Inyan Ceyaka Otunwe

Inyan Ceyaka Otunwe (“Village at the Barrier of Stone”), also called Little Rapids or simply Inyan Ceyaka, was a summer planting village of the Wahpeton Dakota. Located near present-day Jordan on the Minnesota River, the village was occupied by the Wahpeton during the early 1800s, and likely before. Burial mounds indicate that Paleo-Americans—possible ancestors of the Dakota—lived at the site as early as 100 CE.

Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, and Pokegama Falls Dams

Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, and Pokegama Falls Dams were built in the Mississippi Headwaters during the late 19th century. These structures preceded the construction of the Headwaters reservoir system and played key roles in flood prevention and river control during the 20th century.

Lower Sioux Agency

The Lower Sioux Agency, or Redwood Agency, was built by the federal government in 1853 near the Redwood River in south-central Minnesota Territory. The Agency served as an administrative center for the Lower Sioux Reservation of Santee Dakota. It was also the site of key events related to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

Meyer, Roy Willard (1925–2007)

Roy W. Meyer's studies of the Dakota and United States policies dealing with them brought about thoughtful public conversation during the late 1960s and 1970s, a time of social turmoil in the country.

Military Land Warrants in Minnesota, 1854–1863

State militia soldiers fought many wars against Britain, Mexico, and American Indian nations to take land for the United States. The federal government rewarded them with military land warrants—certificates that could be redeemed for up to 160 acres of U.S. public land. The warrants were quickly sold and then traded on Wall Street to land agents in the country’s western territories. The agents made huge profits from selling and loaning them to struggling farmers. In Minnesota, German immigrants used land warrants to buy Dakota land, start farms, and found the town of New Ulm.

Minnesota Public School Fund

In 1854, the United States took the mineral-rich lands of northeastern Minnesota Territory from the Ojibwe Nation after the signing of the Treaty of La Pointe. Four years later, it granted to the new state of Minnesota sections 16 and 36 of every one of its townships, either to be held in trust or leased to support state schools. Close to three million acres were dedicated to a public school trust fund, and the iron ore and forest lands of the Ojibwe generated over 85 percent of its value. In 2017, it is worth over a billion dollars.

Mississippi River Reservoir Dam System

The Headwaters Dams were built between 1881 and 1912 in the Mississippi headwaters. The dams served to regulate river flow and assist navigation until 1938, when they were relegated to a flood control role.

Morrison, George (1919–2000)

George Morrison, one of Minnesota’s most important artists, is best known for his landscape paintings and wood collages. He drew inspiration from nature, combining impressionism with expressionism, cubism, and surrealism to develop a uniquely textured style. He referred to himself as a formalist in his approach to art.

Myers, Ruth A. (1926–2001)

Ruth A. Myers was known as the “grandmother of American Indian education in Minnesota.” A persistent voice for American Indian children and their families, Myers focused on education policy as well as learning opportunities for American Indian children. She also produced curriculum and resource materials that reflected American Indian history and culture for all Minnesota learners.

Pipestone Indian Training School Baseball Team

Pipestone Indian Training School—a boarding school in Pipestone, Minnesota, for Dakota and Ojibwe boys and girls—fielded popular and often successful student baseball teams from 1893 until the 1920s.

Pipestone Quarry, Pipestone

From ancient times to the present, a pipestone quarry in southwestern Minnesota has been a sacred gathering place for Indian nations from all over North America. Modern highways following traditional migration routes used by indigenous people intersect at this venerated place, designated a national monument in 1937.

Sawmills, Red Lake Indian Reservation

Since the first sawmill was built near Red Lake in 1856, the harvesting and processing of timber has been a significant part of the local economy. It has provided an enduring source of income for the Ojibwe living in the area that is now the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Sybil Carter Indian Lace Association

When Sybil Carter started her first lace-making classes at the White Earth Reservation, she set the stage for a major economic enterprise. In 1904, friends of Carter organized the Sybil Carter Indian Lace Association to help ship and market lace made by women on reservations to East Coast consumers. The association provided a good source of income to American Indian women. However, the association also held negative views of American Indian women and excluded them from leadership roles.

Tatanka Mani (Walking Buffalo), "Red Wing" (c.1755–1829)

Tatanka Mani (Walking Buffalo) was a leader of the Mdewakanton Dakota in the upper Mississippi Valley. Euro-American immigrants who met him as they advanced into the region in the early nineteenth century came to know him and his village as Red Wing.

How the Dakota Have Shaped the State

The Land, Water, and Language of the Dakota, Minnesota’s First People

Expert Essay: Teresa Peterson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) and Walter LaBatte Jr. (also Sisseton-Wahpeton) examine the experiences of Dakota people in Mni Sota Makoce, their spiritual homeland.

How the Ojibwe Have Shaped the State

The Ojibwe: Our Historical Role in Influencing Contemporary Minnesota

Expert Essay: Thomas D. Peacock, member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and author of many books and articles on Ojibwe history and culture, reflects on the Ojibwe influence on Minnesota, from language, literature, and the arts to education, economics, and politics.

Treaty of La Pointe, 1854

The second Treaty of La Pointe (1854) ceded most Ojibwe land on the northern and western shores of Lake Superior to the U.S. government. It also established the Grand Portage and Fond du Lac reservations. In exchange, the Ojibwe received annual payments and a guarantee that they could continue to hunt and fish throughout this territory.

Treaty of Mendota, 1851

The Treaty of Mendota was signed between the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands of the Dakota and the United States Government in 1851. By signing this treaty and the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux the same year, the Dakota transferred ownership of their lands to the United States. The treaties of 1851 opened millions of acres to white colonization. For the Dakota, the treaties represented a step towards the loss of their homeland, and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, 1851

The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux of 1851 is an agreement between the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Dakota and the U.S. government. It transferred ownership of much of southern and western Minnesota from the Dakota to the United States. The treaty is significant in Minnesota's history because, along with the Treaty of Mendota signed that same year, it opened twenty-four million acres of land to immigration. For the Dakota, these treaties marked another step in the process that saw them increasingly marginalized in and dismissed from land that was their home.

Treaty of Washington, 1855

The Treaty of Washington (1855) is a milestone in the history of Ojibwe people in Minnesota. The agreement ceded a large portion of Ojibwe land to the U.S. government and created the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs reservations.

Wacouta I (Shooter), ca. 1800–1858

In spring 1829, Wacouta (Shooter) faced two challenges upon becoming leader of the Red Wing band of Mdewakanton Dakota. He needed to fend off challenges from rivals within his village and also find success in dealings with United States government officials.

Whipple, Henry Benjamin (1822–1901)

Henry Benjamin Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of Minnesota, is known for his missionary work among the Dakota and Ojibwe and his efforts to reform the U.S. Indian administration system. After the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, Whipple was one of the few white men to oppose the death sentences of 303 Dakota.

World's Largest Peace Pipe

The world's largest peace pipe began with a vision shared by three spiritual people: one Lakota and two Anishinaabe. The pipe stands on the grounds of the historic Rock Island Railroad depot near the entrance to the Pipestone National Monument, home to the Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers. The location of the giant peace pipe is significant; the pipestone quarry nearby is known as "the crossroads of the Indian world." The soft red stone from the quarry has been used by American Indians for thousands of years to create ceremonial peace pipes.

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