A language of United States

Alternate Names

100 in United States (2016 W. Meya), decreasing. Ethnic population: 170,000 (2016 Lakota Language Consortium). Includes all ethnic Sioux. Total users in all countries: 290.


Minnesota: Upper Sioux, Lower Sioux, Prior Lake, Prairie Island, Minneapolis; Montana: Fort Peck reservation; Nebraska: Santee; North Dakota: Devils Lake, northern Standing Rock reservation, Sisseton-Lakota Traverse reservation; South Dakota: Crow Creek, Sisseton-Lakota Traverse and Yankton reservations, Flandreau.

Language Status

7 (Shifting). Language of registered tribe: Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota, Mdewakanton Sioux Indians, Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota, Santee Sioux Nation, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, Spirit Lake Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (North Dakota and South Dakota), Upper Sioux Community, Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.


Dakota (Dakhota, Santee, Santee-Sisseton), Nakota (Nakoda, Yankton, Yankton-Yanktonais). Lexical similarity: 83%–86% with Stoney [sto], 89%–94% with Assiniboine [asb], 90%–95% with dialects.

Language Use

Adults only. Most youth prefer English [eng] or do not speak the language (Golla 2007).

Language Development

Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1879. Teaching programs at every level, preschool through university (Golla 2007).


Latin script [Latn].

Also spoken in:

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