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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 5:

Dakota (Sioux)

-As transcribed from page 43

The Dakota, proper, who shared Trempealeau County with the Winnebago, were the principal division of the Siouan family, and are more commonly called by their family name of Sioux, rather than by their individual name of Dakota. The Siouan family consisted not only of the Dakota, proper, but also of the Winnebago, the Assiniboin, the Minnetare group, and the Osage and southern kindred tribes.10

The word Sioux, now applied to the whole linguistic family, is a corruption of the word Nadouessi or Nadouescioux, meaning "the snake-like ones," or "the enemies," the name by which the Chippewa and other Algonquin Indians called the Dakotas. Dakota, variously spelled, was applied by this branch of the Siouan family to themselves, and means "joined together in friendly compact." An important division of the Dakotas was the M'dewakanton (commonly rendered Medawakanton) tribe. At one time the Medewakanton had their headquarters about the Mille Lacs region in northern Minnesota, hence their name, which means "The People of the Spirit Lake." Evidently driven out by the Chippewa, who had obtained arms from the whites, they established themselves in seven villages along the Mississippi and Minnesota.11

The Medawakanton relinquished their claim to all lands east of the Mississippi and all the islands in that river by the treaty signed at Washington, D. C., September 29, 1837.12  Thus in 1837, Trempealeau passed from the dominion of both the Winnebago and the Dakota, and into the possession of the whites. By a treaty signed in 1851 and proclaimed in 1853, the Medawakanton relinquished their vast possessions in Minnesota, and afterward were removed to a reservation on the upper Minnesota River, in the western part of the State of Minnesota. They took part in the Massacre of 1862, and fled or were removed from Minnesota. A larger part of Indians of that blood are now at the Santee Reservation, in Nebraska.13  Others are at Flandreau, South Dakota, or scattered through Minnesota.

Resources for the above information:

10 - J. W. Powell, Indian Linguistic Families, 7th .Annual Beport, Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1891), 111-112.

11 - N. H. Winchell, ed., Aborigines cf Minnesota (St. Paul, 1911), 541 et seq.

12 - Peters, ed., Treaties, U. S. Statutes at Large, VII, 538. Royce, Indian Land Cessions, 18th, Annual Beport, Bureau of Ethnology, II, 766.

13 - Holcombe, Minnesota in Three Centuries, II, 108-109.


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