When the first French fur traders, or voyageurs, arrived in the late 1600s, the Dakota (or Sioux) people had lived in Minnesota for many years. They hunted buffalo, fished, planted corn, beans, and squash, and harvested northern beds of wild rice. They lived in warm skin tipis in the winter and had airy bark houses, or wigwams, for the summer.
The Anishinabe (or Ojibwe, also Chippewa) people moved into Minnesota from the east. They lived much like the Dakota, but from the French fur traders they obtained metal tools and weapons, cloth, blankets, and ornaments. By 1800, the Anishinabe had taken over the lakes and woods of the north.
Chief Bug-0-nay-gee-shig, Hole in the Day, (ca 1825-1868) was a powerful statesman and leader of the Anishinabe in north-central Minnesota in the 1850s and 1860s. This picture was taken about 1858.
This is a watercolor painting of Wabasha's village on the Mississippi River in the 1840s. The village was named after three great Dakota chiefs who lived from about 1800 to the 1860s.