The Sioux are made up of different groups with different histories and customs. In studying the Sioux, a challenge is to learn the various names and locations of the different bands. Siouan was a widespread Indian language family. Tribes in many parts of North America spoke Siouan dialects. However, the tribal name Siouan, is applied only to a certain group of Siouan-speaking people.
The Lakota People, also known as Teton (“Prairie dwellers”) are an indigenous people of the Great Plains of North America. There were four branches of Sioux tribe, with different bands in each. The first and biggest branch was the Teton Sioux. A second branch was the Santee Sioux. A third branch was the Yankton Sioux, A fourth branch was the Yanktonai branch. Of all four branches, the Tetons use the Lakota version of the tribal name.
To the Lakota, family was very important. Membership changed, but the family remained together through the years. They camped together in circular shaped camps. The family hunting section, tiyospe, was the main building block of Lakota society. A "good family" was judged by membership in hunter’s success, the support of religious ceremonies, and wealth in horses.
Lewis and Clark met the Lakota people under a haze of a lot of tension and doubt. The Lakota tribes’ behavior was very unpredictable, and Lewis and Clark had no idea why. President Thomas Jefferson had singled out the Lakota as one which Lewis and Clark should be very careful to manage good relations with. And friendship with this tribe was important to the U.S. Government to make plans to create a fur trade network into the Northwest and control peace between individual plains tribes, but Lewis and Clark ended up failing in their mission. The Brule band of the Lakota Sioux were in an important place in the region, in terms of politics and trade. Every year they traveled to the Dakota Rendezvous on the James River in South Dakota to trade with the Yankton and Sisseton bands of Sioux....