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Despite the efforts of white officials, traditional warfare between Dakota and Ojibwe peoples continued for years after the 1825 Treaty of Prairie du Chien. One battle that has received particular attention by historians took place in 1842 and has been called The Battle of Kaposia.
In the 1920s, the Institute for Government Research commissioned a study on the economic and social condition of Native Americans. Called the Meriam Report, it determined that federal Indian policy failed Native Americans and left them “poor, even extremely poor.”
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Moon of the Snowblind by Gary Kelley is a graphic novel that tells the story of the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857. Although I had never read a graphic novel, I was impressed with the creativity of author and historian Gary Kelley.
American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist Henry Rowe Schoolcraft is generally regarded as the man who found and identified the source of the Mississippi River in 1832. But this interpretation, which has been perpetuated throughout American history, fails on two levels—it does not recognize people who had already found the source of the Mississippi, nor does it acknowledge the contributions of Ozaawindib, the Ojibwe guide who led Schoolcraft to the river’s origin.
Speaking through an interpreter, Standing Bear stood before the judge and said, “That hand is not the color of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be the same color as yours. I am a man. God made us both.”
There’s a subtly to Thomas’ life and actions that portray him not as a hero, but as a man. The same can be said for each character in this novel. They are not heroic figures or caricatures that exist to prove a point or embellish an important historical moment. They are deeply human and therefore profoundly real.
Despite their promise to protect the Ponca in possession of their lands, the U.S. mistakenly gave away the Ponca reservation by placing it within The Great Sioux Reservation created by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. Because of this mistake, conflict arose between the Ponca and the Sioux/Lakota, who claimed a legal right to the Ponca land. As a result, the U.S. had to find a way to remove the Ponca from their homelands.
Years before Sibley rose to political prominence in the region, he married a Franco-Dakota woman named Tahshinaohindoway, known as Red Blanket Woman. Tahshinaohindoway was the daughter of Wasuwicaxtaxni (Bad Hail), a well-known Dakota spokesman during the treaty negotiations of 1837 and 1851. The two were together on a hunt in the winter of 1839–40 when they married in a style known as a la facon du pays, or, country style.