The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota are three Indian divisions that are today commonly referred to by the general name ‘Sioux’. The three divisions all belong to the same language group and used to also form a political religious unity. Historically, they are part of the Oceti Sakowin: the Seven Council Fires. The white colonizers referred to the people of the Seven Council Fires as Sioux: an Anglo-French corruption of the name given to them by their traditional enemies.That’s why, according to some, the word Sioux is insulting. Others, however, have appropriated the term to refer to themselves. Some tribal chiefs have even included the word Sioux in their name.
Today, there are more than 100,000 people in the U.S. who identify as Lakota. Many of them reside in one of the five reservations west of South Dakota: Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock.The Lakota division is the westernmost division of the Seven Council Fires. Each division in itself is comprised of multiple tribes.Within the Lakota division, Tammy Howard belongs to the Hunkpapa tribe. Her Hunkpapa name is Wakinyanwayankapiwin. Tammy’s ancestor was called Rabbit Head, but the U.S. Army ordered him to change his name to John Howard.