Mni Sota Makoce, The Land of the Dakota
Much of the focus on the Dakota people in Minnesota rests on the tragic events of the 1862 U.S.–Dakota War and the resulting exile that sent the majority of the Dakota to prisons and reservations beyond the state’s boundaries. But the true depth of the devastation of removal cannot be understood without a closer examination of the history of the Dakota people and their deep cultural connection to the land that is Minnesota. Drawing on oral history interviews, archival work, and painstaking comparisons of Dakota, French, and English sources, Mni Sota Makoce tells the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands for at least hundreds of years prior to exile.
Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2012, the book went on to win the 2013 Minnesota Book Award in the Minnesota category. Gwen Westerman is professor of English and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Bruce White is the author of We Are at Home: Pictures of the Ojibwe People.