Origin of "South Dakota"

South Dakota State Name Origin


Sioux Indian

Sioux Indian Eddie Plenty Holes (1899); public domain image on Wikipedia.‎

What does "South Dakota" mean?

"Dakota" is the Sioux Indian word for friend. President James Buchanan signed the bill creating the Dakota Territory in 1861.

The Dakota Territory originally included the area covered today by North and South Dakota as well as Montana and Wyoming. On November 2, 1889, both North and South Dakota were admitted to the Union, becoming the 39th and 40th states.

South Dakota


South Dakota geology and topography; image from USGS: A Tapestry of Time and Terrain (public domain image).

South Dakota geology and topography map

The state of South Dakota USA (public domain image).

Map of South Dakota USA