Black and white photograph of an eight-person mixed-blood Ojibwe family, including a baby, on the White Earth Reservation, ca. 1897.

The Blu family

An eight-person mixed-blood Ojibwe family, including a baby, on the White Earth Reservation, ca. 1897.

Métis in Minnesota

In the Minnesota region during the eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries, métis, or mixed-ancestry, people often acted as bridges between white and American Indian communities. The Métis cultural community of Pembina formed out of fur trade dynamics and influenced Minnesota during its territorial birth.

Black and white photograph of a translator with three Ojibwe men. The Ojibwe leader Miskogwan (Red Feather) stands on the far right. Northwest School of Agriculture Dedication Day, October 5, 1920.

Participants in NWSA Dedication Day

Three Ojibwe men with a translator. The Ojibwe leader Miskogwan (Red Feather) stands on the far right. Northwest School of Agriculture Dedication Day, October 5, 1920.

Sketch showing the approximate boundaries of the contested zone between the Ojibwe and the Dakota in the late 1700s.

Map of contested zone

Sketch showing the approximate boundaries of the contested zone between the Ojibwe and the Dakota in the late 1700s. Adapted from Douglas A. Birk, “A Preliminary Archaeological Study of the Little Round Hill Site, Old Wadena Park, Wadena County, Minnesota,” 1991.

Black and white photograph of Gabriel Renville in South Dakota, ca. 1890. Photograph by Steinhauer.

Gabriel Renville in South Dakota

Gabriel Renville in South Dakota, ca. 1890. Photograph by Steinhauer.

Black and white photograph of Gabriel Renville in Washington D.C., ca. 1880–1881.

Gabriel Renville in Washington, D.C.

Gabriel Renville in Washington, D.C., ca. 1880–1881. Retrieved from Ancestry.com.

Black and white photograph of Gabriel Renville at Carlisle School, 1879.

Gabriel Renville at Carlisle School

Gabriel Renville at Carlisle School, 1879. Retrieved from Ancestry.com.

Black and white photograph of Gabriel Renville in Washington, D.C., at about forty-two years old, 1867.

Gabriel Renville in Washington, D.C.

Gabriel Renville in Washington, D.C., at about forty-two years old, 1867.

Black and white photograph of Gabriel Renville, ca. 1880–1881.

Gabriel Renville

Gabriel Renville, ca. 1880–1881.

Renville, Gabriel (1825–1892)

Gabriel Renville was a fur trader, a farmer, and the leader of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota from 1867 until 1892. Related by blood to multiple Dakota bands and mixed-ancestry families, he opposed Ta Oyate Duta (His Red Nation, also known as Little Crow) and other Dakota who fought against whites in the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862. His choice angered some of his relatives, who saw him as serving the interests of whites. After the war, he was one of many who worked to reacquire land for the Sisseton-Wahpeton people.

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