The Sioux Indian tribe, rich in heritage, history, and culture, is one of the single greatest entities of the Plains Indians. The Sioux Indian tribe was comprised of nomadic people and though they were all part of the Great Sioux Nation, they divide themselves into three sub-classifications – Dakota, Nakota, or Lakota – mostly according to dialect. There were several bands amongst the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota. The Sioux Indian tribe occupied much of the Great Plains and was possibly the greatest Native American Indian force north of Mexico.
The existence of the Sioux Indian tribe is suspected to be far more ancient than the first documented encounter somewhere around 1650 at the headwaters of the Mississippi. Though they were forcibly driven west by the Ojibwa, by the time they had reached the western plains they had obtained horses and firearms allowing them to become a predominant force. In 1805 the Sioux Indian tribe were the recognized owners of most of the territory between central Wisconsin to beyond the Black Hills and the Dakotas and as far north as Canada.
Each member of the Sioux Indian tribe had well-defined roles in daily life. Children were of great importance to the tribe and were considered a key part of the tribe and the Sioux Nation. Each band of the Sioux Indian tribe functioned in much the same way. The Sioux were deeply spiritual people who communed with the spirit world through ritualistic song, dance, and ceremony. Within the Sioux tribe, chief was a rank that was earned, not inherited. Any Sioux boy could become chief – if he proved his worth.
The Sioux were the formidable Indian presence at the historic Battle of Little Big Horn where they claimed victory over General Custer and his 7th cavalry. By 1889, the Sioux Indian tribes had mostly disbanded and the Great Sioux Nation was broken up into small reservations allocated by the United States federal government. Today, the remaining members of the Sioux Indian tribe are about half the original size.