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The Hunkpapa (Lakota: Húŋkpapȟa) are a Native American group, one of the seven council fires of the Lakota tribe. The name Húŋkpapȟa is a Lakota word meaning "Head of the Circle". (At one time, the tribe's name was represented in European-American records as Honkpapa.) By tradition, the Húŋkpapȟa set up their lodges at the entryway to the circle of the Great Council when the Sioux met in convocation. They speak Lakȟóta, one of the three dialects of the Sioux language.
They may have formed as a tribe within the Lakota relatively recently, as the first mention of the Hunkpapa in European-American historical records was from a treaty of 1825. The United States Army general Warren estimated their population at about 2920 in 1855. He described their territory as ranging "from the Big Cheyenne up to the Yellowstone, and west to the Black Hills. He states that they formerly intermarried extensively with the Cheyenne." He noted that they raided settlers along the Platte River. In addition to warfare, they suffered considerable losses due to contact with Europeans and contracting of Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity.
During the 1870s, when the Native Americans of the Great Plains were fighting the United States, the Hunkpapa were led by Sitting Bull in the fighting, together with the Oglala Lakota. They were among the last of the tribes to go to the reservations. By 1891, the majority of Hunkpapa Lakota, about 571 people, resided in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation of North and South Dakota. Since then they have not been counted separately from the Lakota.
- Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull), chief and leader of the Lakota in fighting against the US Army to remain off the reservations in the 19th century
- Phizí (Gall), one of the commanders in the Battle of Little Bighorn
- Tȟatȟóka Íŋyaŋke (Running Antelope), Hunkpapa chief and advisor to Sitting Bull
- Robert "Tree" Cody, flutist. He is also an enrolled member of the Maricopa tribe.
- "Hunkpapa Sioux Indian Tribe History", Handbook of American Indians, 1906, carried in Access Genealogy, accessed 9 Dec 2009
- Rosebud Sioux Tribe Community Environmental Profile at the Wayback Machine (archived May 16, 2008)
- "Native American Tribes: Sioux (Second Part)", 1997, summarized by Willow Branch from "Through Indian Eyes", Readers' Digest (originally hosted by GeoCities; most links are dead)