The Upper Missouri River Basin in the Nineteenth Century: Fur Trade - Rogers Archaeology Lab

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1958 Four Bear Dewy Co SD
I was th
wisrog@ gmail.com

Bonnie Jean MacKay

I want to thank you for the blogs you have written on the topics of the peoples of the Great Plains. I am studying the Missouri River and the history and prehistory of the occupants (human, mostly for the time being) leading up to implementation of the Pick-Sloan flood control plan and the construction of dams and the resulting reservoirs along the main stem of the Missouri River. I am finding your research invaluable to my topic - you have done all th foundational research, and I am simply THRILLED with it!

Bonnie Jean MacKay

Why do you say, "(the Yankton and Yanktonai, sometimes erroneously referred to as “Nakota”)"?
Why erroneously? I was recently at a Dakota Truth-telling Symposium at Fort Snelling, and John Eagle Sr., tribal historic preservation officer for the SRST (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) spoke of the Lakota and Dakota, and I am pretty sure he mentioned the Nakota, as though the dialect denoted a people who spoke it - perhaps the Oglala Sioux Nation?

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Thank you for your comments, we are glad you find our blog posts interesting!

In the 19th century missionaries appear to have recorded that Yankton/Yanktonai peoples called themselves “Nakota,” when in reality it was a version of “Dakota.” The name “Nakota” for Yankton/Yanktonai people continued to be used by non-native historians and other scholars throughout the 20th century, even though linguists had pointed out the inaccuracy. Language can be fluid and rightly so, people choose the words they want to use. We primarily work with historical periods, but in recent decades it seems the Yankton/Yanktonai people started using it to distinguish themselves from other Dakota groups, so that the name has indeed become accurate in the recent past.

If you would like to research the topic further here are two good sources:

See Ullrich, Jan F. and Lakota Language Consortium, New Lakota Dictionary: Lakȟótiyapi-English, English-Lakȟótiyapi & Incorporating the Dakota Dialects of Yankton-Yanktonai & Santee-Sisseton, Lakota Language Consortium, Bloomington, 2008.

DeMallie, Raymond J., “Sioux until 1850”; in William C. Sturtevant and Raymond J. DeMallie (eds.), Handbook of North American Indians: Plains Vol. 13, Part 2, Government Printing Office, Washington, 2001.

Rogers Archaeology Lab

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