Native American languages
Native American names
"Nakota" is a tribal name used by several Siouan tribes of the Northern Plains:
1) The Stoney tribe of Alberta and Saskatchewan. (Most Stoney people spell and pronounce this name
2) The Assiniboine tribe of Saskatchewan and Montana.
3) The Yankton and Yanktonai people of South Dakota. Actually the Yankton and Yanktonai
people do not use "Nakota" to refer to themselves; they usually call themselves Yankton and Yanktonai Sioux,
and in their own language the tribal name is pronounced Dakota, not Nakota. Only historians and
anthropologists use "Nakota" to refer to the Yankton or Yanktonai. Presumably at some point in the past there must have
been some Yankton and Yanktonai speakers who pronounced "Dakota" as "Nakota," thus causing them to be recorded
in history books this way. It could also have been a case of mistaken identity on the part of outsiders.
The Yankton and Yanktonai dialects of Dakota are closer to the Stoney and Assiniboine language than other Dakota dialects,
so Stoney and Assiniboine people might have been confused for Yankton or Yanktonai people.
Here are links to our webpages about the Nakota tribe and language:
Plains Indian tribes
Here are a few good books about the Nakotas:
Land of Nakoda: The Story of the Assiniboine Indians
The History of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation
Assiniboine Memories; Legends of the Nakota People
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2015 Contacts and FAQ page
Back to our Native American encyclopedia
Would you like to help support our organization's work with Nakota?