Official Site of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe

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About the Sicangu Oyate


SpottedTail Chief Milk chief swift bear Chief Two Strike
Chief Spotted Tail Chief Milk Chief Swift Bear Chief Two Strike

In the 1880's, the Tribes of the Great Sioux Nation signed treaties with the United States establishing the boundaries of the Tribes and recognized their rights as a sovereign government. The Sioux Tribes consist of the Seven Original Council Fires, one of which is known as the Lakota. The Sicangu (Rosebud) people are from that Council Fire. The Rosebud Sioux Tribal lands were originally reduced to a reservation by the U.S. Congress in the Act of March 2, 1889 which identified all the Lakota/Dakota /Nakota reservations in what is known as the Great Sioux Settlement. The boundaries were further reduced by subsequent Homestead Acts. The Sicangu people were moved five times before the Rosebud agency was finally established. Previous agencies were located on the Whetstone Agency near the Missouri River, White River Agency along the Big White River, Spotted Tail Agency at Rosebud Creek, and the Ponca Agency located near the west bank. The Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) have the status of a sovereign nation which gives them the right to elect their own officials, regulate their own territory, manage tribal affairs, and create and enforce their own tribal laws.

The Tribal governments maintain jurisdiction within the boundaries of the reservation including all rights-of-way, waterways, watercourses and streams running through any part of the reservation and to such others lands as may hereafter be added to the reservation under the laws of the United States. The Tribal government operates under a constitution consistent with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and approved by the Tribal membership and Tribal Council of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Harold Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior of the United States approved the constitution and the by-laws on December 20, 1935. The Tribal Council consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, a Sergeant-At-Arms, and twenty additional Council members that are elected by the Tribal members.

The Rosebud Sioux Reservation is located in south central South Dakota and borders the Pine Ridge Reservation on its northwest corner and the State of Nebraska border to the south. The reservation is located in Todd County, however, the Rosebud Service Unit includes Gregory, Mellette, Todd, Lyman and Tripp Counties in South Dakota. The Reservation has a total area of 922,759 acres (1,442 sq. mi.) whereas the Unit covers some 5,961 sq. mi. The Tribal headquarters is located in Rosebud, SD. There are twenty communities within the Reservation including Ideal, Winner, Butte Creek, Okreek, Antelope, Ring Thunder, Soldier Creek, St. Francis (Owl Bonnet), Spring Creek, Two Strike, Grass Mountain, Upper Cut Meat, Swift Bear, Parmelee,, Rosebud, Black Pipe, He Dog, Corn Creek, Horse Creek, Bull Creek, & Milks Camp.

Historical Timeline

Sicangu / Lakota Historical Timeline


Provided by
Created by LaVera Roether Rose

The "Sioux" Name and Dialects

The name Sioux comes from Nadowe Su, which is Algonquin meaning "Little Rattle." The story, as recorded, says the phrase comes from the rattling sound a snake makes before it bites. French traders and trappers changed the spelling from Su to Sioux and dropped Nadowe. This is how the great Oceti Sakowin became commonly known as Sioux.

Sioux language has three dialects: Lakota, Dakota and Nakota. These dialects developed because the Sioux were spread out over the vast plains region of North America.

Today, Lakota and Dakota are the two main dialects, with the Nakota being the least frequently used. Speakers of the dialects have no difficulty understanding one another. From these three divisions emerge the Seven Council Fires, or the Oceti Sakowin.

Lakota means "allies, friends or those who are united." Dakota comes from the word Da meaning "considered" and Koda or "friend." Most Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people live on South Dakota's nine reservations. There are also Sioux reservations in North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Minnesota and Canada.

Today, as a result of the Indian Reorganization Act, about one-third of the total Indian population lives off reservations in urban areas. -

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