Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct Native American tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The terms used to refer to Native Americans have been controversial. According to a 1995 U.S. Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as American Indians (or simply Indians), and this term has been adopted by major newspapers and some academic groups; however, this term does not typically include Native Hawaiians or certain Alaskan Natives, such as Aleut, Yup'ik, or Inuit peoples.
Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas, and their importation of Africans as slaves, has led to centuries of conflict and adjustment between Old and New World societies. Europeans created most of the early written historical record about Native Americans after the colonists' immigration to the Americas. Many Native Americans lived as hunter-gatherer societies and told their histories by oral traditions. In many groups, women carried out sophisticated cultivation of numerous varieties of staple crops: maize, beans and squash. The indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the agrarian, proto-industrial, mostly Christian immigrants from western Eurasia. Many Native cultures were matrilineal; the people occupied lands for use of the entire community, for hunting or agriculture. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were extremely different.
The Sioux (pron.: //) are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects. The Sioux comprise three major divisions based on Siouan dialect and subculture: Isáŋyathi or Isáŋathi ("Knife," originating from the name of a lake in present-day Minnesota), residing in the extreme east of the Dakotas, Minnesota and northern Iowa, and are often referred to as the Santee or Eastern Dakota; Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ and Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna ("Village-at-the-end" and "little village-at-the-end"), residing in the Minnesota River area, they are considered to be the middle Sioux, and are often referred to as the Yankton and the Yanktonai, or, collectively, as the Wičhíyena (endonym) or the Western Dakota (and have been erroneously classified as “Nakota”); Thítȟuŋwaŋ or Teton (uncertain, perhaps "Dwellers on the Prairie"; this name is archaic among the natives, who prefer to call themselves Lakȟóta), the westernmost Sioux, known for their hunting and warrior culture, are often referred to as the Lakota.