Treaties-1851-“Treaty of TDS Painting”

“The Treaty of the Traverse des Sioux” Painting
(1905), by David Francis Millet
© November 16, 2015, John LaBatte
Modified November 26, 2015

This essay is prompted by recent comments made about artwork in the Minnesota State Capitol Building. First, I will give some background on myself. Then, I will give some background on Sioux origins and migrations. Finally, I will discuss recent comments made by the Art Subcommittee and members of the media about the “Treaty of Traverse des Sioux” painting.

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Treaties – Stolen Land?

Stolen Land?
© January 21, 2015, John LaBatte

One of the worst methods of producing a product on the Dakota War of 1862 is to interview a group of people and then publish statements from the interviews. Many incorrect statements are made during these interviews. The producer edits and publishes what is said and takes no responsibility for the accuracy of what they publish.

Statements that suggest land was stolen from the Dakota Indians and never paid for are incorrect. Very few products mention that later payments were made to the Dakota and their descendants for land and annuities taken in 1863.

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1858 Treaties – Land

1858 Treaties – Land
© July 2, 2014, John LaBatte

 In 1858, there were two Dakota reservations on the upper Minnesota River. The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands were assigned to the lower reservation. The Sisseton and Wahpeton bands were assigned to the upper reservation. Each reservation was divided in half by the Minnesota River. In 1858, these Dakota bands signed 2 treaties with the U.S.: The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute signed one treaty. The Sisseton and Wahpeton signed another treaty. They were paid a second time for their reservation lands on the north side of the Minnesota River. This essay discusses the title held by these bands to this land, how many acres were involved, how much was paid per acre and the title held by these bands to their remaining reservations.  Continue reading

1851 Treaties – Land

1851 Treaties – Land
© July 11, 2014, John LaBatte

In 1851, leaders of the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Mdewakanton and Wahpekute bands of the Dakota Nation signed treaties with the U.S. They sold their right to occupy a large part of Minnesota and parts of present-day South Dakota and Iowa. They agreed to move to reservations along the upper Minnesota River where their people would learn to live as the whites. This essay discusses the title held by these bands to this land, how many acres were ceded, how much was paid per acre and the title held by these bands to their new reservations.  Continue reading