Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Mailing Address

North Dakota



Cultural History

Located in the North and South Dakota, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is so called the people of the Standing Rock, also often called the Sioux, who are members of the Dakota and the Lakota Nations. Most of the time, the Dakota and the Lakota people are also called the "Sioux". The term has been around for centuries because of their former settlement in the Great Lakes Area. There are several divisions of the Sioux and but each of the divisions play a significant role when it comes to cultural, linguistic and other distinctions. 

The Upper Yanktonai people are also included in the Dakota People of Standing Rock. The official dialect of this tribe is called the Ihanktonwana, which literally means "Little End Village" while the Lower Yanktonai, called the Hunkpatina's dialect is called the "Campers at the Horn". When the tribe finally had contact with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, they eventually started trading and some even adopted the way of living like the use of earthlodge, the bullboat, and their horticultural techniques of which they inherited from their ancestors. Despite the available resources, the tribe’s primary food remained to be the buffalo. The Yanktonai, however was still keen in keeping their former lifestyle and disputed the western influences. 

Up to this day, the Lakota still remains to be the largest of the Sioux family. It is subdivided into the Ti Sakowin also known as the Seven Tents and the Lakota People of the Standing Rock Reservation. In the nineteenth century, the Lakota people became well known as the plains people while making use of buffalo and horses. The Lakota at the Standing Rock are to be found in communities situated in the South Dakota portion of the reservation.

The reservation area dedicated to the tribe is currently 1,000,000 total acres. Their community became a reservation on March 2, 1889.Their tribal government have maintained a peaceful relationship with the federal government for years. They have signed the 1851 and 1868 treaties that now give them the opportunities of a real tribal government. It operates under a constitution which as duly approved in April 24, 1959. The Tribal Council is composed of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, a Secretary and fourteen additional councilmen as elected by the tribal members. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Government is United States Approved self-government with its own sovereignty, rules and regulations. The Tribal Council takes care of the tribal decisions such as the tribe’s real estate properties, the business ventures, the ordinances and the loans.

The population data of 2002 showed that there are 634,110 members in North Dakota and 761,063 members in South Dakota. Today, the tribe operates businesses such as the Bear Soldier Bingo, the Big Foot Bingo, Fort Yates and Porcupine. There are two casinos namely the Prairie Knights Casino and the Grand River Casino.

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