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The Sioux are a tribe in Civilization IV: Colonization.


The Sioux were a semi-nomadic people of central North America, living in the area that today stretches from modern Kansas to Saskatchewan. Because their territory stretched over a thousand miles in the heart of the continent, the Sioux were comprised of several different tribal groups that spoke dialects of the Sioux language. They first encountered Europeans in 1640, meeting with a group of French explorers sailing down the Mississippi, marking the beginning of a cordial trading relationship with the whites. For the next hundred years, because of their distance from any major European settlements, the Sioux were left largely in peace. They enthusiastically adopted horses in their hunting and battle, learning to handle lance and shield in addition to their traditional bow.

By the 19th century, the Sioux began to feel the adverse effects of European colonization. The first half of the 19th century was marked by a series of disease outbreaks among the Sioux. As well, westward expansion towards California turned their previously isolated settlements into a major thruway for European settlers. The settlers, as they passed through, massacred entire herds of buffalo, leading the beasts to near extinction. The Sioux, who made their livelihood from the buffalo, found themselves in a desperate situation.

And it only worsened. In the 1850s, gold was found in the Black Hills of the Dakotas and brought a surge of European settlers to the area. Conflicts between natives and settlers spurred the United States government to offer a treaty to the Sioux - the Fort Laramie Treaty - which gave them sovereignty over their territory. It had little effect and was generally ignored by white settlers. By the 1860s and 70s, war swept the Sioux territory as various tribes fought both settlers and the federal government. Outgunned by the United States Army, some Sioux surrendered, some fled to Canada, others fought until they could fight no more. Sitting Bull, the most renowned Sioux leader, led his people in clashes against the US Army before fleeing to Canada. When they found, however, that the territory provided for them in Canada was inadequate for their survival, Sitting Bull and his followers agreed to return to the United States and take up residence on a reservation.

By 1890, the Sioux had lost nearly all of their territory and had been forced onto reservations where their livelihood relied solely on the US government. Hunger was a common occurrence and with the "accidental" death of Sitting Bull and his son in December of that year, things looked grim for the Sioux. Many began practicing a religion known as the "Ghost Dance," which was said to be the remedy to their current situation. The US Army, though, expressly forbade the ritual, culminating in the Massacre at Wounded Knee, where 153 men, women and children were gunned down for their participation in the ritual.

By the 20th century, nearly all Sioux had been forced onto reservations, often being moved at the whim of the federal government. Their numbers had been greatly reduced and to this day, only about 150,000 remain.