We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Canadian Sioux, Second Edition

James H. Howard

Publication Year: 2014

The Canadian Sioux are descendants of Santees, Yanktonais, and Tetons from the United States who sought refuge in Canada during the 1860s and 1870s. Living today on eight reserves in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they are the least studied of all the Sioux groups. This book, originally published in 1984 by James H. Howard, helps fill that gap in the literature and remains relevant even in the twenty-first century.


Based on Howard’s fieldwork in the 1970s and supplemented by written sources, The Canadian Sioux, Second Edition descriptively reconstructs their traditional culture, many aspects of which are still practiced or remembered by Canadian Sioux although long forgotten by their relatives in the United States. Rich in detail, it presents an abundance of information on topics such as tribal divisions, documented history and traditional history, warfare, economy, social life, philosophy and religion, and ceremonialism. Nearly half the book is devoted to Canadian Sioux religion and describes such ceremonies as the Vision Quest, the Medicine Feast, the Medicine Dance, the Sun Dance, warrior society dances, and the Ghost Dance.


This second edition includes previously unpublished images, many of them photographed by Howard, and some of his original drawings.



Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.9 KB)
pp. i-iv


pdf iconDownload PDF (36.0 KB)
pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.9 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (40.1 KB)
pp. ix-xii

...field studies of the late James H. Howard. A native of South Dakota, Howard’s interest in the Plains Indians developed during boyhood. He turned to anthropology as the profession that could provide him with a framework through...

read more

Foreword to the Bison Books Edition

pdf iconDownload PDF (163.8 KB)
pp. xiii-xxii

...The publication of James H. Howard’s The Canadian Sioux almost thirty years ago served to fill a significant gap in the anthropological literature on the Plains Indians. The field study by Wilson D. Wallis in 1914 had resulted in important...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (43.9 KB)
pp. xxiii-xxviii

...The Canadian Sioux are of interest to the historian for a variety of reasons. They have much the same status as “Treaty Indians,” although they have no treaties with the Canadian government. Their presence on Canadian soil is the result of two military campaigns...

read more

1. Traditional Sioux Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF (73.7 KB)
pp. 1-11

...Before embarking upon the description of Canadian Sioux culture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as in the present, it is important to review their ancestral...

read more

2. Tribal Divisions

pdf iconDownload PDF (66.4 KB)
pp. 12-20

...of the Sioux at Wood Mountain are descended from the Hunkpapa sub- band of the Tetons. In their homeland, each of the four Santee bands was divided into sub-bands, as were the Yanktons, Yanktonais, and Tetons. Most adult Canadian Santees today are still able to give their band affiliation (whether Mdewakanton...

read more

3. The Sioux in Canada

pdf iconDownload PDF (64.5 KB)
pp. 21-29

...Of the approximately 6,300 Eastern Sioux who had lived in Minnesota and adjacent portions of North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin prior to the Uprising of 1862, fewer than 2,000 were accounted for at the end of the hostilities. Some eight...

read more

4. Traditional History

pdf iconDownload PDF (7.6 MB)
pp. 30-44

...eminent nineteenth-century British anthropologist remarked, “Were nothing to be had out of ancient poetry except distorted memories of historical events, the anthropologist...

read more

5. Warfare

pdf iconDownload PDF (57.7 KB)
pp. 45-51

...Ojibwas. Probably during those early years the formal war organization, including the war chief and soldier lodge, was activated as it had been during earlier times in Minnesota...

read more

6. Economy

pdf iconDownload PDF (4.7 MB)
pp. 52-71

...homeland. Lakes with wild rice were scarce, and the unsettled conditions following their exodus from the United States resulted in the near abandonment of gardening by the Sioux. On the other hand, hunting, fishing, and gathering...

read more

7. Social Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (4.8 MB)
pp. 72-93

...The Sioux infant was ushered into the world with the assistance of a midwife, generally a female relative of the mother. This woman cut and tied the umbilical cord and wiped the baby dry. Should the mother experience difficulty...

read more

8. Philosophy and Religion

pdf iconDownload PDF (86.5 KB)
pp. 94-114

...A great amount of traditional philosophy and world view has survived among the Canadian Sioux, and concepts that have become forgotten or attenuated among their relatives in the United States are still vital in Canada. It is true, of course...

read more

9. Ceremonialism, the Woodlands Heritage

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.0 MB)
pp. 115-128

...The Canadian Sioux possessed a rich and varied ceremonial life. For descriptive purposes it is convenient to separate these religious and ceremonial activities into two groupings. The first includes those activities that the Santees share with...

read more

10. Ceremonialism, the Plains Heritage

pdf iconDownload PDF (9.7 MB)
pp. 129-170

...The Sun Dance, as of 1972, was no longer practiced by the Canadian Sioux as a tribal ceremony on any reserve, although it was still vital to the Plains Ojibwas, Plains Crees, and Assiniboines, all of whom either received the dance directly from the Sioux or...

read more

11. The Canadian Sioux Today

pdf iconDownload PDF (58.6 KB)
pp. 171-178

...When one has visited Sioux communities in both the United States and Canada, a comparison of the condition of the two parts of the tribe, now citizens of separate nations, is inevitable. In such a comparison I would unhesitatingly state that the Canadian...

Appendix: List of Informants

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.8 KB)
pp. 179-180


pdf iconDownload PDF (46.3 KB)
pp. 181-184


pdf iconDownload PDF (82.9 KB)
pp. 185-195

Series Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.6 KB)
pp. 196-197

E-ISBN-13: 9780803273788
E-ISBN-10: 0803273789
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803271760

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: Second Edition