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Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate


The Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands are subdivisions of the eastern or Dakotah Indians and are two bands of the eastern Santee Division, who speak the Dakotah language with the “D” dialect. The other divisions of what often is referred to as the Great Sioux or Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Nation consist of the western Teton division and the middle Yankton division who speak the “L” and “N” dialects respectively. The word “Dakotah” can be translated into English as “friend” and is the preferred identification of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands. The real significance of the word, “Dakotah” derives from the word ‘WoDakotah,” which means “harmony”, “a condition of being at peace with oneself and in harmony with one another and with nature”, and “a condition of lifestyle patterned after the natural order of nature.” Within the three major divisions of the Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Nation, there are 7 major bands, who are referred to as the Seven Council Fires. In consideration and respect for this alliance, the Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands have erected seven torches in front of the Dakota Magic Casino’s entry, and each torch is representational of each of the seven bands among the Dakota-Lakota-Nakota people. These seven torches also are representational of our seven district council communities on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

DIVISION: BANDS (council fires):


  • Spirit Lake People (MdeWakantonwan)
  • Shooters Among the Leaves People (Wahpekute)
  • People Dwelling among the Leaves (Wahpetonwan)
  • People of the Fish Village(s) (Sissetonwan)


  • Dwellers at the End – Yankton Ihanktonwan)
  • Little Dwellers at the End – (Yanktonai – (Ihanktowanna)

Western – Teton – Lakota:

  • Dwellers on the Plains – (Titonwan)

Seven Major Subdivisions of the Teton:

  • Oglala (Scatter their own) – Pine Ridge
  • Sicangu (Burned thighs) – Rosebud & Lower Brule
  • Hunkpapa (End of Circle) – Standing Rock
  • Mnikowoju (Planters beside the Stream) – Cheyenne River
  • Sihasapa (black foot) – Cheyenne River
  • Oohenunpa (two kettle)
  • Itazipco (without bows)

*All historical research provided by Ed Red Owl*