News & events
Standing Rock and Imperialism Itself
The Dakota Access Pipeline was originally scheduled to cross the state of North Dakota north of Bismarck, the state capital (pop. 70,000). But then the route was shifted 40 miles south, to the south, to pass by the Standing Rock Sioux reservation (pop. 8200). This is sovereign territory of the Sioux, whose reservation straddles North and South Dakota and whose members include Hunkpapa Lakota and Yaktonai Dakota. - Gary Leupp, Counter Punch, 8 November 2016
The Sioux are a nation of about 170,000 people, divided linguistically into the Lakotas, Dakotas and Nakotas concentrated in what are now North and South Dakota. We know that there were some in what is now either Wisconsin or Minnesota in 1660 because French traders met them and recorded the encounter. They may have advanced into the Dakotas only after that.
(I mention these details only to suggest that the Sioux have not “always” been in their current zone. Native American tribes—like Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, Turkish or Bantu tribes elsewhere—migrated and settled over time, and sometimes reached a new territory simultaneous with the first Europeans’ arrival.
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