Some call the area we live in the "Sioux Empire", others insist on the correct term for this area is the "Siouxland". So which is it? And what does it have to do with the rivalry between Sioux Falls and Sioux City?

The two cities are only 87 miles apart and have been linked for centuries now. They actually have quite a lot in common. They're both parts of the Big Sioux River Basin for starters, which begins north of Watertown and ends where the Big Sioux meets the Missouri River. They were also founded around the same time, with Sioux City in 1854 and Sioux Falls in 1856. And the most obvious thing the two have in common? They both have Sioux in their name. Being both named after the Sioux, or Lakota tribes of the area.

Terry Jacobs TSM

The term "Siouxland" was first coined in 1946 by author, Frederick Manfred, who called the area "this area where state lines have not been important." The name stuck and residents who lived in and around the Big Sioux River Basin area used the name to describe the area for decades. However, in the early '90s, residents of Sioux Falls separated themselves from the Sioux City Siouxlanders, by naming the Sioux Falls metropolitan area the "Sioux Empire".


It's generally agreed that the counties of Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook, and Turner make up the Sioux Empire, while the region as a whole is considered the Siouxland. Hopefully, this settles the debate, but whether you call it the Sioux Empire, or Siouxland, it's a pretty great place to call home.

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