They used to inhabit large parts of what is now Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana, but their reserves are now located in Alberta and in Saskatchewan, where they are scarcely differentiated from the Assiniboine.[dubious ] Through their language they are related to the Dakota and Lakota nations of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, part of the large Sioux Nation.
They refer to themselves in their own language as Nakoda, meaning 'friend, ally'. The name Stoney was given them by anglophone explorers, because of their technique of using fire-heated rocks to boil broth in rawhide bowls. They are very closely related to the Assiniboine, who are also known as Stone Sioux (from Ojibwe: asinii-bwaan).
The Stoney were "excluded" from Banff National Park between 1890 and 1920. In 2010 they were officially "welcomed back".