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The Dakota are the Santee branch of the Sioux people who traditionally lived in parts of Canada and the United States . Dakota, which refers both to the people and their language, is made up of two words - da meaning "considered" or "to think of as ..." and koda meaning "friend", "companion", "friendly" or "friendship." The name Dakota translates as "friendly", "allies", "allied","ally" or "the allied ones."   Earlier spellings of Dakota include Dakhota and Dakotah. There are many places and people named for the Dakota.
Dakota, the earliest of the three, is linguistically related to the other two dialetical branches Lakota and Nakota (i.e. Assiniboine). Instead of koda, the Lakota use the word kola and the Nakota use the word kona to denote a friend or ally. The Lakota also use the word ko to mean "included" which may indicate that kola, along with kona and koda may, themselves, be compound words . Lakota is listed as meaning "alliance of friends".(Vaudree (talk) 09:00, December 7, 2015 (UTC))