Don Healy's

The United Sioux Tribes

The United Sioux Tribes, based in Pierre, SD, is not actually a tribe, but a development corporation composed of eleven member tribes. The current roster of members are:

  • The Cheyenne River Sioux
  • The Crow Creek Sioux
  • The Devil's Lake Sioux (ND)
  • The Flandreau Santee Sioux
  • The Lower Brule Sioux
  • The Oglala Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation
  • The Rosebud Sioux
  • The Santee Sioux (NE)
  • The Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux
  • The Standing Rock Sioux
  • The Yankton Sioux

All but two of the members come from Sioux Dakota (Presenting the United Sioux Tribes, pamphlet, undated, Pierre, SD). There combined voice speaks for some 40,000 Sioux.

The United Sioux Tribes was formed in May, 1970 to "promote the general welfare, health, economic development, educational opportunities and provide assistance" (Mission statement, United Sioux Tribes) to its members. It can also speak as a single voice for all the member Sioux nations when there is uniform agreement on a subject. Initially formed to support solely the Sioux nations of South Dakota, the United Sioux Tribes has since expanded its reach to include tribes in neighboring states.

The flag of the United Sioux Tribes is white (photo provided by the United Sioux Tribes, Pierre, SD) . It bears the logo of the organization in the center and the organization name across to lower part of the flag.

The logo, which is on the current flag is slightly out of date - it bears 10 teepees instead of eleven. The Santee Sioux of Nebraska having recently joined. The flag will be updated to reflect this addition. The current logo is identical to the one on the existing flag except for the number of teepees. The logo is a ring of white stylized teepees, topped in red touching a black ring. Inside the ring is a white disc. Upon this disc lies a smaller black disc. Emanating to the four prime directions are four red arrowheads starting at the outer black ring and ending touching the black disc at the center of the design. As with many other Native Americans the number four has significance in the four directions, the four seasons, the four natural elements and the four races of man. When used as a logo on stationary and in other ways the outer black ring on the flag is usually altered to light blue. This color difference is solely a cost saving device in the flag's manufacture.

Special thanks must be given to Kandace Kritz, Executive Assistant of the United Sioux Tribe for supplying, not only information about the United Sioux Tribes, but also several other Sioux tribal flags. Her assistance allowed the author to complete the documentation of every Sioux tribe in South Dakota.

Don Healy, Bisbee, Az 85603