The Sioux tribe is a large tribe of Native American Indians. They have been known by several different names over the years, including the Lakota tribe and the Dakota tribe. Some anthropologists and historians suggest that the original name of the Sioux tribe is a derivative of the name the Algonquian American Indian tribe gave them: Nadowessioux.
The French are said to have been the first Europeans to encounter members of the Sioux tribe in approximately 1640. The majority of them were residing in the region of the modern-day American states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. It has since been discovered that members of the Sioux tribe occupied a vast expanse of the North American landscape. The Sioux, Lakota and Dakota American Indian nations lived in an area that extended from the Arkansas River in the southern United States to Lake Winnipeg in the north and the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the west.
The Sioux tribe has primarily been divided into four groups. The Winnebagoes populated the region surrounding Lake Michigan. The Assiniboines covered the northern parts of the US. The Minnetaree faction lived mainly in current-day Minnesota. The fourth group were the Southern Sioux, who occupied the south and west regions between the Arkansas and Platte rivers and hunted in the Rocky Mountains.
It was in 1837 that the Sioux tribe surrendered all their lands east of the Mississippi to the US. Then, in 1851, they relinquished approximately 35 million acres (14 million hecatares) of their land west of the Mississippi River for $3 million US Dollars (USD). After the Sioux tribe agreed to this sale of land and the provisions set forth in the treaties related to it, the US government allegedly neglected to fully carry out all these treaties’ requirements. This reportedly brought about feelings of resentment in the Sioux tribe, and a string of attacks by some members of the Native American tribe followed. In 1855, a new peace treaty was established.
The US and the Sioux tribe fought one final major armed battle that came to be known as the Battle at Wounded Knee Creek. US General Nelson A. Miles in a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs referred to the battle a "massacre." On 29 December 1890, approximately 500 troops with the US's 7th Cavalry surrounded a Sioux tribe camp, and when it was over, more than 150 Lakota Sioux lay dead.