Black and white photograph of the first school at St. Mary's Mission, Red Lake, Minnesota, c.1880s.

First school at St. Mary's Mission, Red Lake, Minnesota

First school at St. Mary's Mission, Red Lake, Minnesota, c.1880s.

Color image of a corn god holding an ear of corn. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user ŠJů, 2012.

Yam Kaax, the Mayan corn god

Corn god holding an ear of corn. Photograph by Wikimedia Commons user ŠJů, 2012.

Black and white photograph of Reverend Stephen Riggs and his wife, Mary Riggs, c.1860.

Reverend Stephen Riggs and his wife, Mary Riggs

Reverend Stephen Riggs and his wife, Mary Riggs, c.1860.

Black and white photograph of the Hazelwood Mission of Stephen R. Riggs in Yellow Medicine County, c.1860.

Hazelwood Mission of Stephen R. Riggs in Yellow Medicine County

The Hazelwood Mission of Stephen R. Riggs in Yellow Medicine County, c.1860.

Black and white photograph of the restored Dakota mission of Stephen R. Riggs and Thomas S. Williamson at Lac qui Parle State Park, 1971. Photographed by Jack Renshaw.

Laq qui Parle mission

The restored Dakota mission of Stephen R. Riggs and Thomas S. Williamson at Lac qui Parle State Park, 1971. Photographed by Jack Renshaw.

Black and white photograph of Stephen R. Riggs, 1862. Photographed by Whitney’s Gallery.

Reverend Stephen Riggs

Stephen R. Riggs, 1862. Photographed by Whitney’s Gallery.

Riggs, Stephen Return (1812–1883)

Stephen Return Riggs was a Christian missionary and linguist who spent forty years in the Minnesota River Valley, Nebraska, and Dakota Territory. In both these roles, he aimed to “Christianize and civilize” the Dakota people he believed were caught in the “bonds of heathenism.” To further his project, he compiled the first printed dictionary of the Dakota language. Riggs’s work as a government translator and interpreter helped the United States remove the Dakota from their Minnesota homeland during the 1850s and 1860s.

Color image of a Hmong religious altar made, c.2005.

Hmong altar

Hmong religious altar made, c.2005. The altar includes Chinese money paper cut in snowflake patterns; a gong and stick; bells; a mask; incense holders; golden metal cups; a salad plate; a glass bowl; an animal horn; a turquoise cotton bag; and a black metal nonfunctional sword.

Color image of a Hmong American boy in traditional clothing. Photographed by Vue Xiong, c.1992.

Hmong boy

Hmong American boy in traditional clothing. Photographed by Vue Xiong, c.1992.

Black and white photograph of a Hmong wedding reception in St. Paul, 1981. Photographed by Michael Kieger.

Hmong wedding reception

Hmong wedding reception in St. Paul, 1981. Photographed by Michael Kieger.

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