July 12, 2012

Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota


The Lower Sioux Indian Community is a federally recognized Indian tribe located in south central Minnesota in Redwood County, approximately two miles south of Morton.

Official Tribal Name: Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota


Official Website:

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Common Name:

While “Lower Sioux” was the name given to this band and their homeland after treaties with the United States in 1851, members of the Lower Sioux Indian Community are part of the Mdewakanton Band of Dakota.

Meaning of Common Name:

Dakota, is often erroneously translated as “friend” or “ally” in the English language, however, this is actually incorrect. The real definition of Dakota/Nakota/Lakota is “those who consider themselves kindred.” See this detailed explanation of Sioux Names.

They referred to their traditional Minnesota River Valley homeland as Cansa’yapi (meaning “where they marked the trees red”).

Alternate names / Alternate spellings / Mispellings:

Name in other languages:

Region: Northeast

State(s) Today: Minnesota

Traditional Territory:

Minnesota, the place where the water reflects the sky, is the place of Dakota origin. The Dakota have thrived in this area since time immemorial.

Prior to 1862, the Minnesota Dakota, also known by the French term, “Sioux,” consisted of four bands known as the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute (together comprising the “lower bands”), and the Sisseton and the Wahpeton (known as the “upper bands” or “Dakota Sioux”), all of whom lived along the Minnesota River.

Confederacy: Sioux Nation


Reservation: Lower Sioux Indian Community

Land Area:
Tribal Headquarters:
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Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Name of Governing Body:
Number of Council members:
Dates of Constitutional amendments:
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Language Classification:

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Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

Sioux Legends / Oral Stories:

Create your own reality
Lakota Star Legends
Legend of the Talking Feather
The End of the World according to Lakota legend
The Legend of Devil’s Tower
The White Buffalo Woman
Tunkasila, Grandfather Rock
Unktomi and the arrowheads

Art & Crafts:





Economy Today:

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
The Sioux Drum

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs


Famous Sioux Chiefs and Leaders:

Chief Shakopee :
Red Middle Voice:
Little Crow (Ta-o-ya-te-ta-duta):
Cut Nose:
Red Wing:
Chief Wabasha:
Good Thunder:


Arthur Amiotte, (Oglala Lakota)-Painter, Sculptor, Author, Historian


Bryan Akipa, flutist (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate)

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

In August of 1862, young traditionalists in these four bands waged war against the United States following two years of unfulfilled treaty obligations, including the failure to make payment on lands and provide health care or food. Although, some 500 settlers and hundreds of Mdewakanton lost their lives, hundreds of Mdewakanton came to the aid of both non-Indians and Indians during the war.

After defeating the bands, the United States punished the Dakota by nullifying its treaties with them, voiding annuities that had been granted as part of the terms of the treaties, and removing all Dakota from what is now the State of Minnesota.

Many families returned to their homeland in spite of this government imposed exile, and because some had been loyal to the United States during the “Outbreak,” those loyalists were permitted to stay on the Minnesota lands provided for the Dakota under the treaties.

Descendants Remember Battle of Little Big Horn

In the News:

Mdewakanton Dakota tribe restoring lost traditions

Further Reading:

US Tribes K to M
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