Hills which caused a war between the United States of America and the Sioux Nation.

American Expansion into the region

In the 19th century, USA was expanding in size, slowly absorbing the western regions of North America. As a result, the settlers from American states began to arrive and settle in the Great Plains region.

As the population of these white settlers grew, bison hunting also increased greatly and before soon, there were too few bison left in the area. This made life harder for the Sioux Nation who had to rely on bison hunting for their food.

Sioux Wars with USA

Sioux were fierce warriors and when the American government tried to take over their lands, they decided to fight. This led to the First Sioux War in 1854, the Dakota War in 1862, the Red Cloud’s War from 1866 to 1868 and the Great Sioux War from 1876 to 1877.

Red Cloud’s War

Red Cloud’s War, named after a Sioux leader, took place from 1866 to 1868. It was fought over the control of the Powder River country in Wyoming.

At the end of the war, American government agreed to a peace treaty with the Native Americans, including the Sioux Nation. This allowed the Sioux Nation to retain ownership of the Black Hills and a large portion of other territories which had traditionally belonged to them.

Great Sioux War

In 1876, the American government violated the peace treaty it had signed in 1868. This was because gold was discovered in the Black Hills and now the US government wanted to own the Hills.

The Sioux Nation wouldn’t allow this because the Hills were a sacred site for them. The Sioux Nation lost the war as well as the ownership of the Black Hills. They were eventually forced to live in a reservation allocated to them by the US government.