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The people of the Oceti Sakowin call themselves Dakota, Lakota and Nakota, which are dialectic distinctions between three major divisions of the Great Sioux Nation. The nine tribes named themselves, or each other, for the region they inhabited or after a particular characteristic or event. The tribes joined in an alliance for mutual protection  and the Seven Council Fires, or Oceti Sakowin (Och-et-ee Shak-oh-win), emerged from the three divisions of the Great Sioux Nation: Santee-Dakota (eastern), Yankton-Nakota (central) and Teton-Lakota (western).