Seth Eastman was a painter and soldier best known for his depictions of the everyday life of Dakota and Ojibwe people around Fort Snelling in the 1840s. He stands out among other nineteenth-century American artists—particularly those who also painted American Indian people—because of his commitment to realism. Unlike his peers, Eastman mostly avoided romanticizing the Native people with whom he lived.
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.