Language: Assiniboine (known to its own speakers as Nakota or Nakoda) is a
Siouan language of the Northern Plains.
It is an agglutinative language
with SOV word order.
A second language, Stoney, is also known as
Nakoda and is closely related to Assiniboine, but people speaking the languages cannot understand each other
well, so despite their similarities, most linguists consider them separate languages, like French and Spanish.
Assiniboine is spoken today by about 200 people in Montana, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
Names: The name Assiniboine comes from the tribe's name in the language of their Ojibwe neighbors,
Asiniibwaan, which means "Stone Sioux." (This was probably a reference to their style of cooking food with heated stones.
English-speaking Americans sometimes called them the Stone Indians for the same reason.)
The people call themselves Nakota, which
means "the allies" in their own language. They have also been known by their name in the Dakota and Lakota languages,
Hohe, or by the English name
Alternate spellings of these names include Assiniboin, Assinaboin, Assinipwan, Assinipwat, Asinepoet, Osinipoilles;
Nakoda, Nakona, Nakon, Nakhoda, Nakhóda, Nakhota, Nakhóta, Nakhona, Nakhóna; Stone Indians; and Hóhe.
Demographic information about Assiniboine from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Nakona and Dakota Revitalization:
Homepage of the Fort Peck language department, working to preserve the Sioux and Assiniboine languages.