Half black, half Ojibwe, George Bonga was the first person of African descent born in what was then the territory of Minnesota in 1802. He was a fur trader and a treaty translator that forged vital relationships with both Europeans and Native Americans. Allison Herrera tells us more about his important role in Minnesota history.
Detail view of a map made in 1685 and 1686 by Jean-Baptiste Louis Franquelin. Lake Mille Lacs (at center left) is labelled as "Lac des Sioux" (Lake of the Sioux), suggesting that the area was known as a home for Dakota people as early as the seventeenth century.
Detail view of a copy of a map made in 1688 by Jean-Baptiste Louis Franquelin. Text surrounding Lake Mille Lacs (at center left, labelled here as Lac de Buade) identifies the area as inhabited by the "Issatis," or Santee Dakota. The map provides some of the earliest extant textual evidence of a Dakota community at Lake Mille Lacs.