Some in southeast South Dakota live in the "Sioux Empire." While others are residents of "Siouxland".

But, where is deciding line? And what does it have to do with the rivalry between Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Sioux City, Iowa?

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Sioux Empire vs Siouxland
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The two cities are only 87 miles apart and have been linked for well over a century 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 near Sioux City.

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 Native Americans.

Why is Sioux City Called 'SIouxland?'

The term "Siouxland" was first coined in 1946 by author, Frederick Manfred. He wanted to a term to refer to the Sioux City area where Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska come together. He called it an "[A]rea 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.

Sioux Empire vs Siouxland
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Why is Sioux Falls Called the 'Sioux Empire?'

However, in the early '90s, residents of Sioux Falls separated themselves from the Sioux City Siouxlanders, by giving the area around 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.

In the end, there aren't any official borders for the Empire or the Land. It's really whatever one wants to call it.

Hopefully, this settles the debate, but whether you call it the Sioux Empire, or Siouxland, it's a pretty great place to call home.

Standing in Three States at One Time

Have You Ever Explored the 'War Eagle Monument' on the South Dakota/Iowa Border?

Originally being from the Sioux City area, I grew up knowing about the War Eagle Monument perched on a bluff along I-29. There was at least one field trip for every kid in the area to the monument.

However, speaking with folks from Sioux Falls, they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. All they know about I-29 in Sioux City was that it was usually under construction.

When crossing into Iowa from South Dakota on I-29, look up!


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