We’re committed to deepening our understanding of and relationships with tribal governments, with the Dakota people and with the land.
Join us in this journey. The first step is to learn a fuller story of the land we call home. Use this resource hub to listen, read, watch and explore.
Resources to Read, Listen and Watch
Why Treaties Matter Virtual Exhibit
Today, treaties continue to affirm the inherent sovereignty of American Indian nations. Tribal governments maintain nation-to-nation relationships with the United States government. Tribal nations manage lands, resources, and economies, protect people, and build more secure futures for generations to come. That is Why Treaties Matter.
The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862
It has been over 150 years since the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, a disastrous time in Minnesota history. The war had a profound impact in shaping Minnesota as we know it today. This site is a resource for learning about the war, its causes, and its far-reaching consequences.
Native Land Digital map
Native Land Digital is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to providing a free online resource for people looking to learn more about the Indigenous history of the land they live on and visit. Visit the map to find out more about the places connected to your life.
The Lasting Legacy of Place Names, TEDx – Kate Beane, Ph.D.
Through names and narrative, we experience physical places in profound and sometimes unseen ways. A name can evoke a concept, a sense of home, connect us, and have deep meaning for communities and families. Kate Beane, Ph.D. (Flandreau Santee Dakota and Muskogee Creek) worked with her family to champion the cause of restoring the Dakota name Bde Maka Ska (from Lake Calhoun) in her ancestral homeland of Bde Ota (Minneapolis). Kate believes that the dominant narrative of history should be updated and rewritten to honor the languages, lives, and legacies of its Indigenous peoples.
The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America Webinar
A member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, Chef Sean Sherman was born and raised in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Cooking in kitchens across the United States and Mexico for over 30 years, Chef Sean is renowned nationally and internationally in the culinary movement of Indigenous foods. His primary focus is the revitalization and evolution of Indigenous foods systems throughout North America. His extensive studies on the foundations of Indigenous food systems have led to his deep understanding of what is needed to showcase Native American cuisine in today’s world. Our fellow foundation West Central Initiative hosted Chef Sean as part of the Era to Act virtual series.
Philanthropy: Prioritize Native-Led Solutions
The Center for Effective Philanthropy released a report on funding disparities faced by Native-serving nonprofits highlighting how Indigenous communities are not receiving the support they need. In this online article, Carly Badheart Bull, JD outlines how Native-led organizations have the solutions to address the issues communities are facing and how foundations can support them to fully implement these Native-led solutions. Carly is executive director at Native Ways Federation and helped lead SWIF through the land acknowledgement process.
Philanthropy Self-Assessment for Working with Tribal Communities This self-assessment is a tool for philanthropic organizations to determine where you are in your work with tribal communities, Native organizations, and Indigenous peoples, and to identify areas that can be strengthened as you move towards equity and effectiveness. This assessment is meant to spark internal discussion and aid in your organization’s planning and visioning.
Minnesota Native News Podcast
Minnesota Native News is a weekly radio segment covering ideas and events relevant to Minnesota’s Native American communities. Minnesota Native News also produces the weekly radio show and podcast Native Lights: Where Indigenous Voices Shine, featuring stories of people within Minnesota’s Native communities. We explore the history, work, strength, and resiliency of Native people who are shaping the future, while appreciating those who came before.
Native Governance Center, A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment
Native Governance Center held an event on moving beyond land acknowledgment that featured Nikki Pitre (Center for Native American Youth), Joye Braun (Indigenous Environmental Network), President Robert Larsen (Lower Sioux Indian Community), and Michelle Vassel and David Cobb (Wiyot Honor Tax). This guide is based on content contributed during the event.
Understand Native Minnesota’s “Native Narrative Change News Digest”
This news digest is a service of Understand Native Minnesota, a campaign of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to improve how the narrative about Native Americans is taught in Minnesota’s schools. It is a compilation of recent media coverage about the Native experience in Minnesota, Native people, narrative change and related topics, with the hope that it may be useful to educators, education policymakers, older students, and the general public.
Places to Visit in Our Region
Birch Coulee Battlefield
Today a peaceful prairie, Birch Coulee was the site of one of the deadliest battles of the US-Dakota War, over 150 years ago. Tour the self-guided trails where markers explain the battle from both Dakota and US soldiers’ perspectives.
Jeffers Petroglyphs is home to about 5,000 sacred rock carvings, also called petroglyphs, made by the ancestors of today’s Native Americans. Jeffers tells the story of this continent like no other place — connecting visitors to those who lived and traveled in ancient times across what is now known as North America.
Lower Sioux Agency
Learn about Dakota culture and history and examine the causes of the U.S.-Dakota War at the Lower Sioux Agency where you’ll find a Dakota history exhibit, restored 1861 U.S. government building, scenic Minnesota River trails, weekend programs on Dakota life and nature and more.
Pipestone National Monument
For countless generations, American Indians have quarried the red pipestone found at this site. These grounds are sacred to many people because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Many believe that the pipe’s smoke carries one’s prayer to the Great Spirit. The traditions of quarrying and pipemaking continue here today.
Lac qui Parle Mission
Explore the reconstructed Lac qui Parle Mission and learn about the people who made their lives here. Lac qui Parle is the French translation of the Dakota name, “Lake that speaks.” It was at this aptly named site that Joseph Renville worked with missionaries to create the first written Dakota alphabet.