Throughout this unit, students will learn how Minnesota transformed from a place were Europeans participated in the great fur trade to a land that is being occupied by westward expansion. Through a series of land sales and acquisition, Dakota and Ojibwe lands diminish as Minnesota inches closer to a United States territory. 

We will be exploring many of these links in and out of class. Explore them and start to familiarize yourself with it's content. 

Minnesota Biomes

  • “Pike” Treaty 1805:: On what is now called Pike’s Island in the Mississippi River, a traditional meeting placefor Dakota people, Captain Zebulon Pike negotiated the purchase of several hundred acres on which to build a fort.
  • Looking at the Territory: The Treaty Story: (From MN History Center) In 1805 the Dakota ceded 100,000 acres of land at the intersection of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Lieutenant Zebulon Pike negotiated the agreement so that the U.S. government could build a military fort there. Of the seven Indian leaders present at the negotiations, only two signed the treaty.
  • Relations: Dakota and Ojibwe Treaties: Treaty with the Sioux, 1805: In 1805, Lewis and Clark were traveling through the western regions of North America. Regular reports on this expedition were sent to Spanish authorities by James Wilkinson -- first governor of the Louisiana Territory, a paid spy for Spain and an alleged conspirator with Aaron Burr in trying to establish an empire in the Southwest. In the summer of 1805, Wilkinson enlisted Zebulon Pike to mount an expedition up the Mississippi River, without informing the federal government.
  • Revisiting Zebulon Pike’s Expedition in Minnesota: This winter marks the 200th anniversary of Zebulon Pike's expedition up the Mississippi River and into Minnesota. Pike set out to explore the river's course and meet with Indian tribes and trappers. The trip was considered a failure by many because Pike wasn't able to find the source of the Mississippi. But some historians say Pike deserves more respect, and are working to reawaken interest in the expedition. Native American's also welcome discussion of Pike, but want people to remember that there are two sides to the story.
  • Treaties with Minnesota Indians: There were a number of treaties with the same tribes or bands which were signed at around the same time in Michigan and Wisconsin. The treaties which are critical in current court proceedings involving Mille Lacs band's hunting and fishing rights (decided in favor of Mille Lacs, and being appealed by the state of Minnesota, 9 counties, and various tourist businesses) are discussed (with maps) and the history of the treaties litigation in Wisconsin and Michigan
  • Why Treaties Matter Exhibit: In August 2010, a resolution creating a unique partnership of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. was approved by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and made it possible for this exhibition to be developed as an educational tool for Minnesota audiences.
  • 1854 Treaty (MN DNR): In 1854, the Chippewa of Lake Superior entered into a treaty with the United States whereby the Chippewa ceded to the United States ownership of their lands in northeastern Minnesota.