July 10, 2012

Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota


The Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is a federally recognized tribe of Yankton Western Dakota people, located in South Dakota. 

Official Tribal Name: Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Address:  PO Box 1153, Wagner, SD 57380
Phone:  (605) 384-3641
Fax:  (605) 384-5687

Official Website: 

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Region: Great Plains

State(s) Today: South Dakota

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy: Great Sioux Nation


 The Treaty of Washington was signed April 19, 1858.

Reservation: Yankton Reservation

Yankton Reservation; part of Charles Mix County, South Dakota
Land Area:  Approximately 40,000 acres
Tribal Headquarters:  Wagner, SD
Time Zone:  Central

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Division: Yankton
Bands: Ihanktonwan
Ihanktonwan Dakota Oyate, meaning “People of the End Village.”

Common Name:

Yankton Sioux,

Meaning of Common Name:

Dakota is commonly reported to mean “friend or ally” in English. This is actually incorrect. The real definition of Lakota is “those who consider themselves kindred.” The Da syllable in Dakota means “like (or related) [to Lakota].”

Dakotah derives from the word ‘WoDakotah,” meaning “harmony – a condition of being at peace with oneself and in harmony with one another and with nature. A condition of lifestyle patterned after the natural order of nature.”

See this detailed explanation of Sioux Names.

Alternate names / Alternate spellings:

Name in other languages:

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today:

3,500 enrolled members 

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Genealogy Resources:


Charter:  None; Constitution and Bylaws: Yes – non-IRA
Name of Governing Body:  Yankton Sioux Tribal Business and Claims Committee
Number of Council members:   5 committee members
Dates of Constitutional amendments: March 20, 1975
Number of Executive Officers:  4 – Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer


2 year terms, elections are not staggered.

Language Classification:

Language Dialects:


Number of fluent Speakers:



Bands, Gens, and Clans

Assiniboine Band
Sioux divisions, tribes, and bands

Related Tribes:

The Great Sioux Nation is actually made up of 18 separate tribes, or bands in the US, and 12 in Canada. These are divided into three language divisions: the Lakota Sioux, Dakota Sioux, and the Nakota Sioux. Each division speaks a different, but similar, Siouan language dialect. While the languages are slightly different dialects, this is not a political division, and the culture of all three groups is basically the same, except for language.There are also numerous subdivisions of the Sioux tribe, some included in the three main Siouan language division bands, and some recognized now as tribes separate from the Sioux Nation.

Related Groups who are now recognized as tribes separate from the Sioux:

Biloxi Indians
Cape Fear Indians
Cheraw Indians
Congaree Indians
Hidatsa Indians
Kansa Indians
Mahpekute Indians
Missouri Indians
Occaneechi Indians
Oohenonpa Indians
Sissipahaw Indians
Sugeree Indians
Waccamaw Indians
Wateree Indians
Waxhaw Indians
Woccon Indian

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

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:


Bison was the most important food souce before they went onto the reservation. The tribe maintains a free-ranging bison herd today. 




Economy Today:

Major Employers: Fort Randall Casino, Indian Health Service, tribal office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Marty Indian School. The tribe owns and operates the Fort Randall Casino and Hotel in Pickstown, South Dakota, as well as Lucky Lounge and Four Directions Restaurant.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:
The Sioux Drum

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs

Tribal College:  Marty Indian School

Sioux Chiefs & Famous People::

Long Fox-To-Can-Has-Ka,
Padaniapapi (Struck-by-The-Ree)
– According to local legend, when Meriwether Lewis learned that a male child had been born near the expedition’s encampment in what is today southeastern South Dakota, he sent for the child and wrapped the new born baby boy in an American flag during the council at Calumet Bluff in late August 1804. Lewis declared the baby an American. This boy grew up to become a headman (chief) of the Ihanktonwan Dakota (Yankton Sioux), known as Struck By-the-Ree. However, the journals of the expedition make no mention of this incident.

Struck-by-the-Ree and several other headmen journeyed to Washington, D.C., in late 1857 to negotiate a treaty with the federal government. For more than three and a half months, they worked out the terms of a treaty of land cession. The Treaty of Washington was signed April 19, 1858.

Returning from Washington, Padaniapapi (Struck-by-The-Ree) told his people, “The white men are coming in like maggots. It is useless to resist them. They are many more than we are. We could not hope to stop them. Many of our brave warriors would be killed, our women and children left in sorrow, and still we would not stop them. We must accept it, get the best terms we can get and try to adopt their ways.”

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

Bryan Akipa, flutist (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate)

Catastrophic Events:

Tribe History:

Descendants Remember Battle of Little Big Horn 

In the News:

Further Reading:


US Tribes W to Z
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