Students identify Anishanaabe and Dakota territories in Minnesota prior to 1900. They compare native lands from the 1800s to today, then list features near the present-day reservations.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Minnesota | Unit 2: Dakota and Anishinaabe" which compares the Dakota and Anishinaabe people and emphasizes what makes each of these indigenous groups special and unique.
126.96.36.199.1: Compare and contrast the Dakota and Anishinaabe nations prior to 1800; describe their interactions with each other and other indigenous peoples.
- Explain to students that before settlers and explorers migrated out west, Minnesota consisted of the Ojibwe, which is a community of the Anishinaabe, and the Dakota Sioux, which is a community of the Great Sioux Nation. The term Anishinaabe also refers to the Algonquin, Odawa, Potawatomi, Saulteaux, Nipissing, and Mississauga, as well as some Oji-Cree and Metis Nations. The Great Sioux Nation is divided into three communities based on language: the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota tribes. Pass out the associated handout, which compares the following maps of American Indian nations in Minnesota.
- Discuss how the map on the left shows American Indians in Minnesota in the 1800s, while the map on the right shows the map of present-day reservations in Minnesota.
- Pass out the full-page Minnesota map as well. Break the students up into groups and have them answer the questions on the worksheet.
- Reconvene to go over all the answers from the different groups. Describe the differences in lifestyle with regard to geography the American Indian groups might face today.
[examples: big cities now exist, not nearly as much land to roam, highways running through or near reservations, etc.].
- The land that American Indians live on has been drastically reduced. Although the Dakota Sioux populated the majority of Minnesota’s land in the 1800s, they now have much less land compared to Minnesota’s other American Indian communities.
- Answers will vary between 16–20 depending on how students count the bordering or overlap of certain reservations.
- Anishinaabe: Upper Red Lake, Lower Red Lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs Lake, Lake Superior, Lake of the Woods, Vermillion Lake
- Dakota: Minnesota River, Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Mississippi River