Native Americans
The Sioux People

The Sioux People
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.71

     challenging words:    bad-tempered, cavalrymen, disarm, encamp, exclusive, nomadic, swarmed, tribal, unrest, uprising, violent, commercial, leadership, bravery, provided, spook
     content words:    First Treaty, Fort Laramie, Little Crow, Civil War, Second Treaty, Black Hills, South Dakota, General George Custer, Little Big Horn River, Wounded Knee Creek

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The Sioux People
By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     Imagine you are a ten year old Sioux boy. Scouts have just come back to the hunting party. It is your first hunt, your first real test of bravery. You will try to kill your first bison. The herd has been located. It is important that they do not smell you too soon. Bison are fast animals. They are often bad-tempered and easy to spook. You do not want them to turn and stampede through the village.
2     You might be afraid inside, but you do not show it. If there is a good hunt, there will be much feasting and laughter around the campfires. Even if you do not make a kill, the people will know you had the courage to try.
3     Bison were one of the most important animals for the plains people. The large animals provided them with meat, clothing, shelter, and tools. The bison were life to the Sioux.
4     The Sioux were not just one tribe, but seven related tribes who all spoke the same language. They were one of the largest prairie groups. They had three names for themselves that varied among the dialects of the tribes Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. The words meant "allies" or "the people."
5     While they were a happy, laughing people who enjoyed life, they could also be violent if threatened. Those settlers who made friends with them and attempted to learn the language found them to be good neighbors. Those people who did not, often found the Sioux to be bitter enemies.

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