The term Sioux was adapted by the French from the Chippewa word Nadouessioux, meaning "adder" or "snake." The Chippewa were enemies of the Sioux thus explaining why the Sioux do not use this term to describe themselves. The term they use to describe themselves is Lakota, meaning "allies." The Sioux were a semi-nomadic, tipi-dwelling tribe whose livelihood was sustained through following buffalo herd.

Information on the Lakota Sioux Indians. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Parks Service:

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