What Are Some Important Facts About the Lakota Indian Tribe?

The Lakota Indians, along with the Nakotas and Dakotas make up the Sioux nation of Indians. At its height, Sioux territory stretched from the Allegheny Mountains to the Rockies and from north of the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.

Sitting Bull was a Lakota holy man whose bravery and convictions led to him becoming chief of the Sioux nation. The fiercest Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, was also a Lakota. The Lakota originally occupied parts of

Minnesota, but inter-tribal fighting forced them onto the plains of North and South Dakota where they developed considerable skills as horsemen and buffalo hunters.

The rush of settlers westward after the discovery of gold initiated conflict with the white men, due to the desecration of the Sioux's sacred lands and of the buffalo population. A pattern developed in the 1860s wherein the U.S. Government would offer the Lakota money for land with promises to preserve areas and prevent buffalo hunting and expansion of white settlements. After witnessing this cycle repeat itself, Lakota leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull mounted efforts to drive the white men out for good, and organized attacks that culminated in the Battle of Little Big Horn, where General George Custer and his men were slaughtered. After escaping into Canada, Sitting Bull and his followers, drained of resources and facing starvation, subjected themselves to arrest and interment, which effectively ended any hope the Sioux and Lakota had of retaining their land.